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Arusha
All Year: Yes
Area (ha):
Persons: 1-10
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 30219
Country: Tanzania

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Last Updated: July 31, 2018

NGO

Beyond Child Smile
Teaching children age 3-14 in public and private school, as well as in the library. Depending on your skillset, subjects can vary: English, Mathematics, Science,...

Our program
Our volunteer program aims to give the children in the surrounding villages a more sustaintable education. The schools are not as organised as western schools and with our program we want to try to close the gap. Private schools have 50-100 students with classes ranging from 5-30 pupils, whereas public schools can have up to 1500 students with classes of 50-80 pupils. When the number of pupils in a class becomes too high, the schools can`t always afford to split the class because they don`t have enough teachers. This is where you come in. After an introducton period alongside a professional teacher, when you feel comfortable, you will be able to teach a class by yourself.

What you can expect
Books are scarce. Usually there are 1 or 2 books per subject per class. Students will copy from the blackboard but they don`t all have the same pace. Individual attention is required sometimes but the teachers lack the time between writing on the blackboard, making corrections, and going around the classroom to check for themselves. With the help of the volunteer, we can avoid having some of the students just sitting in class when they`re finished writing, and more importantly, we can get those students that need individual attentention up to speed with the rest of the class. We embrace all the ideas coming from volunteers to improve the schools, teaching methods, etc... We welcome all input and this has shown to be very useful in the past. Teachers gladly adapt to improved structures and processes, even after the volunteer has left. Together with professional teachers, the role of the volunteer and the aim of our program is to make sure that the time in school is spent as efficient and effective as possible, so that the students can get the maximum out of their education and have more opportunities in their future.

There also is an after school library where volunteers can teach. Students from all over the villages come here to study more and improve their skills, so as you can tell, they are very eager to learn. Since these children are all in different classes, volunteer help is definitely welcomed: giving exercises, making corrections, explaining different subjects,... The library has plenty of teaching material and exercises. It also has a small playground with a basketball hoop right outside where volunteers can play educational games with the smaller children or organise P.E. classes.

The location
The schools are all walking distance from the host families. They have a sufficient number of classrooms, with a playground and a teachers room. The playgrounds of the smaller schools can have swings, seesaws, climbing jungles; and public schools playgrounds can have a soccer field or basketball court as well; so volunteers will definitely not get bored during breaktime. Tea and cake is also provided during breaktime at the school, which volunteer can enjoy together with other teacher and volunteers. The host families are located in the nearby villages, in a quiet and peacefull surrounding, but still walkable distance to Arusha town. They are plenty of shops around in the villages, but if volunteers need something specific, Arusha city is only a 20 minute walk away. The scenery here is beautiful with plenty of green and a view of Mount Meru. Even short hikes can take you to the most scenic viewpoints, that regular tourists don`t get to see. Volunteers will get to know and befriend people living around, and truly become a part of the tight knit community. Not a day will go by without a friendly greeting on the streets, that is guaranteed.

What we expect from you
Volunteers don`t have to bring any special equipment for the program (check the website of tour organisations if you are planning to do a tour though). If they wish to bring any material, school supplies like books (school books or reading books for the library), pens, pencils,... are always greatly appreciated; but these can also be purchased here.

The children are very eager to learn and they really look up to their teachers, so it is important that volunteers are aware of that. We expect volunteers to be open-minded and act with respect towards both the schools and the host family. Common courtesy is appreciated. The volunteers can count on us to be around for basically any problem you are facing. We will support you and listen to what you have to say. We will take care of you in your free time and help you make arrangements for anything you need, from buying phone credit to organizing tours. You will have the local insight and knowledge that regular tourist do not have, thereby learning so much more about our culture, surroundings, traditions, and way of living.

Typical day
7-7.45 am: Wake up and enjoy local breakfast with your host family
7.45 - 8 am : walk to school
8am - 12.30 pm: Teach the children at school. Subjects and age group depend on your interest. Make sure you inform us prior to your visit so that we can make arrangements. Enjoy breaktime with the students and play!
12.30-12.45 pm: Walk back from school
12.45pm-.... : Lunchtime with your lovely host family
1pm-4pm : free time to explore, go to the city, hang out with other volunteers, play with the children,...
4pm-6pm: Teach at the public library
6pm- ... : Enjoy your evening, chat with other volunteers, your family or us, drink local beverages,...
8pm: dinnertime with your host family enjoying local cuisine like chapati, ugali, ndizi,...
9pm: Enjoy your evening, chat with other volunteers, your family or us, drink local beverages,...

If you need more time to explore or you want to do a day time activity, just let us know in advance and we can make arrangements.
Details on Arrival

Please note that English-medium schools run year-round and have holidays for the entire months of April, August and December. Government schools have holidays for the entire months of June and December. These schools also take week-long holidays during Easter and September. If your program duration crosses into the school holidays, you can take a break, travel, go on safari. As each school-type has holidays at different times, there is teaching work available for volunteers throughout the year. The Public library is open all year around. Please notify us of your expected travel dates and we`ll give you feedback. Usually startdates are available throughout the year.

Free-time activities
We believe we can offer a life-changing experience to the Project volunteers!!

Not only because you will be able to help us in our great challenge of keeping it running but also because it will change how you see our community, our country, the whole Africa!

You will be immersed in our daily lives, understand our culture, our history, our language. We are sure you will learn swahili and masai words to bring with you! Besides, you will deeply understand Masai culture, their traditions, their homes and villages, the real maasai dreadlocks, the maasai dancing, the maasai market, etc.

Besides, we can organize safari trips to Serengeti and Ngorongoro parks (considered two of the bests for wildlife spotting) which are very close from our area. We can organize all types of safari trips. Since we are so close, day trips are a possibility too! Day excursions include walking safaris, mountain trekking, game viewing, photographic excursions, hot springs, waterfalls, masai markets,...

You will receive a certification of appreciation upon completion of your volunteer in the project.
Accommodation
Volunteers in Tanzania are accommodated in a homestay with a host family. Volunteers will have their own room or share a room with 1 to 2 other volunteers of the same gender, depending on availibility. Living is basic but the homestays have running water and electricity, however it is important to note that there are often power outages which affect availability of hot water and power. Bedding is provided, however you will need to bring your own towel and toiletries. It is also recommended to bring a sleeping bag for weekends away. You will have access to a bathroom. You can spend as much time with your host family as you like. All families are very open and gladly take you in as one of their own.

Host Families
Food and Beverages
Tanzanian cuisine varies across the country, owing to the difference in produce inland and along the coast. The immigration of Khoja Indians has resulted in local dishes influenced by Indian cuisine. Staple foods in Tanzania include rice, ugali (maize porridge), chapatti and coconut milk. Volunteers are served three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Breakfasts generally consist of chai (tea), toast, fruit and mandazi (deep fried dough). A typical lunch can include meat and vegetables with rice and fruit, while dinner usually sees traditional food, such as ugali and chapatti accompany the meat and vegetables. Meals are served at the accommodation. Bottled water is readily available in Tanzania. If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know so we can make arrangements for you. However, we need to stress the point that you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible.

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