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Street Children and Orphans - Rural Tanzania

Praktikum und Volunteering möglich
The facilities for street children in rural areas of Tanzania are often under-equipped compared to the facilities in the cities, due to a lack of funding. Unfortunately, we also find fewer volunteers and interns in projects in rural areas, because life there is imaginably more difficult than in the cities. The two villages Sanya Juu in West Kilimanjaro and Karatu in Ngorongoro, however, have developed significantly in recent years, so the standards are comparable to towns like Moshi. Besides, rural Africa provides an experience very different from city dwelling.

Project Details


Hope Evangelist Mission (H.E.M.), Sanya Juu (Siha District)

The HEM center for street children and orphans houses 15 children of the preschool and primary school age. Three children go to a state school while the others spend all day in the center and learn there. The newly constructed building (completed in 2012) is spacious with teaching and lounge space.
There are also two bedrooms - one for boys and one for girls - a small office for the director of the center and a living room.
This facility is very poor, with a single woman taking the responsibility for the entire center, and desperately needs volunteers to provide adequate education to the children. Volunteering is very well appreciated here, but volunteers are expected to take initiative and work independently.
Volunteers/interns teach the school children and spend leisure time with them everyday. A knowledge of Swahili is an advantage; however, the teacher does understand basic English.

Mwema Street Children Centre, Karatu

Mwema Street Children Centre is a community-based organization started in 2006 and led by Pastor Elisante. Mwema means "Second Chance". 22 former street children (21 boys and a girl) live in three rooms and get accommodation, food, clothing, education, medical care and personal and community support.
Since 2012, the Center has classrooms where in addition to the children who live there, 26 others from the neighbourhood attend classes to prepare for the entrance examinations to join the public school system.
We are looking for volunteers and interns who can teach mathematics, ethics and general knowledge, as well as those who can prepare the children for reintegration into the public school system.
There is a social worker at Mwema who can supervise internships. He also actively works with street children. Once a week, at this center in Karatu, Mwema organizes "Mwema Day" for children who live on the street. The children and entertained, counselled and taught various matters. Volunteers/Interns can participate in organising this event.
Volunteers/Interns are also required to coach the children in football, basketball, acrobatics, etc. The Mwema football team plays in the Regional Students League, sponsored by Coca-Cola.
We also welcome volunteers who can teach technical skills such as electric, woodwork, etc. The young people here have learnt, for instance, to repair mobile phones, which brings them a small income.
Since 2012, Mwema operates the Amani kindergarten for 42 children (21 boys and girls each) from poor families who cannot afford state preschool. Again, volunteers and interns are required to hold various activities for the kindergarten.
Info Box
Location: Sanya Juu ,West Kilimanjaro or Karatu, Ngorongoro
Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: 1 Week
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: English
Further Languages Of Advantage: Swahili
In Sanya Juu: Host Family; In Karatu: Host Family or Guest House
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Educator, Teacher
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
Further Contribution To Project: None
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: None
Further Contribution To Project: None
Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?

More Info

In Tanzania, there are estimated to be about 4 million children under 14 (out of a population of 38 million Tanzanians) who do not receive adequate care. A lot of these children are orphans, many of whom have lost their parents to AIDS. Others are rejected by unmarried mothers, as an illegitimate offspring is not socially acceptable, or because the mothers cannot afford basic care for her child. There are also cases where some families are so poor, that they are forced to be separated from their children in order to survive. Other children flee from domestic violence, often caused by alcoholism, drug abuse by their parents, or due to superstition.
Many of these children who cannot rely on the support of a family, live a frightening life as street children and resort to begging, theft or prostitution to survive. You see these children in rags, alone or in small groups, in the streets of cities such as Arusha, Moshi or Dar-es-Salaam staying in doorways. In villages, they sleep in barns or stables. Other children - especially girls - live with relatives or other families as "second-class” children, being treated far below biological children in terms of nutrition, housing and education and often exploited as "slave labor". These "lawless” children are at the lowest level of society and are often targets of physical violence, humiliation and sexual abuse.


The accommodation in Sanya Juu is with a Host Family. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Florence has 3 children called Florence, Elisabeth and Nathan. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Amani have two children called Amani and Utukufo. A third option is Mrs. Jenny, living with her daughter and grandchild. The rent on full board with each family is 250 USD/month (simple standard)
The accommodation in Karatu is at a Guest House for 300 USD on full board.



I. World Unite! Service Package

Mobile/Cell Phone Users: If you don't see the rates for your desired duration of stay, hide other (shorter) durations of stay.
  up to 31 Days
32-60 Days
61-90 Days
91-120 Days
5 Months or longer
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1 Person
350 EUR 500 EUR 600 EUR 700 EUR 800 EUR
2-4 Persons
(Rate per Person)
300 EUR 400 EUR 500 EUR 600 EUR 650 EUR
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The World Unite! Service Package includes:

  • Individual Consultation and Preparation prior to your arrival
  • Access to the World Unite! Online Resource Centre which has Preparation Materials including Intercultural Preparation, compiled particularly for your destination (PDFs, Videos)
  • Preparation Session via Skype, together with further participants
  • Arrangements for your Residence Permit or similar permit and other official permits (if required), but not the official government fees for it/them (See costs below)
  • Pick-up and Transfers from/to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) on arrival and departure
  • Personal support staff at your location and at our international office
  • Orientation and Introduction in Moshi
  • Accompanying you to your placement on your first day
  • 24 Hours emergency support by local support team
  • 50 USD Contribution to your project
  • Local SIM Card with 10,000 TSH air time
  • Issuance of Confirmations/Certificates for your university, scholarship, insurance, etc. and filling out/signing Internship Contracts for your university
  • 15% Discount for Safaris, Kilimanjaro Climbs, Excursions and Watersports Activities offered by "Budget Safari Tanzania"

The Rates do NOT include:

  • Accommodation and Meals (see below)
  • Travel to/from Tanzania (you book it on your own; we can assist you)
  • Official fees for Visa and Residence Permit (see below)
  • Insurance (Travel Health Insurance, Liability Insurance, Travel Cancellation insurance; you book it on your own, we can assist you)
  • Personal Expenses
  • Vaccinations
  • Local Transport (Estimated amounts see below)
  • Please note that for supervised/mentored internships, some organizations charge further contributions. You find this information in the "Info Box" below the respective internship description.

II. Accommodation Costs

You can find accommodation costs in the tab "Accommodation".

Overview of other costs:

  • If meals are not included: around 110-200 USD/Month for self-catering (eating out at affordable yet good restaurants and/or cooking by yourself; you are much more flexible in this way compared to if we would serve food at your accommodation)
  • Visa and Permits (mainland Tanzania): In case of stay of up to 90 days: Visa 250 USD for most nationals; In case of stay of 91-180 days: Visa (incl. extension) 550 USD; 181-365 days: Visa 50 USD (for most nationals, except US and Canadian Citizens who pay 100 USD) + Residence Permit 200 USD + Work Permit 500 USD.
  • Small local expenses (e.g. Internet, local transport): around 30-50 USD/Month (Estimate)
  • Insurances around 30-50 USD/Month


How do I pay?

Once all your questions have been answered and you confirm that you want to participate, we will email you an invoice. You can pay it via bank transfer or via Paypal. You will pay a deposit of 200 EUR when the invoice is issued. One months prior to your arrival you will pay the remainder for your Service Package.
The payment modalities for rent and possible further costs (e.g. internship supervision fees, as stated in info box of the respective project description) depend on your host country and placement. We will inform you beforehand. In many cases these costs are paid on site, but for some countries and placements they need to be paid partially or fully in advance.



Other Projects That Might Interest You:

These projects are suggestions for alternatives that may interest you or those that could be chosen as COMBINATIONS. The combination of projects in different organizations is often possible and usually cheaper than two individual bookings. Please contact us to know more! Check out our other listings in the areas of "World Learner" and "Active Travel" at your travel destination to make your stay even more interesting.

Safaris, Kilimanjaro Climbs, Day Trips, Watersports

budgetsafaribannerAs "Budget Safari Tanzania" we are arranging cost-effective yet high-quality safaris, Kilimanjaro climbs, excursions, and watersports activities in Tanzania and Zanzibar. You will group with other World Unite! participants and further travellers.
As a World Unite! participant, you get a 15% discount on all offers of Budget Safari Tanzania. We will share a Discount Code with you that you can use with the online booking of your safari, Kilimanjaro climb, excursion or watersports activity.

Learning Swahili in Moshi!

