The Venance Care Foundation is a preschool that was founded in 2014 by Venance Mark Shayo, a Tanzanian local. Located in a poor neighbourhood, the kindergarten currently offers affordable education to 50 children aged three to five who are all from difficult backgrounds. In Tanzania, children from poor families are often unable to attend school due to fees the parents can’t afford as well as the cost of school supplies and uniforms. What’s more, is that children with disabilities will face stigmatization and rarely get the support they need. The Venance Care Foundation wants to help in the longest lasting way: offering education. So, their foundation enables affordable access to education for children from different backgrounds and/or children with disabilities. As well as providing education, the Venance Foundation provides a daily meal as malnutrition is such a health risk for them. By taking care of the children, the foundation also gives parents an opportunity to work and earn a living. With Venance himself taking care of the children, there are also two teachers with classes divided into baby class and kindergarten.
The children show up at around 8am for a warm up and morning prayer before their first lesson at 8:30am. A normal school day ends at around 12pm – 1pm. During your time there, you will support the teachers during classes by teaching your own small lessons (subjects: Maths, English, Science, Life skills, Sports, Handwriting, Phonics, Arts), helping them to keep the children quiet, singing songs, or simply playing with them. After school you can help with cleaning, preparing the lessons for the next day, meeting additional staff and you can discuss anything that you feel can be improved. The work at the Venance Care Foundation is extremely flexible so you can work as long as you like. If you wan to work longer days, there is plenty to do to support the foundation. Some of the children who have difficulties with certain subjects may need to be taught and guided individually so you can help them improve their learning and knowledge. Moreover, volunteers are asked to prepare or serve the daily lunch to the children once in a while. If it interests you, you are welcome to take care of the Facebook page and help expand the network of donors. Within the last year, the Venance Care Foundation also opened a farming project that you can be a part of. Former Viva Tanzania volunteers raised money and started the farming project so the foundation could begin their journey to become partly self-sufficient. They still mainly depend on donations, but the plan for the future is to expand the farming project and become more self-sufficient by growing and selling vegetables. Want to help with this? You can ensure everything is growing well, find new customers, plan the next crop, expand the project, keep an eye of the finances and more. Since Venance welcomes every single volunteer with open arms and appreciates their new ideas and support, you will be able to have an impact on the foundation’s work and the lives of the children. You will be working with Venance and the teachers to see where your skills and knowledge will be most useful for the foundation or for it’s future. Ask them where your help is needed, but don’t worry. You don’t need any special previous knowledge as long as you bring curiosity, motivation and a genereal interest in improving children’s education along with you to Tanzania.
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.