• Tanzania
    • Arusha
2 to 48 weeks

Program Details

Age Min.
Short Term Spring Break Summer Winter Year Round
Guesthouse Host Family
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30) Large Group (31+)
Travel Type
Budget Family Older Travelers Solo Women


Starting Price
Price Details
$900 per month (plus $100 per week fundraising goal). It is important for you to know that 100% of the money that you pay to TST goes directly toward your accommodation and activities, with all fundraising going directly toward our programs and kids.

For example, if you plan to stay for 4 weeks: your overall cost to TST would be $900 for accommodation, $250 for your volunteer visa, and a fundraising goal of $400. This would make your direct cost $1,150 with an additional fundraising goal of $400.

Note: Flights, visas, and medical insurance are not included in program fee.
What's Included
Accommodation Some Accommodation Activities Some Activities Airport Transfers Equipment Meals Some Meals Transportation Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Domestic Airfare Some Meals Travel Insurance Visa
Mar 12, 2024
Mar 12, 2024
12 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

In order to provide chance, not charity, for the children and families that reside in the Meru District, we invite interested volunteers from all over the world to join our cause. TST works with the local community to create high impact and ethically responsible volunteer opportunities for those interested in affecting sustainable and long-lasting change. We are a completely humanitarian, non-denominational, registered nonprofit with one simple motive - to provide opportunity to the vulnerable children and families of Nkoaranga. Childcare volunteers now have a minimum stay of four weeks, as it is too tough for the kids if there are many people in and out, building intense relations with them. Volunteers play an important role in education, playtime, and other caregiving situations with kids 3-6 years old.

This is a truly ETHICAL placement opportunity, as children are protected and 100% of proceeds to go the organization, 0% to profits or overhead.

Consider your impact: Volunteering abroad can be a rewarding experience for both volunteers and local communities, and at Go Overseas, we believe all volunteers should have the resources to make informed decisions about the type of volunteer project they want to partake in. However, despite best intentions, some organizations offering placements in orphanages may unknowingly place children in danger. You can read about the potential dangers of orphanage volunteering here. Learn more about how The Small Things is promoting ethical volunteering.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Developing engaging activities/creative programs for the children including art, music, yoga, science experiments, day-trips, etc.
  • Unique opportunity to volunteer ethically and make a real impact with a small, grassroots organization that is jointly Tanzanian and American run, focused on family preservation and community development!
  • Highly affordable accommodation fees at only $900 per month and small, flexible fundraising goals with a 100% guarantee that all money raised goes directly to our programs and kids, not salaries and administrative costs.
  • Full time staff support, cultural activities, Swahili lessons, and the opportunity to experience Tanzanian culture in a respectful and engaging manner.
  • Build relationships with amazing children and contribute to community development in a rural Tanzanian community.

Program Impact

The daycare center is a preschool for the children of families in need, allowing parents to start and maintain businesses to get their families on a more stable financial footing without sacrificing their children's care. This high quality preschool will also give many of these children a head start in their education that they otherwise could never have received. The daycare helps to maintain and care for children's mental, emotional, and physical health as well.

Related Programs

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 17 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.9
  • Support 4.85
  • Fun 4.9
  • Value 4.25
  • Safety 4.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 17 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing experience that will stay with me

Working at TST was a fantastic experience, it's a charity that values its cause over volunteer novelty and that is the highest possible praise I can give any ethical volunteering experience. Spending two months there was barely enough time to scratch the surface of all that they do to help the local area. Ranging from a subsidised daycare and preschool all the way through to upskilling young adults and running micro-finance schemes for local people, the work that this relatively small team puts out is truly impactful and equally inspiring.

Whilst I was initially anxious that my role would be mostly performative, this was not the case as my work always felt meaningful and beneficial. Working alongside the extremely skilled teachers and dadas was always a pleasure and the kids of all ages were incredibly receptive to the new content and concepts I brought. Whether this involved teaching IT skills to older children or vocabulary to the pre-school students, it was a great experience to share my skills and contribute in the classroom.

