Many members of Friends of Tanzania are Tanzanians who now live
and are working, studying or visiting here. Many other members have
Many of us served there as volunteers for 2 or more years, some for
a few weeks. Others have been to
because of their studies, work, or on vacation. Many of us found the
to be warm and hospitable, the country beautiful, and our work there
However, we also know some people who have had poor experiences
as volunteers overseas—not necessarily in
In many such cases problems occurred because of little or no
planning and preparation. If you are considering volunteering in
and have never lived or worked in a developing country before, we
invite you to think about the following questions:
- What would I like to get out of this experience?
- What kind of volunteer work would I like? What can I do? What
are my skills? Am I entry level, a working professional, a skilled
- How long do I want to be there? While a short experience may
be meaningful, a longer one can be life-changing.
- Do I need to be paid or do I need an experience where I not
only won’t get paid but may need to pay for the experience?
- What part of the country would I like to be in? Would I want
to be in an urban or rural area?
- What if I get sick? Where would I go for care? Do I need to
consider insurance for emergency medical evacuation?
When considering specific volunteer opportunities think
- Is there a job description or scope of work for this role?
Will I work alone or alongside others?
- Will I have a support person in the organization whilst in
- What are the visa/work-permit requirements and procedures?
- How do I get to
and the volunteer site, and who makes my travel plans? What--if
any--expenses are paid for by the organization?
- Will I need to pay a fee for this experience, and if so, how
much? Will I receive a stipend from the organization, and if so,
Considering these questions could help you find a volunteer
opportunity and an organization which seems right for you.
Things to Consider