Read below what our past volunteers have to say about working and volunteering with Viva Tanzania. Find the project you’re interested in.
One thing that we truly loved was the tours and excursions that the hostel offered. If Tizia and Tini didn’t take you out personally then they would get their guide (Venance) to take you out. He took us out on three excursions and was absolutely brilliant. He was passionate about his job and had so much knowledge about the area – he was great fun to be around, very kind and considerate and was a brilliant tour guide. I really recommend doing the town tour on one of your first days there as it really helped with transport routes and knowing how to get to and from the hostel into town. I would also recommend the Maasai markets for souvenirs and the waterfall hiking trip. Lastly I can’t thank Viva Tanzania enough for their recommendation on safari. We went on a five day safari trip while we were in Arusha and it was possibly the most amazing thing we have ever done. The company we went with (recommended by the hostel) was reasonably priced and was very professional. The tour guide was great fun and knew all the best areas in each of the four national parks to get a great viewing of all the animals and beautiful sceneries / sunsets / sunrises. We camped in tents and all food was provided (which was also delicious). Karen, 19, Germany.
I recently had the great joy to stay at Nyumbani Hostel for about 10 weeks during my time in Tanzania. And what can I say – it was awesome. They are great hosts who will always do their best to make your stay a pleasant one. But the hostel isn’t only a hostel: the team also do a great job at finding you the right place to volunteer or work as an intern if that’s what your looking for (if you haven’t already and that’s why you’re reading this review – in that case just contact them. You won’t find a better place!). All in all, staying at Nyumbani was a great time. They are great hosts, the mamas are AMAZING cooks (and luckily breakfast and dinner is included – and you definitely won’t go to bed hungry), and we had the fortune of having an amazing group of people at the hostel at the time I was there – which really made the hostel home away from home. Thank you for the great time and unforgettable experience(s)! Brianna, 20, United States of America.
I volunteered with Mt. Meru District Hospital through Viva Tanzania for four weeks. When I first arrived, Viva Tanzania helped me get my volunteer visa set up and introduce me to the hospital. Volunteering with the hospital is organized much as it would be in ‘Western’ hospitals. The hospital let me choose what area I wanted to work in, and I then met with their volunteer coordinator who had me write a statement of intent for what I wanted to learn and experience throughout my time there. The staff were very friendly, and I was even invited to a nurse’s home for dinner. The volunteer coordinator and the Viva Tanzania staff regularly checked in with me to make sure I was having a good experience. There are many jobs that both people with professional degrees, students, and others can do – as professional staff often are involved in cleaning, decorating, etc. The nurses were very excited to teach me how to mop because, obviously, Americans do not know how to mop. I also observed and aided in other duties. Although I spent the majority of my time volunteering in the Reproductive Health Clinic, I was also able to observe major and minor surgeries. (I did help some. I adjusted the surgeon’s headlamp as the power was out.) Knowledge of Kiswahili would be useful but not required. This would be great place for an internship or rotations for a medical or nursing student. Jennifer, 23, Germany.
I spent two months in Tanzania working as teacher in a primary school. It has been a fantastic experience, and I’m grateful to Viva Tanzania to have made this possible. I chose this project because I wanted to try a teaching experience and also because I was very attracted by the environment in the north of Tanzania, and I have to say that all my expectations have been totally fulfilled. Tizia has made the preparation of my trip simpler by giving me many useful tips, and the same applies for the duration of my stay. The impact with Tanzania was great, and I have to thank Tini too who came twice to pick me up at the airport (due to the huge delay of my flight). Food was also good, especially because we could try different local dishes. The school is in a really nice context, and all the staff has been extremely friendly and helpful with me. At the moment I arrived, one of the teacher had just moved to an other school, therefore I had the feeling that my help was especially important in that period, and this also gave the interesting opportunity to do all the lessons on my own. I was mainly teaching English, mathematics and French. Although it was my first experience in teaching to children, I got used quite quickly. The pupils were really nice, although very agitated and excited (as most of the kids are!), and I will remember their enthusiasm when I said that I wanted them to teach me some Swahili. All in all, it has been a very rich and exciting experience that I would redo again and again if the opportunity comes. Jule, 23, Germany
I really enjoyed my volunteering with Viva Tanzania very much and I was able to gain great experiences and get to know new people – even though my time there was short. I especially liked the nice and informal atmosphere in the hostel. I had the feeling to have a contact person for all questions and concerns and to all my wishes regarding the excursions was received. I felt comfortable with you from the first day, everyone is so friendly and helpful and the food in the hostel is really sooooo delicious – a big compliment to the mamas! With regard to my project, I received great support by you from the beginnig. First of all, the Town Tour was particularly helpful in order to get a first glimpse into the Dala Dalas (mini busses). Secondly, it was pretty great that I was accompanied to the project on my first day. Thank you for that. All in all, the 2 weeks were really a great experience for me – as I said, but unfortunately a bit short, but I was still able to gain intense insight into life in Tanzania and enjoy great moments – especially the safari was an unforgettable experience. I’m sure that you will see me again in the next few years – above all, I would like to climb Kilimanjaro at some point, which has not let me go since I saw it. Until then, I wish you and your entire team all the best! Keep up the good work – you guy are really great! Marco, 32, Italy.
I volunteered in Afrikan Wear Design through Viva Tanzania for 3 months. I found my experience there fascinating. I had a main job during the week but nevertheless, I was looking for a volunteering experience too for the weekends. Tizia figured it out quickly, putted me in contact with Justin and Marilyn and did all the proper arrangements. My main tasks were to bring ideas about advertising, marketing, selling and made them come true. I got so involved in the project that even during my job’s lunch break during the week, I would go with Justin and Marilyn to keep helping and even share a delicious meal. What I enjoyed the most during my volunteering was learning a lot about Tanzanian culture during the meetings with Justin. A typical day would consist in working with my laptop at Justin’s office regarding product description, preparing the launch of a proper website, making calls and bringing clients to the business, learning how every product is created, planning wardrobe collections and even modelling for photo shoots with their products! At the end of each day, Justin was so kind to provide and pay for my transport back to the hostel. They are true statements of entrepreneurship and creativity and this experience with them made me realize that everyone has an entrepreneur inside ready to be successfully developed. No matter your profession (I am about to become a lawyer), this place is excellent to make a difference and even develop useful skills like talking to clients, management, accountability, and creativity. Jörg, 24, Germany.
I stayed at Viva Tanzania’s Hostel for four weeks. Tizia and the team welcomed me very heartfully and I directly felt home. I did my volunteer at Mbwa wa Africa which is an animal shelter at the outskirts of Arusha National Park. It was great how happy they are in their new life full of hope. Tizia organized my volunteering project well so that there were no problems. She also showed me the way to the shelter so that I felt safe when driving there on my own. I am glad to met all these nice people at the hostel and we all share beautiful moments. When there were any questions, I just asked the staff and they arranged everything. Tanzania was a great experience I will remember my whole life and its sad that the time here is over now. I can totally recommend Viva. P.S. The food is awesome and there is great international and Tanzanian food. It was also nice partying with Tizia and the other guests. Asante Sana! Chase Ying Yuan, 19, United States of Africa
I will never forget my time with Viva Tanzania! Because I came to Arusha alone, it was important to me to get connection as soon as possible. For that I was in the right place! Whether it was about getting my internship visa arranged, a day trip, a safari or bringing clothes to the tailor. Since I stay in a 4-bed dorm room, it was easy for me to get to know other woman! The fact that the terrace and living / dining room offers alternatives, everyone found a place to be by themselves at any time or to get together if they wished. The different dishes were delicious! With Viva Tanzania I really felt welcome not as a tourist or visitor but after a short time as a friend, thank you for this feeling and the nice time. At first I was very insecure and restrained for my work with the Destiny Foundation. Because I did not understand or could speak Swahili I could not communicate well with the teachers nor the students. Over the weeks the teacher involved me more and more in the everyday school life. The more vocabulary I learned, the better it worked out with the students. The teachers were happy that I mastered at least the greeting without problems after a few days. I can only recommend warmly to everyone to make the same or similar experiences. Dare it! The children appreciate your affection and presence and the teachers take every assistance with thanks! Emily, 22, United States of America.
