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Give a Heart To Africa - Volunteer with women in Tanzania

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Highly Recommended

I spent 5 months as GHTA in 2014 and would recommend this experience whole-heartedly! GHTA allows you to tailor the experience to fit your desired interests and time available. And even if you've never taught before, you are given lots of support by the GHTA staff and from the students! The GHTA students are some of the strongest women I have ever met, and the best part about teaching them is being able to connect with them and understand their lives a little bit better.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Incredible experience volunteering with Give a Heart to Africa in Tanzania

I decided to volunteer with Give a Heart to Africa Women Empowerment in Tanzania because I wanted to volunteer with a small organization, which didn't have large overhead costs, so that I knew I would be directly impacting the local community.
At the time, I had just graduated from my undergraduate studies in International Development and African Studies (I studied Swahili!) and I was eager to have an opportunity to see what I had learned in the classroom at the ground level in East Africa.
I will always remember the people I met during my trip - both my fellow volunteers and the students at Give a Heart to Africa. This was my first overseas volunteer experience by myself and I always felt welcome. It was such a positive and safe volunteering experience.
I learned so much from each and every one of them and they impacted my life in so many ways that I did not expect. I still continue to keep in contact with my fellow volunteers and with many of the students. I love hearing about their success stories - how the resources they gained from the classroom helped them to improve their livelihoods.
My worldview was enhanced in the most amazing ways as a result of volunteering for Give a Heart to Africa. I believe experiencing life in Tanzania was very humbling. I had an opportunity to connect with our students and had insight into their lives. This gave me a greater appreciation for everything I sometimes take for granted at home - especially my education.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

GHTA changes your heart

Many of life’s best adventures are not meticulously planned far in advance. Thirty days after I retired from thirty years’ of teaching, I arrived in Tanzania in June, 2010, to volunteer at GHTA for the first time. I taught English to a fabulous group of men and women who were eager to learn. It stunned me that they would thank me every day for teaching them. I lived in the house that is attached to the classrooms in a secure compound in a neighborhood near the university. Our translators were so encouraging and helpful; Margaret sang as she cooked our dinner daily, and other volunteers quickly became my friends for the next two months. Although I have a teaching background, this is not a requirement; a willingness to help these students gain skills so they can discover opportunities for success and employment to provide for their families is vital. Though I loved my daily interaction with the classes, I loved our Friday home visits which gave us a chance to interact one-on-one and to meet the family (or, sometimes, the whole compound). It was the home visit that informed us clearly about each individual.
As you read other reviews on this page, you will find plenty of details about the basics of the school, the lovely town of Moshi, and the serendipitous array of weekend adventures. Though I thoroughly enjoyed my safaris, the coffee tour, the visit to Lake Chala, trips to Arusha, the Usambara Mountains, what I loved was the people. If you are reading this review trying to decide where to volunteer and how long to stay, let me be clear. At the end of two months, I was wishing I could stay longer. You also should know that I have returned twice, in October, 2011, and May, 2014, each time for two months. It was wonderful to share a home with other volunteers of varied backgrounds, languages, ages, occupations and travel experiences. We helped plan lessons and activities together and sought ways to help our students who struggled as well as challenge those who excelled.
One of the absolute highlights was celebrating the 5th anniversary of GHTA and meeting students and volunteers from the classes I had taught in 2010 and 2011 to see how their lives had been positively impacted by their time in our school. The very fact that Monika would seek to find them and invite them to come tells you that this is a community effort, not just a quick field trip into another country. What an absolute joy to come alongside them as they work in the co-op, run a spa, maintain a food stall in Uhuru Park, actively supporting one another. It is astounding that these mamas came as strangers to one another as they entered GHTA. If you are seeking to expand your horizons while making a true difference in the lives of women in the Moshi area, this is the place for you. It bears repeating that this NGO uses 100% of the fees to live and board in the house to support GHTA. No fees are divided by an umbrella organization; your placement as a teacher is established clearly when you are accepted. Former volunteers and board members are available to answer questions you might have. You will be independent, you can learn some Kiswahili, you will bond with these women very quickly and invest your time and energy in their educational experiences. You will come to love the neighborhood children in the bi-weekly after-school program. You will make some lifelong friendships with other volunteers. You will not leave GHTA unchanged; my perspective on life has not been the same.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Empowering Women - I Left a Piece of my Heart in Tanzania

