Tanzania

Frontier

Just got back from the Tanzania diving project, which was totally awesome. Having previously had a pretty good time on Frontier's Madagascar marine conservation project a couple of years ago, I thought that I knew what to expect when heading out to the Tanzania project, but although it was similar in some ways, I enjoyed my time on the Tanzania project a lot more.

It's almost worth going for the diving alone. The project is based inside the Mafia Island Marine Park which is a protected area, meaning that the coral reef is incredibly healthy and there's about a million fish out there, including these huge giant groupers which are like the size of a small car or something. I've been diving in quite a few places round the world and this was easily some of the best diving I've ever done. The science work we were doing also felt really worthwhile. Carrying out surveys and collecting data on fish populations and coral cover and stuff for the marine park meant that we actually did something useful whilst diving which was really satisfying.

Camp was pretty basic, but you quickly grow to love it and everyone on the project was friendly. Staff were nice too. Mafia Island itself is absolutely beautiful and volunteering really is the best way to see it. It's nice to be doing something really useful rather than just being a tourist. Honestly can't recommend this project enough.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Oct 22, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Many thanks for your review. It's always great to hear about Mafia!

Frontier

My name is William, Im 20 years old, I'm currently at Newcastle University and I went on the Tanzania diving project this summer. As soon as I arrived I met loads of people around my age and they were all up for a good time. The living was basic, yet more than sufficient with a real community camp feel about it. Mafia island itself was simply beautiful and basically untouched by the tourism or anything for that matter, which is amazing when you consider how incredible the dive sites were. Nearly every day we got a chance to dive with the staff bending over backwards to sort it out for us, they were also very knowledgable and friendly, with most of them being around my age so there was never a school like feel to it. The staff also encouraged everyone to really get in touch with the environment and better understand why it needs looking after. With that in mind it was also very relaxed , so you have time to visit the local area and see what Africa is all about. I definitely recommend getting involved with the teaching project whilst you are there because it seems exceptionally rewarding and due to the high numbers of students and relatively low teaching standards, you can literally see your work making a difference.

Overall , this trip was the best experience of my life and I will definitely be going back, I couldn't recommend it more.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Sep 17, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
9

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

I hope to go back to Tanzania as soon as I can. Even though I didn’t get to spend as much time with the kids as I would have liked, I just went for 2 weeks. I still managed to create a bond with many of the children and it was really hard to leave. Arusha in general was a phenomenal place. I loved the atmosphere and felt completely comfortable the whole time (after my initial shock to the change in smells, sights, and sounds – which I realize is completely normal). I loved the mentality in Arusha, how friendly everyone was and how it seemed everyone was there to help anyone – no matter what. I think we could use a little of that mentality over here in North America where everyone is doing their own thing and in their own heads.
Pencils!!! The kids really need pencils and pens! A lot of them, their parents can’t afford to buy them more so they have these tiny little bits of lead they try to write with. Also, pencil sharpeners… I think it would be great if someone brought those ones that you can nail to the wall so the whole class can use – little individual ones are easy to lose and cause ruckus in class when kids try to share them. Erasers too – a lot of the kids’ erasers were done on their pencils and they didn’t have any extras and would have to disrupt the one kid in the class who had an eraser. Maybe that paint that turns into a chalk board when you paint it? The chalkboards are so covered in chalk that they are hard to read. Also, chalk for teachers for the board would be good too – when I was there they were using big thick chalk, in all sorts of colours, and it was so had for the kids to read – even if someone can bring those chalk protectors (metal cases for using chalk?) it prevents it from breaking and getting chalk everywhere.
Things here in Canada seem, to me, quite trivial now (I need to get over that so I can continue with my planned route of education.) That’s the thing too though, I appreciate education tenfold and even basic things one learns without realizing it (basic computer knowledge etc). I have learned to appreciate the small things. Whereas before I knew I ought to appreciate, and tried (and even thought I succeeded), but now I actually can, and know I am. I also appreciate time a lot more, too and I don’t sweat the small stuff as much anymore.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Sep 13, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

Volunteering abroad had always been a dream of mine and it felt like the perfect time to do so. I found ABV and it caught my attention and offered my ideal location, an orphanage in Tanzania. After arriving I was a little lonely and scared but the first day that I entered a classroom at the Center I knew I was in the right place. There are no words to describe how amazing the children there were, their love for each other and for life was so inspiring especially considering how much they have been through. I was able to help teachers correct work and assist in teaching the children math and English as well as play with the kids at their break times. I found my cheeks hurting everyday from smiling so much while I was at the center. The children honestly changed my life, they opened my eyes to what real happiness and appreciation is. There is no doubt in my mind I will be volunteering again in Africa very soon and hopefully pursuing a career in teaching or social work now. The Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Ongorogoro Crater, Via Via, the Masai Market, and the hot springs were all incredible and memories that I will hold forever but the volunteering alone made my trip extraordinary.
The ABV staff in the USA was extremely efficient. Every email that I sent out with questions involving initially signing up to last minute tips were answered within a day. I also received reminders of what documents I was missing and many attachments on the culture and general information that I found to be very helpful.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Sep 13, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

Diving in mafia was spectacular. My diving career started in Thailand (also a great place to dive) but the divers virtually outnumber the fish in Ko Tao. It was like shopping in Hollister, you’d have to queue up just to swim onto the reef. In mafia it was just our small dive team, a couple of local fishing boats and a magnificent expanse of coral teeming with marine life. When diving was over for the day we would teach English on camp to the locals, kids and adults alike. They were amazing people who are really willing to learn and to teach you a bit of Swahili if you’re interested! The living conditions on camp are fairly basic but everyone pulls their weight and helps out to make the camp environment a really chilled, really relaxing place to live. Saturday nights were spent at Kili Disco where the locals were only too keen to get us dancing like Africans and drinking the lethal local spirit suspiciously called “Z”. All in all it was a totally incredible summer. The only problem is that I have to wait another 12 months before I can go back!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Sep 13, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

What I learned through my time spent in Tanzania cannot accurately be expressed in words. It just won’t do it justice. All I can say is the children I was privileged to get to know forever changed my life. My volunteer experience taught me to be patient, selfless, and to open my mind and heart. If you’re considering volunteering, do it! I am better person today for having let the people and life of Tanzania humble me and make me grateful for my blessed life.
The children were so open and receptive to me. I had thought it might take some time to gain their trust and friendship. Instead they were warm from the beginning. Finally I understood that they wanted nothing more than to have that kind of desire for closeness from me.
Leave your reservations at the door and jump in! I learned there is no set way to “properly” volunteer. I just did it with my heart. I learned to be silly with the children, hold them, and love them without holding back. I made a fool out of myself and danced to make children laugh! It’s about making the most out of the brief time you have, because that time can never be replaced.
I cherished every moment I got to spend with the children as learned about who they were individually. Discovering each child’s likes, dislikes, personality traits, background… etc. is what made for wonderful memories. I will never forget the closeness I felt to each child as I held them, played with them, even became a kid myself with them!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Sep 7, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

During my volunteer internship at a local government hospital in Dar es Salaam I was able to have the most eye opening experience of my life. Day to day I would work under the supervision of doctors, nurses and students who were always more than willing to take time and talk you through everything that was happening in the hospital. I was assigned to work in a certain ward each week, but if I felt uncomfortable in a certain place I was free to change that schedule. The staff was welcoming and allowed me to assist in as much as possible.
My home stay was by far the best part. My family opened their arms and treated me as one of their own. This experience made me completely immersed into the culture. I ate all of my meals with the family and participated in family parties and outings.
Though the people in Dar aren't strangers to outsiders, you will be stared at and treated differently. You will have a safe and fun experience if you listen to the Projects Abroad staff on safe travels.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Sep 2, 2013
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
9

Growth International Volunteer Excursions (GIVE)

GIVE currently has volunteer projects in Nicaragua and Tanzania. I would highly recommend this organization and participation in either of these projects.
As a first time abroad volunteer, I felt very supported throughout the planning process. I was given specific instructions and deadlines before the trip to make sure I was all set for a smooth journey. I never felt in the dark about what I needed to do, what to expect, or where my money was going. Any questions or concerns were answered timely and thoughtfully.
I also really enjoyed that you come to GIVEs projects from abroad as a group. We were all on the last leg of our flight together (thanks to GIVE's connection to the Student Travel Association) and were immediately met by our amazing guides.
The guides are very educated and experienced (bios available on site), but more importantly genuinely care about the local people and the projects they are a part of. They are passionate, genuine people and also a lot of fun! The guides gave us a great orientation to the country, projects, and safety prior to jumping in.
The projects in Tanzania were incredible-the volunteers were so involved! We were able to immediately make lesson plans with our guide Nora and get right into teaching English. We taught to nursery children, school-aged children, and even adults involved in an after school program. The drive for these students to learn and their appreciation for your efforts was overwhelmingly touching. The volunteers in Tanzania are also building a school and a water tankl in the village we stayed in, Cairo. One of the best things about these projects was the guide Chris' involvement with the community leaders and even the government in the whole process. Sustainability was of the upmost importance in both of these projects, and strong participation of the community in what we were doing plays a key role in that. Local handymen and children even built right beside us! The water tank was built out of recycled bottles. Incredible!
The adventure activities on the trip were also so fun! From monkey forests, to snorkeling with dolphins, sailing, and walking around the cultured capital, everything was shocking in the best way. These activities were all facilitated very well by the guides.
All in all, I have nothing bad to say about my experience with GIVE. I received a life-changing experience, met lifelong friends, and have fallen in love with volunteering abroad because of GIVE.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Aug 24, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

Everyone want to know about my time in Africa. But no words can’t describe what l experience and felt; It was more than l dreamed of, more of an education for my mind & soul, relaxing and yet heartbreaking. It was Humble, Enlightening, Enriching and up-lifting. It further my inner self, I was never so happy. I Can’t wait to be back, working with those children was a joy for me and a real privilege, Overall a blessing ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Aug 16, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

I am so thankful for finding this ABV program. Everything went according to plan and was even better than I hoped. I was able to help the children, meet wonderful new people, and learned a lot.
The dance classes , i have been giving dance classes everyday and now every time I go back to my playlist and listen to the music i can’t help myself but tear and wish I was still there with the most wonderful children I have ever met.

The most difficult this ever was saying goodbye to the children it was one of the toughest things I have ever experienced , another tough thing was being asked by the children if i had parents and if they loved me because they wish to have parents and be loved by them too that’s why i tried my best to offer all the love i can and being able to speak Swahili was a great way to have a strong relationship with the children.

I suggest take as least clothes as possible for you and as most as possible to give away because almost everyone is in need and giving things away to random people might sounds weird but seeing the smile on each and everyone’s face when receiving something from you is in-describable.

I grew to appreciate, and although I spent days with no electricity days with no hot water it was a great way for me to wake up and thank god for where I am today.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Aug 15, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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