Even though my role was primarily as a teaching assistant, I also valued the opportunity to help in other aspects of the charity. TST's management was incredibly flexible and accommodating when I suggested this and it was great to contribute both directly through teaching and behind the scenes where I got the chance to see the other projects they were working on. TST was incredibly transparent from the get-go and I really felt like part of the team whilst volunteering, their work culture is welcoming and I really appreciated the opportunity to sit in on their annual review meeting to get a deep understanding of how the organisation runs.

Everything about volunteering at TST has been fantastic. I came to Arusha hoping to immerse myself in Tanzanian culture, experience a new way of life, and help towards a good cause and I can confidently say all these desires have been met.

Thank you Bekka, Rehema, Mama Pendo and all the staff that makes The Small Things so great!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
TST offers the option to stay with a host family instead of the Western-style guest house. The host family is incredibly welcoming and they provide an amazing opportunity to further understand and engage with local culture and cuisine! I'd really suggest opting for this choice if you want to get the full Nkoaranga experience!
  • It is a truly ethical organisation that sincerely helps the local people
  • Fantastic staff and support from TST
  • Beautiful location, the hills of Meru are stunning
  • Without a hired car / tour guide it can often be difficult and relatively costly to find many activities to occupy your free time (bring a book)
  • The area/ nation is prone to frequent power cuts and back-up generators are rare
8 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Great time at TST

I'm so glad that I decided to work with TST for one month! The children were so greatful and loved the new songs we learned together. All of them have the trait to make one smile and they are so inquisitive! Everything new is great! They are all so happy and it was the best feeling to see, how TST gives them the opportunity to live on the best way they can do!
I had a great time and I really miss it!

73 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing month of volunteering

This summer I volunteered at TST with my friend. We experienced so many aspects of the charity, and were able to spend a lot of time with the kids. The children were all delightful, and I already miss seeing them everyday. We really felt like valued members of the team, and that everything we were doing was worth while. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my university holiday.
I couldn’t recommend it more highly

73 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience working at TST - would recommend to anyone wanting to make a difference!

This summer I volunteered with TST for a month with my friend. Everyone at TST is so welcoming we were put straight at ease and fully immersed into everything the charity has to offer. The Happy Children's Village is full of laughter, joy and happiness and I will never forget all the amazing kids there.

It was such an amazing experience, and one that I will never forget. If you want to go volunteering, and go somewhere where you really will make a difference - choose TST!

76 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Glorious volunteering experience at TST Nkoaranga

Starting a day with melodious and wonderful voices of the children, smilefull faces of the mamas and all staff are the first things that pop into my mind when I remember my experience at TST. TST family is a loving, happy, caring and a great family to be a part of. It opened my eyes and my heart to reaching out and helping those in needs, showed me the importance of working as a team and the ripple effect of taking time out of our busy schedules to care for others.

What would you improve about this program?
Volunteers should get a sample itenary of different volunteering posts in a given period of time.
International Volunteers getting basic Swahili lessons no late than 3 days upon arrival at TST.
72 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

You will fall in love with these amazing kids and mamas!!

The day i arrived in Nkoaranga my grandad passed away. It was a very hard beginning for this kind of experience, that take you out of your comfort zone in every possible way, but this place it's just magic and those wordeful kids and people helped me so much to go on that i will be forever gratefull to them. The orphanage is a wordeful place to go volunteering, the kids will full your heart of pure love and joy, I promise!

67 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful Place to Volunteer!

I absolutely loved my time volunteering for The Small Things! The children are beautiful, happy, and loving, and the staff is fantastic! The town of Nkoaranga is sweet and everyone is very friendly too. I would definitely recommend this trip. Tanzania is amazing!

68 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My time at Nkoaranga Orphanage

I think we all have personal reasons as to why why we embark on such journeys/adventures. For me it was about taking myself out of my comfort zone. And in the process i fell in love with a bunch of kids. I wouldn't say they were any difficulties as such, things can be a little frustrating but you learn a lot about your tolerance levels. The language barrier was an obvious one, but not insurmountable. One of my best experiences to date

71 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers