Welcome at the kindergarten of Joy in Mafinga, Iringa .Tanzania for a great Cultural Exchange (no fees charged at our project)
We are here since 2016 and had a lot of amazing people from all over the world helping us to make our project grow.
I am Albert the founder of the kindergarten Together with my amazing team Robert (the manager), Wilharda, Esther,Msifuni,Rachel and Prisca and two other teachers and Stephanie (second manager) we take care for over 80 children. The number of the kids coming here is increasing steadily, we have kids here from fee paying ad non fee paying backgrounds. Our dream is to move with the kindergarten to our own place (the current one is rented) so we are building in another place.
We need and welcome everyone interested in our project. Please allow yourself to bring your own ideas while you are here and we would love to learn about you, your country, your culture and your family. In the same time we love to show you our way of living, our food and our happiness when we work with children and meet new people.
When you are interested in joining us,PLEASE read this.
For volunteering in Tanzania you need a special kind of visa (this is a gouvernment regulation), which you can get at the airport. The visa is called Volunteering Visa or Business Visa and costs 250 Dollar. It is for three months. For every organisation you may want to volunteer at this is the right and official visa you need to get, even if some places tell you you only need the normal tourist visa. If you are caught it can get really expensive or you may be asked to pay the migration office some extra money. So to be on the safe side the Volunteering Visa is the best. (If you have any questions please feel free to ask!)
Volunteers are highly welcome to work at the garden, at the school with kids to teach and to play with, all skills are really welcome and needed! We would love to work with you, bring your ideas, skills, and come to join us! Currently we need help in building children classrooms at our new place, we already have materials ready for building, but as well we need help around the kindergarten (playing with the kids, painting or help in the garden, I am pretty sure we will find a job for you you would enjoy).
We would like our volunteers to take initiative to help our Kindergarten to improve and move forward. We hope that you will offer your own skills and interests to help our school grow, our crops improve.
We are located in the Iringa District in the Western part of Tanzania,in a small town called Mafinga, which is a small community in the heart of the Tanzanian tea industry.
Some volunteers have taken trips to Ruaha National Park and Mikumi National Park for safaris and wildlife viewing.
The climate in Mafinga is wonderful all year round– warm but not too humid. We do have rainy seasons, around April and October. But at night it can get quite cold, so think about bringing warm cloth for yourself and a warm sleeping bag.
If you wish to go for a safari we can help you in giving you names of safari organisations and maybe you can go with other volunteers from our place. But we do not own cars or do safari. (If you come with the bus from Dar es Salaam you have a short drive through one of the reservates and maybe you will see some wildlife even on the way to us)
Please notice that we are not able to cover flights, visas , transportation to and from our site or any other such expenses.
Flights greatly vary in price depending on how far in advance you book, and the time of year you are traveling.
For the volunteers who wants to get there by themselves
If you arrive at the airport in Dar es Salaam, it woud be the best for you to spend one night at Dar es Salaam, because the bus to Mafinga is daparting at 6am and you need to be at the Ubungo bus station at 5.30. Feel free to ask Albert for information about proper Hotels around the bus station. From the airport it is the easiest to take a Taxi to your Hotel (will cost around Tsh 30,000 to 35,000). In the morning you can walk to the Bus station ( the bus will cost around 25,000 to 30,000Tsh and you need to buy your ticket the day before, if you need help with the bus company or such things just ask me), it will be really crowded and overwhelming. Maybe it is important to know that the bus stops only one or two times on its 10 to 12 hours ride, so do not drink to much. Every time the bus stops you will be surrounded by people selling you food and water, so you do not have to worry about this, just make sure you have some Tsh in small coins.
When you arrive in Mafinga you can easily get a cheap Taxi (around Tsh 5000) to our place.
THERE IS A POSSIBILITY FOR TRAVELLERS TO BE PICKED UP AT THE AIRPORT! (Maybe if it is your first time to Tanzania, this is a good thing and you will even have someone to talk to on the long bus ride or to help you get a sim card)
All the costs for the person who will come and pick you up are to be covered by the volunteers (about 38USD, which includes round trip bus ticket Tsh 50,000 Hotel night Tsh 30,000,Taxi from the Airport to Hotel Tsh 30,000 and food for two days Tsh 20,000) You do not need to book a hotel room for the person oicking you up, as they will do that by themselves.
By the way, please do not forget to add the cost of your own bus ticket (Tsh 25,000) which you will go and book at the bus station together the cost of the Hotel room( Tsh 15,000 for the cheap option) ,food and Taxi from the Mafinga Bus Station to the project.
