Primary School Teaching Volunteer

Cherith Junior School - Maji Ya Chai, Tanzania
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-726 Location: Maji Ya Chai, Tanzania Sector: Education Category: Classroom Teaching Min Duration: 1 week Lodging: BaseCamp or Host Family Language: Basic
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Volunteer Job Description

The Cherith Junior School offers quality education to children at affordable fees from the pre-school and primary level of grades one to four.

A volunteer primary school teacher would be involved in the various areas of teaching to kindergarten up to and including grade four pupils. The school can not afford to hire enough qualified teachers and therefore the staff are always pressed to cover the academic subjects and usually have no time for extra-curricular activities.

A volunteer would be teaching different subjects e.g. math, English, reading and writing, physical education and perhaps if time allowed help to teach them the joy of music (singing), dance, art and crafts. Depending on the volunteer's qualifications and experience he/she may be asked to help develop new curriculum for the school. The volunteer may be assisting the teachers in their classrooms or may be asked to conduct some classes on his/her own initiative.

A volunteer primary school teacher from a different country has an excellent opportunity to teach the children about the different cultures in the world especially about their own native country.

The educational background of a volunteer primary school teacher at this placement, does not require a teacher's degree but the volunteer must have a passion to help children in their educational development process. Of-course the more teacher orientated the volunteer's background the higher level of teaching experience they may be asked to participate in.

Volunteer Tasks Required

Classroom Teaching

A volunteer primary school teacher may be asked to assist teachers with their classroom lessons or conduct classes on their own initiative. A lot would depend on the volunteer's ability to engage the students attention in classroom lessons and his/her efforts made to develop an educational teaching subject. A volunteer would be expected to give tests and assign homework in the subjects he/she taught.

Art and Crafts

A volunteer primary school teacher may be asked to conduct art and craft lessons. Students can sometimes release a lot of tension and emotional stress through drawing pictures. A volunteer must realize this is a school for children in one of the poorer sections in Tanzania so art and craft supplies may only be available through the generous donations of the volunteer.

Extracurricular Activities

A volunteer primary school teacher would be expected to teach recreational games and activities. In general in Tanzania, classes have been kept to academic subjects due to lack of staff. A volunteer can fill this gap by teaching recreational games and activities thus providing the students with a different aspect of going to school where fun activities can encourage sportsmanship and competition.

Songs and Dances

The best way to connect with kids is from teaching songs and dances. A volunteer primary school teacher may be asked to conduct music classes especially to the younger grades. These classes could include learning English and/or hygiene issues through songs and rhymes.

Host Organization Details

Cherith Junior School

The Cherith Junior School was founded in hopes of increasing the opportunities for Tanzania's people to access quality education for their children thus reducing and in the future eradicating the illiteracy level of Tanzanians.

In the whole process of provision of quality education to children in Tanzania, there are considerable gaps that some Tanzanians face. This is observed in the children from underprivileged families, orphans, and the children adopted by old men & women, after the death of their parents due to the fatal disease of AIDS, accidents etc. When assessing the situation, it was obvious that only children of privileged families had access to quality education. It was upon realizing this distressful situation that Mr. & Mrs. Fredrick Mbise decided to establish Cherith Junior School.

The mission of the Cherith Junior School is to offer quality education to children at affordable fees in the Arumeru District, especially Kitefu Village and the surrounding neighborhoods. Thus, providing an educational opportunity to the children from underprivileged families in those communities.

The founders of Cherith Junior School are teachers by profession. They believe a good battle against poverty can only be successfully fought through education. They are driven by passion to help as many Tanzanian children as possible who crave for a quality education.

Does this organization have any religious affiliations?


When They Were Founded

The organization was founded in 2008 by Mr and Mrs Fredrick Mbise. The school was created when the couple realized that if the children in their neighborhood were going to find success, they first needed an education. The school began with only 3 students from their neighborhood, but has since expanded to over 60 students. They are currently constructing a new building!

How Are They Funded

The school is primarily funded by Mr and Mrs Mbise, but also receives donations from friends of the organization internationally, as well as funds from volunteers and other private donors.

Donation Requests

General school and office supplies.

Placement Location Information

Maji Ya Chai, Tanzania

Cherith Junior School is located in a big compound surrounded by the local community. With four classrooms, one office, play ground and garden, the school is well equip with adequate space and teaching supplies.

The immediate area has limited resources around the placement location, such as internet cafes, restaurants, post office and markets. For most of these services you have to travel to the next town (Usa River), but a few minutes away from the placement you can get access to small shops.

Public transportation is available in the area all hours of the day and they run from the placement location to the neighbor town and Arusha city.

Transfer From BaseCamp

From BaseCamp center take a daladala (public transport) to the city center, get off at the end of the ride and walk towards the main bus station. From there catch another daladala that goes to Usa River and get off at Usa River Town. Catch another daladala to Maji Ya Chai Town and from there walk north for about 15 minutes. Across the road from the bus stop you will see the sign of the school.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 25 KM
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 0:45

Weather in the Area

Maji Ya Chai's weather is like the weather in the city of Arusha, as it lies in the same area of Mount Meru.

Despite its closeness to the equator, Maji Ya Chai's elevation of 1400 - 1500 m on the southern slopes of Mount Meru keeps temperatures down and alleviates humidity. Cool dry air is prevalent for much of the year. The temperature ranges between 13 and 30 degrees Celsius with an average around 25 degrees.

It has distinct wet and dry seasons and experiences an eastern prevailing wind from the Indian Ocean, which is a couple of hundred miles east. Highest average rainfall occurs in March, April and May.

City/Village Description

The town of Maji Ya Chai is located about 25 km from the city of Arusha, alongside the highway road of Moshi.

Most people who live in this town are small scaled farmers and a few business owners who mainly live alongside the main road. There is one government primary school in the northern part of the village, approximately a two hour walk (one way) from the southern part. There is no secondary school in the village.

The town has a very authentic African feel so someone wanting to have a truly African experience, Maji Ya Chai would be the perfect place to volunteer at.

There are many small shops and local pubs in the area, located usually alongside the road. Internet accessibility isn't available in this area and people have to travel to the neighbouring town (Usa River) to get access to internet cafe's. That being said, there is always the option of using an internet memory stick with the SIM card connection to get access to the internet. There is also limited connectivity to electricity in this region, with only a few areas along the main road having reliable power.

The town is at Mount Meru, the second highest mountain in Tanzania after Mount Kilimanjaro and Arusha National Park is only a few minutes away.

Nearest Medical Clinic

Usar River Medical Center
Usa River
Maji Ya Chai
TEL 1: 0754 768 547
TEL 2: 0787 576 330

Placement Address

Cherith Junior School
Arush Himo Road
Maji Ya Chai

Accommodation and Meals

All of our volunteers begin their stay in Tanzania at our BaseCamp Center in Ngaramtoni - Arusha. Given that this placement is less than a 1 hour and 15 minute commute from BaseCamp, volunteers working here will have the option of living with us at BaseCamp or living with a host family.

The following information outlines a brief description of life at BaseCamp and also what someone can expect living with a host family in Tanzania. Once you have completed our application, you can let our staff know if you would prefer to live with a host family. Otherwise, your application will default to having you live with us at BaseCamp.

If you have any questions about the difference between life at BaseCamp or life with a host family in Tanzania you can always give us a call or send us an email. Our contact details are listed in the footer of every page of the site.

BaseCamp Tanzania

BaseCamp Tanzania
BaseCamp Tanzania Address

Nelson Mandela Road
Kijenge Ya Chini Mt. Meru Gas Station
Ngaramtoni - Arusha, Tanzania

BaseCamp Tanzania Contact Details

Tel: 255 719 177 084
Mobile: 255 754 683 347

BaseCamp Tanzania is located in the Kijenge area of Arusha. The centre is located just a few minutes from the famous Clock-Tower and many amenities such as banks, internet cafes and international calling centres. You can also find some great local markets selling everything from fresh fruit and fish, to beautiful wooden carvings and amazing East African paintings! Arusha is a comfortable place to live with many of the conveniences of home, while still allowing travellers to experience the African way of life.

BaseCamp Tanzania is set up with a number of dormitory style rooms. Pillows, sheets and blankets are provided. The house has a large covered balcony on the main floor with a spectacular view! There is also a large common room on the lower level with a small resource centre containing books, magazines, movies, games and other African publications. Outside is a beautiful lawn and garden that overlooks the city and is an ideal setting to catch up on email, review some Swahili or just enjoy a quiet afternoon. Wireless internet access is available throughout the house, making it easy to stay in touch with friends and family back home.

The meal plan at BaseCamp is a 14 day rotating schedule of a variety of traditional dishes from around the country. This allows volunteers to try a wide range of Tanzanian dishes and to gain some knowledge of the food served and meal etiquette before living with a host family. For those who stay on in BaseCamp, the 14 day schedule allows for lots of variety.

BaseCamp Tanzania is also the training and orientation centre. Each day volunteers will spend part of the day in lectures or workshops at BaseCamp and part of the day exploring the city and learning how to get around comfortably on their own.

Living With a Host Family in Tanzania

Living with a host family in Tanzania is a fantastic way to gain a deep understanding of and appreciation for the people and customs of the country. Each home-stay will provide a bed and three meals per day for our volunteers. The majority of host families offer private rooms with only one or two volunteers living with the family.

