The mission of this program is to support the women of the Arusha area who have suffered from abuse. The Women’s Empowerment program aims to assist these women offering them a refuge to escape the violence and a safe place to re-group and plan for a better life. The program was founded in 2006 to fight human trafficking and other injustices, while giving girls and young mothers a second chance in life and has helped hundreds of women and their children to date. The program offers temporary residence for girls, young mothers and their babies. All girls and young mothers can get medical assistance, counselling and advocacy. The women are educated in mathematics, English, computer, health education and life skills and one-year vocational trainings are offered in cooking and tailoring and in entrepreneur skills for starting and running their own business after graduation. While the mothers attend school or the vocational training, their children will be supervised in the day care or the pre-school, depending on their age. Girls and women who didn’t finish their schooling will be given a chance to finish their education. This program truly empowers women and girls who have suffered abuse and helps them to achieve a brighter future.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide essential care and support to vulnerable women and children
- Improve the future prospects of abused and disadvantaged women through education and skills
- Give impoverished women and children quality care, compassion and a sense of hope
- Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both locals and international volunteers alike.
Volunteers on this program play an essential role in helping women and their children suffering from abuse of many kinds. Participants will spend their time supporting the women and their children and assisting the local staff as needed. Volunteers are asked to support the center at least three hours a day. For those working in the Day Care/Pre-School, working hours will be 9 am -12 pm. Those working with girls and young mothers usually work from 11am – 2pm. While volunteers can work longer hours if they wish (and it would be greatly appreciated), these hours also give volunteers plenty of time to explore the area and make new friends. The organization needs various forms of support, including marketing and fundraising, teaching computer skills or English, working with the children or supporting the vocational training. There is something for everyone and all contributions are welcomed.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways on this program and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Support women and children in a number of ways
- Attend to and interact with the children
- Organize activities and provide skill-based training
- Work on marketing and fundraising activities
- Teach computer or English language skills
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Upon arrival into Kilimanjaro International Airport volunteers will be collected by a representative of the local project team and transported to their assigned accommodation where they will join a short welcome session. On Monday, volunteers attend the full orientation session where a representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience in Tanzania. You will be taken on a town tour where you can purchase a SIM card so you can access the internet during your placement (you will need to ensure you have had your phone unlocked before your arrival). This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, ask any last questions you may have, and perhaps even start to make those safari trip plans…oh yeah!
- Program Arrival Day: SUNDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Kilimanjaro International Airport, Tanzania (CODE: JRO)
Return airport transfers depart the reserve either Saturday 9 am or Sunday 6 pm. Accommodation can be arranged near the airport on the Saturday night if your flight departs on Sunday.
Safe and comfortable accommodation will be provided during your stay in Tanzania. Volunteers will be accommodated in a small hostel that is run by our local partner organization. Their two dogs Ella and Ava who are very friendly and welcoming also live at the compound (outside only). The project management team lives only three walking minutes away, plus a volunteer coordinator will be onsite from 8am to 8pm weekdays, who among other things, will join you and your fellow volunteers for dinner each evening.
The hostel has three double and four quadruple rooms (private rooms are available on request for an additional fee) each containing comfortable beds and space to store your belongings. While the local team try to allocate rooms based on gender, this cannot always be guaranteed. Hot showers are available, though volunteers are asked to use water sparingly.
The hostel is located 25 walking minutes from the city center. Motorbikes and Dala Dala (Minibuses) for transport are available everywhere. Although the hostel is close to town it is surrounded by a peaceful garden where you can relax among the exotic fruit trees or enjoy the amazing view of Mt Kilimanjaro from the sweeping balcony area! A large two-meter high wall and a 24/7 security team make sure you are nice and safe. Washing machines are not common in Tanzania, therefore laundry must be either washed by hand, or can be done by the local cleaner for a small additional fee.
Volunteers are provided two meals per day at the hostel. Breakfast usually includes tea and coffee, bread, margarine, honey, jam, peanut butter, as well as seasonal fruits. Dinner will be international as your hosts cook both Tanzanian and Western food.
Don’t worry if you are vegetarian, vegan or have any allergies, as the local team can cope with these too. The hostel is also equipped with a fridge and shelves to store your own groceries and you are welcome to prepare some of your own meals if you prefer. Easy!
Registration Fee: The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the Trip Planner.
Requirements: We welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to help us provide support to some of Tanzania’s most marginalized and vulnerable women. While this challenging project does not require participants to have a background in the fields of social work, counselling and/or Women’s studies, as there are many ways you can assist, volunteers with suitable education, qualifications or experience are highly sought after. Regardless, a volunteer’s individual role can often be tailored to suit their particular skills and interests. All applicants must of course display a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive ‘can-do’ attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
Project Location: Situated in northern Tanzania, Arusha is the capital of the Arusha Region and is surrounded by some of Africa’s most famous landscapes and national parks. Situated below Mount Meru on the eastern edge of the eastern branch of the Great Rift Valley, it has a mild climate and is close to Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Olduvai Gorge, Tarangire National Park, and Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as having its own Arusha National Park on Mount Meru.
Arusha balances well the ‘city life’ with the ‘small town’ feel and that makes it even more attractive in the eyes of tourists and travelers from all parts of the world. The city is surrounded by farm estates growing coffee, wheat and maize. These farm estates are being maintained by the Arusha and Meru tribes since the 18th century. Arusha is commonly referred to as the safari capital of East Africa. This is because it is the main starting point for safaris into Tanzania. It is a vibrant town renowned for its streets filled with tourist vehicles, the Maasai warriors and the famous Central Market. Awesome!
Start Dates & Duration: This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 12 weeks.
Important Visa Information: An ‘STP’ or ‘Volunteer’ visa is required to volunteer in Tanzania and costs around US$250 depending on where it is obtained. Some nationalities can apply in advance from their local Tanzania Embassy, but most volunteers will obtain the volunteer visa from the airport on arrival in Arusha. Please ensure you have sufficient US$ to pay for the volunteer visa on arrival (notes must be no older than 2009). The STP-visa, which is valid for three months, can then be renewed for a further three months if required.
Note: All travelers require return or onward tickets, all documents required for their next destination and proof of funds. Currently visitors arriving from infected areas must hold a yellow fever vaccination certificate.
Passport and visa requirements are liable to change at short notice. Travelers are advised to check their entry requirements with their embassy or consulate.
A volunteer’s work day on this project will generally last between 4 and 6 hours and while we ask all volunteers to be flexible in this regard, a typical daily schedule is likely to go something like this:
7:00am Breakfast at the volunteer house
7:30am Walk or bus to your project site
8:45am Pre-start meeting with project supervisor
9:00am VOLUNTEERING DUTIES START
A tea break and lunch break will be fitted in during the day, but often the timing of breaks will change based on the needs of the local staff and number of volunteers on hand.
3:00pm VOLUNTEERING DUTIES END
3:15pm Debrief with project supervisor
3:30pm Walk or bus back to the accommodation
Evenings Volunteers are free to explore the local area, check out the multitude of local restaurants, bars and cafes, or relax with the other volunteers.