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Volunteer Abroad in Tanzania - United Planet - 1-12 Weeks

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

My trip to Tanzania was such an amazing cultural immersion experience

My trip to Tanzania was such an amazing cultural immersion experience. I enjoyed the company of my host family and teaching the children at the orphanage the most. My host family is very similar to my regular family back in Canada so I felt very comfortable with them. They were very accommodating and took me to the beach often and cities close by as well. Any time I needed anything they would help out right away. As for the kids at the orphanage, they are so precious. Every one of them has their own personalities and I learned a lot from their ways. Since I've been back, my perspective on school changed dramatically. I don't like to take my educational opportunities for granted anymore because of how grateful the children were for the little bit of schooling we did each day. Would recommend this trip to anybody looking to visit an amazing country with a rich culture and with people that are so kind. I will definitely be going back!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

Trust me, that is something you want to do.

Learning about a country that even though I had visited before, really didn't know much about. I kept falling into the trap of thinking there was nothing left to learn, that it would be okay if I left now and then just like that something would happen and I'd know that it was still important for me to be there. Being there you find yourself in situations that you could never imagine. I cannot compare anything that's happened in my life in America to the 3 months I spent in Tanzania, tt's the only 3 months that matter for me. If you take those 3 months away from me I don't know who I am.

I chose the program because I believe in the mission of United Planet.

My accommodations was a 4 out of five.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Trust me, that is something you want to do.

For me the idea of traveling to Tanzania was like the equivalent of going to the Moon. I didn't know what I would find there or what the experience would even feel like. There was no way for me to prepare for such an exploration, no past event I could reflect on. All I knew was that I had to go because there is more than just the world that I am living in, and that was what I was dying to see.

United Planet was my support team that guided me to Tanzania and then safely back to the place where I am from. I could write millions of words about the details of my adventure but I would rather just boil it down to its essence and let you go explore the details on your own. Trust me, that is something you want to do.

In a way you could say that my trip to Africa now dictates my every move, my every thought. I went there over 5 years ago and this has never been more true then now. No matter what life offers us, we must try and experience it with joy and to exist without failing to see the power in every moment. That is what the animals, the people and the landscapes of Africa taught me.

There are other worlds than the one you know. Sometimes it is hard to step outside the one you are accustomed to but believe me, it is worth getting out of your comfort zone. United Planet is someone you can lean on for the strength you need to explore the unknown.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

One of the best!

I love the Tanzanian people and culture. I felt extremely welcomed by the host family I stayed with as well as my friends host families. I plan to go back and visit Kigamboni sometime in the future.

Out of all of the places to go to that United Planet offers, Tanzania stuck out to me the most.I felt like going to Tanzania would allow me to really get immersed in the culture and make a difference. I am very passionate about helping others and once I read about the opportunity to work in the orphanage, I knew that was what I wanted to do. After my first trip internationally and seeing all of the differences between Asia and America, I feel like it changed my life.

Obviously, my living conditions in Tanzania were a lot different then what I was used to but my room was very comfortable and the family really made me feel at home.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    N/A

Easily one of the best trips of my life!

I can easily say that this was one of the best trips of my life. On the other hand, my experience at the community center was not at all what I had expected. School was not in session the two weeks that I was there and therefor the kids were not at the community center. This made my time there somewhat frustrating because we had nothing to do. I feel like UP shouldn't have placed at this location knowing that school was not in session. Luckily we met a women who ran her own organization that helped us to volunteer at a local primary school and orphanage during the day so we were not just sitting around.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

A great new experience plus new relationships

My most memorable experience is meeting volunteers from all around the world and getting to become good friends with similarly minded people who we would have otherwise never met!

I chose the program because I was intrigued by the volunteer work available there.

My accommodation : five out of five.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The most rewarding experience of my life

I loved the people I met along the way, the moments I shared with them, and the world that I was so warmly welcomed to. I will, without a doubt, go back to Tanzania, because I completely fell in love with the country. I truly enjoyed getting to learn the culture from the inside out and working with those who needed a helping hand. The experience has changed my life and I really valued everything I learned there; from appreciating the little things, patience, and how much love is such a universal language.

I chose the program because I was impressed with the volunteer work available.

My accommodations was a 5 out of 5.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

An impressed veteran traveler

I really appreciated the support and structure provided by United Planet for my first trip to Africa. I also found a lot of value in living with a host family; something I could not have easily arranged on my own. The opportunity to be of service in an orphanage has changed my life and I am finding even more occasions to volunteer in my own local area. I have been a traveler for quite a few years now. Africa will be seeing quite a bit of me in the years to come. Thanks to all of you at United Planet for making my virgin journey care free.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

I loved it!

Tanzania was amazing. I volunteered at Watoto Wetu Tanzania. Here I met some of the most amazing people I've ever had the privilege of knowing. Throughout my time there, I helped teach nursery class, play with kids, and do any projects needing done. Through all this, I saw and learned how these amazing kids are happy with nothing and still fighting for a future. These are some amazing kids and young adults who I will never forget.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

New relationships and a great experience

The Quest to Tanzania was amazing. I have traveled oversees many times before but never to a third world country. I spent one month working in Dar Es Salaam, the business capital of the country, with a friend from New Zealand. We stayed with a lovely host family, and traveled via the infamous dala-dalas (crowded mini buses) to Muhimbili hospital each day. From the second we arrived we were glued to the windows, taking in the incredible sights of Africa. There was people everywhere, many loaded up with huge amounts of goods, selling things from road side markets and even between cars. Everything was colorful, cheery and noisy. We worked as teachers in a small classroom in the children's cancer ward. Each morning different kids would come downstairs, attendance varied depending on treatment plans and who felt well enough to leave their beds. Despite the room being full of some very sick kids the atmosphere was amazing. There was some great teachers who kept the children interested and happy through a mixture of songs, dances and activities. Even math or English classes could bring a smile to these children's faces as it was a chance to escape the medical world of the crowded wards upstairs. I found I was most useful at teaching math and quickly learnt the Swahili numbers so I could explain things much better as many of the children did not understand any English. As well as offering assistance and one-on-one teaching in the classroom, the volunteers were expected to go up onto the wards. This was fascinating for me as a medical student, and also meant the world to the children. The wards were packed full, even the 'isolation' ones, with each bed for one child and their parent for as long as treatment took, sometimes over a year. When the child was receiving chemo or just felt sick they were confined to their bed, so we could often brighten up someones day just by sitting with them and coloring or even quizzing them on some maths problems. It was not all fun and games, the children were seriously sick and unfortunatly, in Tanzania, cancers are often ignored far too long before presentation to a hospital. This meant that many of the children were disfigured, especially in some of the upstairs wards, or incredibly weak. We also experienced death, with some of the children simply not returning to school when we had played with them the previous day. It was an amazing, life changing experience, something I will never forget. There is soo much more help needed, especially from a more medical perspective, but it was nice to be able to do something to make a difference now. For some children we simply made their last days more enjoyable, but for many we caught them up with school which means they have much more of a future. If children get behind in Tanzania its very hard to catch up and an education is absolutely essential so we are making sure that the medical teams hard work will pay off.After the quest Lucy and I spent a week in Arusha and on a Safari to Serengeti National park. This was a great chance to see a completely different side of Tanzania, and we arranged it whilst on our volunteer quest, with some of the other volunteers we met who work for United planet. Thanks heaps for the opportunity.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

I met people who I will never forget!

Tanzania was amazing. I volunteered at Watoto Wetu Tanzania. Here I met some of the most amazing people ive ever had the privelage of knowing. Throughout my time there, I helped teach nursery class, play with kids, and do any projects needing done. Through all this, I saw and learned how these amazing kids are happy with nothing and still fighting for a future. These are some amazing kids and young adults who I will never forget.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Teaching in Tanzania

The Quest to Tanzania was amazing. I have traveled oversees many times before but never to a third world country. I spent one month working in Dar Es Salaam, the buisness capital of the country, with a friend from New Zealand. We stayed with a lovely host family, and traveled via the infamous dala-dalas (crowded mini buses) to Muhimbili hospital each day. From the second we arrived we were glued to the windows, taking in the incredible sights of Africa. There was people everywhere, many loaded up with huge amounts of goods, selling things from road side markets and even between cars. Everything was colourful, cheery and noisy. We worked as teachers in a small classroom in the childrens cancer ward. Each morning different kids would come downstairs, attendance varied depending on treatment plans and who felt well enough to leave their beds. Despite the room being full of some very sick kids the atmosphere was amazing. There was some great teachers who kept the children interested and happy through a mixture of songs, dances and activities. Even maths or english classes could bring a smile to these childrens faces as it was a chance to escape the medical world of the crowded wards upstairs. I found I was most useful at teaching maths and quickly learnt the swahili numbers so I could explain things much better as many of the children did not understand any english. Aswell as offering assistance and one-on-one teaching in the classroom, the volunteers were expected to qo up onto the wards. This was fascinating for me as a medical student, and also meant the world to the children. The wards were packed full, even the 'isolation' ones, with each bed for one child and their parent for as long as treatment took, sometimes over a year. When the child was recieveing chemo or just felt sick they were confined to their bed, so we could often brighten up someones day just by sitting with them and colouring or even quizzing them on some maths problems. It was not all fun and games, the children were seriously sick and unfortunatly, in Tanzania, cancers are often ignored far too long before presentation to a hospital. This meant that many of the children were disfigured, especially in some of the upstairs wards, or incredibly weak. We also experienced death, with some of the children simply not returning to school when we had played with them the previous day. It was an amazing, life changing experience, something I will never forget. There is soo much more help needed, especially from a more medical perspective, but it was nice to be able to do something to make a difference now. For some children we simply made their last days more enjoyable, but for many we caught them up with school which means they have much more of a future. If children get behind in Tanzania its very hard to catch up and an education is apsoutely essential so we are making sure that the medical teams hard work will pay off.After the quest Lucy and I spent a week in Arusha and on a Safari to Serengeti National park. This was a great chance to see a completely different side of Tanzania, and we arranged it whilst on our volunteer quest, with some of the other volunteers we met who work for United planetThanks heaps for the opportunity, Emily Deacon