Living with a host family can greatly enhance your performance at your placement. For one, it will have a huge influence on the speed with which you gain familiarity with the local language. This, along with your deeper understanding of cultural practices and beliefs that you are likely to gain in this environment, can go a long way to improving or strengthening your relationships with your team mates at work. Furthermore, a significant percentage of our host families are closely affiliated with the organizations with which our volunteers work. As such, even the evening meal or hanging out around the house can become valuable time during which volunteers can share their ideas and continue their support of their host organization.

All of this being said, living with a host family is not for everyone. It is very important for volunteers to honor the house rules in their host family and to be punctual. Also, depending on how remote your placement location, host families can be very rustic. Our staff in country can give you a better idea of what exactly you can expect from a host family in any particular community. However, in general, if these things sound like they might pose a challenge for you, we strongly suggest that you look at a placement within commuting distance from BaseCamp Tanzania.

How the Program Works

Our program structure and costing is completely flexible which lets our volunteers ensure that they only pay for exactly the degree of support that they want.

Option 1 - Free Services

Some volunteers prefer to coordinate their own accommodation, meals and other support while overseas.

Anyone is welcome to use our volunteer placement search tool to help in finding a placement that is well suited to their interests. Once someone finds a placement that they wish to work with, they are welcome to make all the rest of their arrangmeents on their own.

As well, our team of staff overseas are often able to offer a few helpful pointers for volunteers 'doing it on their own'. Just send us an email with your questions and we will put you in touch with our team abroad. We only ask that you keep your requests fairly general, as this type of advice is exactly how our team earn their living. :)

Option 2 - Placement Support - 250 USD

Other volunteers would like assistance in selecting and confirming their placement, but they plan to manage their own accommodation and other expenses on their own.

These volunteers have the option of choosing to only have our assistance with selecting and confirming their placement. This option also includes ongoing placement support while abroad, so a volunteer would be able to ask our team for help if things at their placement were not working out.

In providing Placement Support, our team works with each volunteer through email, telephone and either Skype or Google Hangouts, to ensure that each volunteer has a clear understanding of their placement options. Our in-country staff will put together a custom list of placement options for each volunteer that they believe are the most appropriate matches with the volunteer's background, skills and interests. Then each volunteer can work with our team both in Canada and abroad to go through each of the options and narrow-down their selection.

Option 3 - Full Program Support

For most volunteers who are volunteering for less than a year, they are looking for an option that includes their accommodation, meals, airport reception, country and program orientation and placement support. This is what our Program Fees are designed for.

We are proud of how over the years we have ensured that our program fees are amoungst the most reasonable of any program in the world while we continue to provide exceptional volunteer support both at home and abroad.

Our Program Fees and listings of what these do and do not include are listed below:

Program Fees

Program Fees - Tanzania

  Registration Fee
  1 Week
  2 Weeks
  3 Weeks
  4 Weeks
  5 Weeks
  6 Weeks
  7 Weeks
  8 Weeks
  Additional Weeks
All program fees are listed in US Dollars.

What is Included
  • Pre-Departure support
  • Placement consulation
  • Airport reception & transfer
  • 2 Day orientation
  • Accommodation (BaseCamp or host family)
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Emergency & placement support

What is Not Included
    Before Departure
  • International flight
  • Travel medical insurance
  • Visa costs where required
  • Work permits where required
    While Overseas
  • Daily transportation to and from placement
  • Transport to airport on departure
  • Placement fees if requried

Program Dates


The following is a list of all months during which this placement is not available.

  • February
  • April
  • August
  • September
  • December

Our regularly scheduled program start dates are the first Friday of each month, every month of the year. We strongly recommend beginning your program on one of these dates as this will allow you to go through our orientation alongside other international volunteers.

If you would prefer, our application will also allow you to select a custom start date for your program. Keep in mind that there is an additional fee for a custom start date which ranges from 50 to 75 USD.

Sep 04, 2020 Oct 02, 2020 Nov 06, 2020
Dec 04, 2020 Jan 01, 2021 Feb 05, 2021
Mar 05, 2021 Apr 02, 2021 May 07, 2021
Jun 04, 2021 Jul 02, 2021 Aug 06, 2021
Sep 03, 2021 Oct 01, 2021 Nov 05, 2021
Dec 03, 2021 Jan 07, 2022 Feb 04, 2022
Mar 04, 2022 Apr 01, 2022 May 06, 2022
Jun 03, 2022 Jul 01, 2022 Aug 05, 2022


These dates are the day that volunteers should plan to arrive on the ground in country. We can accommodate arrivals in-country at any time day or night on these dates.

Give us a Call
Canada / USA 866-646-4693 (toll free)
UK 866-646-4693 (toll free)
Australia 866-646-4693 (toll free)
International 613-353-3000
Send us a Message