What an incredible experience! From the moment my friends and I applied to this volunteer project we had support. We had all our questions answered in a timely manner since day 1 of our application. On our arrival, we immediately felt comfortable and most importantly safe. Our hostel was always tidy due to our amazing Mamas (who are doing excellent job at keeping the hostel presentable) and were able to accommodate my friends and I’s request to be together in one room. We were guided to the town on our first day and taught us how to get around from our hostel to our volunteer project. They told us all the necessary information needed to get by. In the hostel there are other volunteers under Viva Tanzania who stay in the hostel. We definitely got along and also enhanced our first volunteer experience. Everyone gave invaluable tips! Our Volunteer project was amazing!! These ladies had so much ambition/ potential, they can go far in this world! I can confidently say all the previous and present volunteers have made am impact on them- emotionally, physically and mentally/ intellectually. On the weekends, we were able to arrange crazy fun activities which other volunteers from other projects under Viva Tanzania NGO can join. I highly recommend this project to anyone and I would definitely go back! Maren, 26, Germany.
The Little Stars Primary school is a small, well organised school that is just starting out and therefore only has two classes. Because of that, it was easy for me to form a tight and personal connection to the students and teachers. During my time there, I had a lot of opportunities to bring in ideas into the lessons and the recreational periods and to actually teach myself. All in all, we had a great time in Tanzania and staying with Viva Tanzania was a big part of that! Michelle, 26, Australia.
I stayed at Viva Tanzania’s Hostel for four weeks. Tizia and the team welcomed me very heartfully and I directly felt home. I did my volunteer at Mbwa wa Africa which is an animal shelter at the outskirts of Arusha National Park. It was great how happy they are in their new life full of hope. Tizia organized my volunteering project well so that there were no problems. She also showed me the way to the shelter so that I felt safe when driving there on my own. I am glad to met all these nice people at the hostel and we all share beautiful moments. When there were any questions, I just asked the staff and they arranged everything. Tanzania was a great experience I will remember my whole life and its sad that the time here is over now. I can totally recommend Viva. P.S. The food is awesome and there is great international and Tanzanian food. It was also nice partying with Tizia and the other guests. Asante Sana! Chase Ying Yuan, 19, United States of Africa.
The volunteer programme was a highlight of our trip. We spent five days working in a small school for 3-5 year old children called Venance Care Foundation. It was set up by a man called Venance who was also very passionate about enhancing the lives of these children and encouraging them to work hard in life. Despite it only being a small set up, Venance and the teacher did a brilliant job at teaching the children on a daily basis with minimal teaching facilities. As volunteers, we were given the opportunity to teach the children and play with the children each day. It was absolutely brilliant listening to the children sing and dance during break time and also teaching them nursery rhymes and songs from our own country. I would really recommend taking a box of pencils, pens, paper, colour books, chalks, craft materials etc if you were planning on volunteering at somewhere like this, as they seemed to need all the help them could get with teaching facilities. Elena, 18, Germany.
My partner and I spent 2 weeks in Arusha and with Viva Tanzania. Firstly I’d like to highlight that the trip would never have been able to go ahead if it wasn’t for the help and support of Tizia during the planning process. We got in touch with Tizia on Facebook about 3 months before, as the volunteer programme that she offered seemed perfect for our preferences. From the word go she was always happy to help with planning and recommending things to do! On arrival to the hostel we felt warmly welcomed by not only the team but also by all of the other guests (and their gorgeous dogs!). The house felt very safe and was very spacious and homely, we especially loved the outside sitting area, where everyone would gather in the evenings to socialise and chat about their day. The food at the hostel was delicious and freshly cooked each night, and the monthly menu gave us the opportunity to taste Tanzanian food as well as other world wide dishes. The staff were always happy to help with recommending other places to eat or get food if necessary. Bethan, 26, United Kingdom