I am writing this review after my SECOND volunteer experience at GHTA. I cannot possibly say enough about the hearts and souls that drive this organization, nor the direct impact (which you can see) on the local women and community.
The practical stuff...the first time I volunteered at GHTA I had never before travelled solo across the world to volunteer in a developing country. The GHTA staff and volunteers made me feel at home and even now I think of Moshi, Tanzania as a second home. They provided support, answered questions, made recommendations, helped me arrange experiences and helped me gain confidence to navigate around on my own. The house is well cared for, the accommodations very clean and comfortable, the food is made with love by Margret, and you get lots of support as you become a teacher. The NGO is small, but that also means that the funds go directly to the program and it's participants.
The heart...I have been so greatly impacted by my experience at GHTA and the people in Tanzania. Even though I was there as a teacher, I feel I learned so much...about myself, what is important, honouring the experiences of others, the complexity of social issues, the resiliency of spirit and what amazing places GHTA, Moshi and Tanzania all are! (oh...and I can also piece together bits of conversation in Swahili!) I loved my teaching time everyday, I loved playing with the local kids in the afternoon (we made playdough, goo and played lots of games), I loved exploring on the weekends and I loved spending time with the students, other volunteers and Tanzanian staff.
There are lots of places that want your money and time. I have no regrets giving mine to GHTA. So go, help the women of Tanzania gain the skills they need, learn about a different part of the world, experience the culture and meet other phenomenal volunteers from around the world. Maybe you will leave a piece of your heart behind as I did.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Teaching English in Tanzania

I spent a month volunteering with GHTA in Moshi, Tanzania in 2011. It was an amazing experience which had a huge impact on my life, my outlook and my future goals. Monika is a wonderful resource, and truly works to ensure that her volunteers enjoy their time with GHTA. The program offered to GHTA's students is valuable and provides them with important skills to help them be more economically independent and empowered. I would recommend this program whole heartily to anyone looking to volunteer in Tanzania .

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Once in a lifetime with GHTA

I loved my experience with GHTA!!! I spent 6 weeks with them in 2011 from Feb till beginning of April and found it to be an amazing and inspiring event in my life.
Teaching has always been a passion for me and to be able to provide this service for the young women and men with not much to look forward to sometimes, was truly changing. I never had so many enthusiastic and willing students in front of me. :)
Every Thursday ( I taught English), we had debate lesson where they exchanged opinions about their current political system, the status of female in a male- dominated world, aids and hiv and it was fantastic to see how deeply concerned and engaged the people of Tansania are about their lives and future. The opportunity to put yourself into the shoes of them opened my world view even more about the "lost continent" and its various struggles.
Teaching took place twice a week for me since I shared the task with another volunteer. Other classes given are computer/ IT skills and business for the students to be able to open up their own business by the time they are finished.
This is the ultimate goal which is why I like the concept of the school so much. All students get the chance to write their own business plan and by this, are being empowered to apply their knowledge to their lives. I found this concept to be very much sustainable. We visited quite a few students who had completed their studies and had opend a little shop, started their own selling business and so on. By being self-employed, the women get the chance to make a living without their husband who had often left them already or wouldn't provide them a financial base.
Therefore, GHTA provides a great support to the local community of Moshi.

Some words about the organisation: Monica, the founder, is terrific. Helpful, caring, shares so much of her knowledge and experience of Tansanian people and life, funny and inspirational in case you are seeking for truth outside of a 9-to-5 job. :)
I am still in touch with her and will (hopefully) climb Kili with her next year!

Facilities and services provided:
You share rooms, which are clean and equipped with moscito nets, of course. Every dinner we were provided yummy supper by our cooking lady and enjoyed tasty African food!
Besides of the teaching and prep for it, you can explore Moshi town, go to the pool of a nearby hotel to relax, study Swahili, book trips like safari or Zansibar or Arusha/ Kilimanjaro.
I took advantage of it and went to see a Massai village and extended my stay to go on safari and to spend some time at the beaches of Zansibar. I can highly recommend to do both, it's a once-in-a-lifetime event!

There's a lot more to say but the most important thing is: do it and make your life richer by this experience!!! :)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Excellent Volunteer Experience

I volunteered at Give A Heart to Africa twice so far (11/2012 and 9/2013) and plan to do it again within the next couple of years. There are so many reasons: it is 100% volunteer run so you see exactly where your money is going, the volunteering is hands on - you teach women skills that they need so when they graduate they can support themselves and their children, it is a small NGO - you live in a very comfortable western style volunteer house with no more than 5 other volunteers, Moshi is a wonderful, safe, vibrant town. After to talking to others who have volunteered other places I understand just how lucky I was to have picked GHTA for my volunteering experience. It is truly a wonderful, special place. I highly recommend it to everyone I know.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I loved volunteer with women in Moshi

This was my first time in Africa so I was afraid but GHTA made my experience so enjoyable. The volunteer house is comfortable, there aren't 20+ people like in many other organizations, only 3 to 6 so it is easy to get along with others and get to know everyone really well. I got to know the school translators as well and hang out with them which provided me with extra cultural exchange. I taught English to adult women and it was so rewarding. They were keen to learn, didn't mind when I made a mistake and always smiled and studied hard. It was a pleasure to teach adults. They really want to be in the school so that makes a huge difference. I would highly recommend this experience to others.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Truly Impactful Volunteer Experience

I volunteered with Give a Heart To Africa for 3 months and it was one of the best experiences ever. I took a long time to choose a project and the reason why I chose GHTA is because they were transparent and don't have expensive offices and staff in a Western country and all the money I paid in a volunteer fee went directly to help the students I taught. I taught English to adult women. They were so appreciative of me and the other volunteers and despite having to get up at 4am to provide for their family they came to school with a smile on their face. We also did home visits so I got to see how much students lived. It was truly amazing.