Swahili TeacherIt is always helpful to know Swahili while doing your project here. Swahili is a relatively easy language for participants and some start to follow it within the first few lessons. You can choose the intensity of the lesson. We would, however, recommend a maximum of ten hours per week. The lessons are conducted individually; in some cases, 2-3 participants with similar levels of knowledge may be given combined lessons. The number of participants does not affect the cost of the lessons.
The cost for Swahili lessons: 1 Student: 6 EUR
Please check "Language Training Required" in the registration form and specify your desired duration (minimum 20 hours).

Travel Health Insurance

We recommend the following travel insurance that is meant specifically for participants of internships, volunteering, language study, working holiday, and courses abroad. It is available for travelers of all nationalities and usable for all countries, except your home country. You can also add a journey liability insurance.
Just click on the link, fill in the form and you will get a confirmation email.




Karatu is a large village in the immediate vicinity of the Ngorongoro Crater. Surrounded by forests, coffee plantations and cattle herds, this site extends over a long distance along the dusty red road connecting Arusha Ngorongoro and Serengeti. All safari tourists who are traveling to the north of Tanzania pass Karatu. Hence, Karatu has experienced in recent years, a revival and development thrust. Some hotels and other services such as restaurants, small supermarkets, Internet cafes and garages have recognized the proximity advantage of Karatu. There are even several ATMs and surprisingly, a nightlife that you do not expect in such a place.
Karatu is also the "capital" of the large-scale Ngorongoro/ Lake Eyasi area and has therefore, also shops with products aimed at the rural population. A special attraction is the market in Karatu on 7th of each month, one of the largest markets of Tanzania. Besides, many members of the various tribes of the region such as Maasai and Iraqw Datoga travel to Karatu to sell their products. Part of it is the cattle auction.

Sanya Juu

The village of Sanya Juu has grown significantly since 2010, when the road was paved to reach Boma Ng'ombe. The travel time has since, significantly reduced and has improved access by public transport (Daladala). In half an hour, you reach Ng'ombe in Boma, located midway on the great road between Arusha and Moshi and close to the Kilimanjaro International Airport. So, while you are in the rural areas, you have quick and easy access to larger cities. In Sanya Juu, the commercial center of the Siha District, there are now a variety of small shops where you can buy the most necessary things.
The Siha District is the region between Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru. The region is sparsely populated, mainly by Maasai, who are there with their herds during the rainy season. Wameru and Waarusha are other tribes of the region; they are Maasai, who started with agriculture generations ago.

Tsavo, Kenya

In Tsavo, Kenya, we offer volunteering and internships in a private wildlife sanctuary - the Taita Hills Sanctuary. This is a private reserve, which borders the Tsavo National Park and the Lumo Community Wildlife Sanctuary without any barriers, i.e., the wild animals roam freely between the National Park, Taita Hills and Lumo. It is a savannah landscape with rocky island mountains. The Sanctuaries are full of wild animals including elephants, giraffes, zebras, eland, kudu, lions, leopards, ostriches, etc.
Near the protected area, there are four villages; accommodation for participants will be given in the village of Mwoshumo. The drive from Moshi, Tanzania to Mwoshumo is about 3 hours.

Getting There

In the case of Sanya Juu your supervisor travels with you from Moshi to Sanya Juu. In the case of Karatu you get the introduction in Moshi, where you stay for 1-2 nights and then go by bus to Karatu. A staff of the facility picks you up from there.

Getting To Moshi

tanzania map
You book your flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). If the flights to Dar-es-Salaam (DAR) are much cheaper, you can also fly there and then book a separate connecting flight from DAR to JRO with FastJet. From JRO airport, we pick you and take you to your accommodation in Moshi.