TOTAL COST FOR TRANSPORTATION SUMMARY
Tsh 50,000 - Roundtrip Bus tickets for the persons who comes
Tsh 30,000- 2 hotel night for the person who comes from Mafinga
Tsh 20,000 - food for him
Tsh 30,000 - Taxi from Airport to Hotel for a volunteer
Tsh 25,000 - a bus tickets
Tsh 15,000 - Hotel night for volunteer
Tsh 11,000 - Food for a volunteers
Tsh 5000 - Taxi in Mafinga
Volunteering hours will vary depending on which areas of our tasks you decide to get involved with. For example if you are interested in teaching you will be teaching or having various activities with the kids from 8 am to 12am, if you are working at the garden, the maximum we ask from you is 5 hours a day, depending on the needs.
We can offer a basic accommodation at the kindergarten building. For sure you will have a bed, access to an electric terminal and most of the times a room for yourself, just in really busy times we may ask you to share your room with another volunteer.
We do not have mosquitoes in Mafinga, so no need to take Malaria prophylaxe, but to be sure it would be good to take some anti Malaria medication with you. Especially when you are planning to visit a national park.
We do not have wifi around here, but you can buy a sim card really easy and we have a really good connection to internet. (Halotel has a really good internet access around here)
We cook food that we normally eat with or without the volunteer as we want to show you our culture. The food is regional and saisonal, so it is not quite the diversity you may know from your home. We consider the dietary requirements of the volunteers. There are volunteers who are vegetarians, vegans and some who don’t eat certain kinds of foods (Muslims avoid pork). We want our volunteers to be comfortable from the first day so please tell us about the food you prefer and please tell us when you are getting hungry (sometimes it is so busy that it can get quite late for dinner).
Safety and security are the cornerstones of our home-stays. When you come to us, you should expect to be in a safe home and feel secure, for the volunteers who carry expensive items like Camera,laptops,money and clothes ,you should expect your belongings to be safe when you stay with us.
While living with foreign the hosts would be exposed to different cultures. They will learn how the volunteers cook, live and how they carry themselves. The volunteers too will learn the same things also from the host. The hosts’ lifestyle is what the volunteers are coming to observe and participate in as well. We would love to teach you some swahili, while you are here, if you are interested. As we have lots of teachers around here it will be a good chance for you.
Being a host we have good experience all in all. But being a host, one is exposing him /herself to some risks that they are not used to. This is especially true if the host has children and they get a volunteer who is immoral. There are also cases where the volunteer would have some habits that the hosts are not comfortable with for example drinking, smoking, drug abuse etc. to avoid these situations we have terms and conditions that the volunteers should abide too. Also before welcoming somebody to their home we properly vet them.
You are really Welcome to volunteer with us.
I believe that volunteering is one way to accomplish what we are supposed to accomplish in this lifetime. Bottom line, it just feels good inside to give unconditionally.
Karibu Sana - You are most welcome!
PLEASE NOTE THAT WE TAKE VOLUNTEERS ON A FIRST CONFIRMED, FIRST SERVED BASIS - It's best if you reply quickly so that we can confirm your stay with us, or you can free up space for someone else. Thank you!
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help with Computers / internet
SCHOOL ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING (kids 2-5 years old), VEGETABLE GARDENING, DIY,painting, cooking and building with bricks classrooms now we have also planting seeds and trees growing, Another project is Sewing and Embroidery activities.
There is plenty of opportunity for you to bring your own ideas and skills. Anything you can offer, we will be able to use.
There is plenty to learn here and we are very involved in the community of Mafinga. You can make trips into town (15 minute walk) or get to know the shop owners located just down the road - it is easy to make friends here as people start to recognise you.
Market in the City(fabrics , clothe,Food)
Small Street shops around the corner to buy water,food and goods ..
We have generous friends that are often around the project, and we share dinners and conversation with them.
You can learn some Swahili just by chatting with our staff and exchanging your stories, then try it out on the locals as you pass by!
The children are the stars of the show here, and you will be amazed at how well you can communicate with them despite some of the language barriers. (That said, they will love to show off their English by greeting you and singing the songs they learn in school!)
We have 4 rooms available for volunteers(simple Matress and Blanket in a private room) and try to accommodate each individual in separate rooms, or sharing with their companion if preferred. Sometimes, if busy, it might be necessary for you to share with another of the volunteers, but we do our best on this front.
Please bear in mind that it can get chilly in this area of Tanzania, particularly at night time, so an extra blanket if you have one will always come in handy. If not, we are able to provide them.
we eat local food not hotel food, some of the contribution cover the food for non paying fees student and volunteer ,s food and accomodation
We are located in Mafinga, district of Iringa, which is a small district at the heart of the Tanzanian tea industry. The region offers many activities, such game drives, swimming, bird watching (a lot of natural reserves and national parks), among many other adventures in this naturally rich area.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
3hours-5hours max / 5 days