Day care centres and schools for mentally disabled, deaf and blind children
In Tanzania, children who have some form of mental impairment, slow learners as well as deaf and blind children are typically referred to as “Special Needs Children”.
In the Moshi/Kilimanjaro area we can arrange internships and volunteering options in several institutions which specialise in „Special Needs Children“.
Luthern Church runs 11 day care centres in Moshi/Kilimanjaro for Special Needs Children which are all similar. Depending on their needs, Lutheran church will choose a centre for you. In continuation, please see descriptions of two centres:
Longuo Centre is located in Moshi-KCMC. Every day, 8 mentally impaired children are being attended every morning. 11 further children are being visited at home approximately twice per month. Please see below a report about Longuo Centre by volunteer Lisa.
Moshi Mjini Two in Moshi-Rau is a day care centre for 9 children; 11 children are further supported at their homes. The children and youth are 7-21 years old.
The working hours at Longuo and Mjini Two are every day from 8:30 am to 2 pm, when the children are at the centres.
The services provided include special education and physiotherapy.
The public Korongoni Primary School has two
separate classes for deaf and blind students (6-8 years) who after the
initial two years will continue their studies together with the
non-handicapped students. These classes are carried out full-time 5 days
per week. Volunteers/interns at these schools can combine the teaching
of Special Needs Children with teaching non-handicapped students.
Another public school in Moshi teaches Special Needs Children three
times per week for half a day, the pupils are 6 to 20 years old.
The Mwanga School for the Deaf is located in the Njia Panda District, around 45 minutes by bus outside of Moshi Town. On a large plot there is a boarding school for deaf children and youth which only opened in spring 2010. The building was financed by the parents of the children, the teachers however are public teachers. At the moment there are around 25 deaf children and youth aged 12-18 years staying at the boarding school, which however has a maximum capacity of around 50 students. It is the aim of the school to expand.
The children are learning sign language for communication. You can teach English or otherwise spend time with the deaf children and youth.
Accommodation for volunteering/doing an internship at the Mwanga School would be nearby with a family, as communting from Moshi town every day is time-consuming. The accommodation standard in Njia Panda is however lower than in Moshi town and concerning for instance shopping or entertainment facilities, you would have to accept that you are in a rural area. On the other hand, you will get "true" insights into the rural African life and you will be fully integrated into your host family and the village community. If you want, as most of our previous participant did, you can easily take a bus to Moshi Town on the weekends and meet our further participants.
Two of the four Montessori Kindergartens of Moshi have special classes for Special Needs Children.
Place: Moshi/Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Duration: minimum 3 weeks*
Costs: free of charge (trouble-free package for € 500
Accommodation: Not included
Included: Placement in the project; if you opt for the
trouble-free package the whole range of services which is part of the
trouble-free package is included
Not included: Travel, health
insurance, visa, work permit
this placement now!
* Volunteering for 1-2 weeks is
possible as part of voluntourism.
Internship report of Lisa at Longuo Centre
I always had good and fast communications with World Unite! The support staff in Moshi was always helpful and always there when I needed them. Everything that needed to be arranged worked out very smoothly. Respect! :-)
I enjoyed my time in Tanzania very much.
I have spent 4 weeks in Moshi at Longuo Centre. It did an internship that was needed for my university studies (Special Education for mental and physical impairments). I enjoyed very much that at Longuo I was first given an introduction about how Special Education is being done in Tanzania. I will summarize some key points that I find worth mentioning.
* No common language; learning through imitation and sign language
* Teaching with very basic means (few educational materials available)
* Students have very little knowledge and skills
* Introduction of new educational methods to a teaching style which so far is rather monotonous.
* Assisting local staff with educational approaches and empowering them
* You have to be open and flexible. The situation is very different from back home and you should not lose motivation when the educational approaches you will find are not always up to date. Schools for Special Needs Children only started in Moshi 3 years ago.
* You need to be proactive, there is little guidance
* You have to accept that changes need time. There will hopefully be more volunteers and interns to continue your work
* It is possible to do small changes. It made me happy to see that the teachers included some of my ideas and approaches into their teaching
* People are very thankful
* It is a pleasure and very enriching experience to work in a foreign country
* I will do it anytime again!