Primary School Teaching Volunteer

Helping Hands Development Center - Arusha, Tanzania
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-790 Location: Arusha, Tanzania Sector: Education Category: Classroom Teaching Min Duration: 1 week Lodging: BaseCamp or Host Family Language: Basic Placement Fee: 15 USD / week
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Volunteer Job Description

Helping-hands Academy needs volunteers to help with teaching as its a new school dedicated to providing an education in a poor community and is facing financial challenges. At the present time, the school can not afford to hire enough teachers. Volunteers to help fill this gap would be most welcome and appreciated.

A volunteer teaching assistant for the nursery / primary school would be involved in various areas of teaching to kindergarten up to and including grade four pupils. Due to this lack of adequate teachers 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 such as: mathematics, English, reading and writing, physical education and perhaps if time allowed help to teach them the joy of music (singing), dance and 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 Nursery/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 teaching assistant 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 teaching assistant 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.

Extracurricular Activities

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

Songs & Dances

The best way to connect with kids is by teaching songs and dances. A volunteer teaching assistant 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.

Art & Crafts

A volunteer teaching assistant 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.

Host Organization Details

Helping Hands Development Center

Helping Hands Academy is a nursery/primary school where staff are committed to providing an education to the children in the surrounding very low income community of Arusha. They also have a number of kids studying for free from other areas who's parents can't afford to pay the monthly contribution for an academic education for their children.

The founder and director of the school is a teacher named Nancy who had a passion for helping the Arusha community by utilizing her own knowledge as a teacher to establish a school for children from low income families. Previous to the development of the Helping Hands Academy there were only schools in this area that required tuition fees that most low income families could not afford and so the children did not receive an academic education.

The school was first started with only five students, two girls and three boys but quickly grew and at the present time has approximately fifty children in attendance. The director, Nancy was the only teacher at the beginning but now she has hired 2 other teachers. Helping Hands Academy conducts schoolroom classes only at the nursery grade level at present but hopes to expand to conduct classes up to and including grade seven in future years. VISION: To provide education in the poor communities where most families can’t afford to send their children to school due to financial problems.

MISSION: To improve access to education for families in poor communities who's school fees would be geared to the standard of living in said communities.

When They Were Founded

Helping Hands Academy was founded in 2012 by a teacher named Nancy, who is the director of the school. She realized that in low income areas of Arusha many of the children did not receive an academic education due to lack of monetary funds. The only schools available at the time were too expensive for people with low incomes to send their children to.

The school was started with only five students but has since grown to fifty students and hopes to expand much more in future years to help to accommodate the need.

How Are They Funded

Helping Hands Academy is mainly funded by small monthly contributions from the families of the students who attend the school. It is also funded by the director herself. Private donors and volunteers sometimes contribute donations.

Donation Requests

Books for nursery and primary school, pens & pencils, markers, crayons,erasers, computers, toys, sports gear and desks. Any and all would be appreciated.

Placement Location Information

Arusha, Tanzania

The Helping Hands Academy is located in a local poor area in Ilboru, which is mostly inhabited by lower income families.

The area is highly populated and there are services available nearby like local shops and restaurants. Its only a 5 minutes walk to the main road and 25 minutes away from the city center of Arusha where you can find any necessary services from internet cafes, shopping centers, hotels, airlines offices and much more.

They have one building that is divided into two classrooms, (nursery class and baby class), as well as an office. There are very limited teaching supplies so it would be very helpful if volunteers could bring their own.

Transfer From BaseCamp

From the BaseCamp hostel walk down to the main road and catch a public transport to the city center. Get off at the clock tower and from there walk north for about 20 minutes until you see the traffic light. Turn left and walk alongside the highway for about 5 minutes then turn right on Ilboru Road. From there it takes about a 5 minute walk before you see the sign for the school on your right hand-side.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 3.5
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 0:45

Weather in the Area

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

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

City/Village Description

The city of Arusha has an estimated population of around one million people and sits at the foot of Mount Meru. Mount Meru is the fifth highest peak in Africa; it is a few hundred meters shorter than Kilimanjaro which is the highest mountain in Africa and encompasses three volcanic cones; Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira (don't worry, they're not active!)

Arusha is surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscape on the planet. With easy access to the Arusha National Park, Serengeti, Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Park there is never a shortage of things to do!

Arusha is considered to be one of the best African cities when it comes to great weather and tourism combined.

Arusha is a busy industrial and administrative centre. Some of the main manufacture products include textiles, beverages, processed foods, plastics and electronic equipment. It is well known for the African Congress Centre and the International Tribunal for the Rwandan Genocide.

Nearest Medical Clinic

A L M C (Arusha Lutheran Medical Center)
TEL 1: 0736-502-376

Placement Address

Helping Hands Development Center

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

Placement Fee Alert

This placement has a placement fee!

In some cases, a placement will have to take on certain expenses in order to host a volunteer. For example, some medical internship placements take time away from paid medical staff to help with educational assistance. This has a cost that is compensated by a placement fee. In other cases, the organization may have to pay for additional equipment, energy consumption or other expense in order to put a volunteer to work.

In such cases, the organizaiton charges a fee. This fee is paid directly to the organization in cash on the ground.

One of the reasons that we keep this fee separate is so that volunteers who do not pay us for accommodation, meals etc (Program Fees), will see that they will still have to make this payment directly to the organizaiton upon their arrival.

The placement fee for this organization is: 15 USD / week

Program Dates


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

  • June
  • 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.

Aug 07, 2020 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


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