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

The most rewarding experience of my life

Volunteering in Tanzania was the most rewarding experience I have ever had. I woke up every morning with a purpose and spent the day learning a valuable lesson about patience, love, acceptance, and gratitude. I got to interact with some of the most inspiring girls and women who have grown up without the love and support of a mother and father. I would watch them, every day, take care of one another with the most genuine sense of responsibility and respect. They would wake up at 5:00 AM, prepare breakfast for one another, pray, do various housework, and then head off to a fully day of school. Upon returning from school they would immediately continue their chores, that were distinctly assigned and displayed on the bulletin board near the kitchen. If they had some free time they would most likely play soccer, net ball, or simply gather around the volunteers for some laughs. Then they would eat pray, eat dinner, and continue their studies. On Tuesdays and Saturdays we, as volunteers, were able to plan an activity for the girls. Having a dance background, I thought it would be fun to teach them some dance. One afternoon I introduced them to ballet, another night we swung our hips to salsa. It was so much fun to watch them learn and dance with them, eliminating the language barrier, movement being universal. We also taught them English, when they had time, because they were so curious. We would sit down with them at their long, kitchen table and review grammar or conversational English. When we saw them, randomly, during the day, we would quiz them. Many of them would answer perfectly and then laugh out of sheer pleasure and nervousness.The foster family visits were often challenging, but most certainly worth it. Some visits consisted merely of walking into the homes and evaluating the current status of the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom, and the children themselves. I most certainly had to lower my standards of what was appropriate and safe living, for what was available to them was without a doubt less than I had ever experienced. We also spent time sorting through clothes and then distributing what was appropriate to the families. We would visit the village, meet with the foster parents, and then divide the clothes evenly amongst those present. We handed out clothes, shoes, and mosquito nets.Other times our visits were more specific, in regards to educating the foster families. We organized and prepared a presentation centered around safe drinking water, hygiene, health concerns, and even safe sex. The safe sex seminar was held on the selected days that were meant for HIV testing, which we also participated in. I wrote down the results, that were placed before me, on a wooden bench in an abandoned building. To watch as those unknowing individuals received news that would change their lives forever, was heartbreaking. I cannot even begin to explain the emotions that coursed through my body; fear mixed with sadness, mixed with anxiety, mixed with love. The heavier days were accompanied by light hearted, relaxed activities, such as cooking, cleaning, gardening and construction. The balance was necessary and the staff most certainly made sure that you were comfortable.I am in love with Tanzania and the experience it presented me. I miss it tremendously and cannot wait to return, one day. The world has so much to teach us, as long as you're open and willing. I feel so lucky to have spent this time abroad and I just hope others are given a similar opportunity.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Tanzania projects with Photographers Without Borders

This experience changed my life in a very positive way and also opened doors for me professionally. I believe my time working with United Planet was beneficial to the community in which I was working as well as the global community. I highly recommend the programs of United Planet.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

A life changing experience

This experience changed my life in a very positive way and also opened doors for me professionally. I believe my time working with United Planet was beneficial to the community in which I was working as well as the global community. I highly recommend the programs of United Planet.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    N/A

This journey has evolved me into someone better than I was before.

United Planet has provided me with an experience that changed my life. The staff were kind, supportive, and encouraging throughout my whole trip. They have helped me to become a lifelong partner in global connection and international outreach. There are no words to describe my appreciation and gratitude. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.




Living Situation:
excellent

Community Impact:
very good

Program Administration:
Jinexa was absolutely amazing. I planned this trip a year before I departed and she was with me every step of the way. The in-country staff were committed, friendly, welcoming, and supportive. However, I do believe the staff should invest time in using their volunteers more effectively by assessing and placing them where their skills are most beneficial and effective.

Health and Safety:
very good

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

A truly eye opening experience!

I can't even begin to put into words how incredibly thankful I am for this opportunity. This experience had taught me many life lessons and has made me view life differently. It also helped me be more open minded. Volunteering my time in the community for that short time will not only have an impact on the lives of the children I worked with, but it will forever have an impact on me. I learned new things about myself.
I learned about the Tanzanian culture first hand. I really enjoyed living the life as a local. It really helps you get the full effect of how their life really is. My host family was so welcoming, and my host brother became one of my best friends. I built so many new friendships.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Amazing!

It was really an amazing experience. There were times that it was really hard but the hard times were more than balanced out by all the wonderful times with the girls at the orphanage and everyone else that we met through IOP. I feel the things I have learned are really invaluable and I hope that I can apply them to my daily life.