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are there fixed start dates for the project, which I must adhere to?
No, you can arrive at any date and you can hence, plan your trip according to your availability and the prices of flights. We can pick you up from the airport even at night.
Can I stay longer at my accommodation after my volunteering/internship or arrive earlier?
Yes, this is possible and we will give you our best rates. Just let us know when you arrive and leave and we will let you know the costs.
During my stay, can I travel around the country?
Of course you can travel around, almost all of our participants do so. In Moshi and Zanzibar, we ourselves often offer day trips, for which you can join other volunteers and interns when you travel there. We share these trips with you in our monthly subscriber list and you can book them. Participants often organize on-site travel together. In Moshi and Zanzibar, you can stay at the same low rates as our Zanzibar or Moshi participants in accommodations provided by us. If you plan to travel during your volunteering/internship period, you should seek permission in advance. We recommend that you plan your travel after your volunteering/internship. For this, you can also stay longer in your accommodation at affordable rates.
Is it safe to travel in Tanzania alone as a single female traveller?
Approximately 80% of our participants are female and many of them, only about 20 years old. Not a single instance of a serious security breach has occurred. Our coordinator will advise you on how you should conduct yourself in order to avoid problems - your dressing style, valuables, and in dealing with local men. Our preparation materials elaborate on this matter. If you follow these basic rules that apply equally to many other places, the risk in Moshi is not great.
Will I be the only volunteer/intern in the project or in Moshi?
The total number of participants that participate simultaneously with an organization depends on the size and activity of the organization and responsibilities of volunteers/interns. We try to avoid too many volunteers/interns in an organization at the same time. It may be that you are alone in your work site, but usually there are, throughout the year, other participants in Moshi, who you can meet in your spare time, if you desire so. Moshi is a small town, where you walk around quite a bit. In addition, there are well-known places such as the Coffee Shops, where you actually meet with other participants. We also have regular meetings with all participants and you will get a list of participants in the country at the same time, with their contact information. You need not be worried about being "alone" in Moshi, nor should you avoid contact with the locals because you spend all your time with other foreign participants.
What vaccinations do I need?
Our Info-PDF that you get as a participant gives detailed information on health care. Also refer to Recommended Vaccinations
Where will I live?
You can find details in the tab "Accommodation".
Can I choose my accommodation?
We give you choices (Most popular!, Comfort +, Adventurer) and you can tell us if you prefer a shared accommodation or homestay; we will then seek an accommodation for you. We organise accommodation, taking into consideration the distance from your work site. However, since Moshi is not a very big city, is relatively easy to reach locations in other parts of the city by public transport ("Daladala") or by bike.
How free or bound am I in my accommodation with the host family?
With the host family, you can have your freedom, and do not need to join them during meal times or have any other obligations. If you will return late in the evening, you need to let them know in advance, so that they can unlock the doors for you (which are locked at night for security reasons). Bringing home casual acquaintances is taboo. They look to integrate our participants into their family life, but you can determine to what extent you want to be part of it.
Does my accommodation have internet facilities?
In Tanzania, Internet is accessed via the mobile phone networks. With smartphones, you can use the Internet. For laptops, there are USB modem sticks for about 10 EUR. There are no flat rates; you use data packets, depending on your needs. You might consume 2 GB of data in a week, which costs about 4.50 EUR. In the centers of cities (Moshi Town, Dar-es-Salaam, Mwanza, Zanzibar Town, Karatu, etc.), the connection is good, the speed is satisfactory and sufficient for Skype phone calls. In the suburbs and in the country, there is connection, but usually almost impossible or very slow and unreliable. We will provide you information on the use of mobile Internet in Tanzania. At Twiga Home, internet is available to our participants at a small additional fee.
How can I do my laundry?
In general, laundry is washed by hand in Tanzania. You can ask your landlord or host family if they have someone who can wash your clothes. Usually, someone offers that to you for a small fee. Please ask your local supervisor, what the appropriate thing to do is. You can use the washing machine at Twiga Home, even if you live elsewhere, for a small fee.
I am a vegetarian. Can I get vegetarian food?
Tanzania is a meat-eating country and Tanzanians do not usually understand that someone who could afford meat and who is not sick, volunteered to give up meat; but the host families are familiar with participants, and understand that some are vegetarians, and prepare appropriate food. In Dar-es-Salaam, there are Indian vegetarian restaurants, with a wide choice of dishes. In the market, there are a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. Special dietary needs (e.g. Vegan, allergies to certain foods) can be expressed to the host families, and many foods are available in the supermarket.
What language skills do I need?
You should be able to make yourself understood in English. The national language of Tanzania is Swahili, but knowledge of English is widespread, especially among people who have a better education or work in tourism. In everyday life, there is usually no problem to be able to communicate in English; if you should come across someone who can not speak English, you can almost immediately find someone who offers to translate in English. If you are in a social project for a longer duration, you will have to deal with people who have little or no education. For this, it is useful to acquire at least a basic knowledge of Swahili before your arrival through any book (or audio CD). You can also take basic Swahili lessons while on site. We also have vocabulary lists with useful words that can help you.

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