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Hello, I'm Nitike. My husband Robart and I run a nursery school and permaculture project in Mafinga, a large town in southern Tanzania.
Although the project is young, it has grown rapidly and we continue to grow our vision. We need help expanding and maintaining the gardens, renovating and building new structures, and want to learn from you about the latest developments in sustainability and organic growth practices.
Many of the children we support are orphaned and/or from poor families. Our community is severely affected by the spread of HIV and AIDS. That’s why one of our biggest goals is to raise awareness through education, in order to help prevent the spread and to eradicate poverty. Because when children learn important lessons from an early age, those lessons tend to stay with them for a lifetime.
We also teach through "informal education" self reliance, the importance of recycling and sustainability, and proper hygiene.
Robart and I are both teachers and we run the nursery on a voluntary basis. We do not currently have any paid staff working for us on this project. One teacher works with us, also as volunteer.
We also have recently acquired 3 hectares of land where we have planted potatoes, beans, peas, and soon avocado trees. This is a new permaculture project that will continue to expand. Our intention is to use the food we grow in our meal program for the children, and sell excess to support the school.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
Tanzania is a wonderful country with a rich and interesting culture. Volunteers will experience first-hand the Tanzanian way of life and get the chance to really make a difference. They can also learn Swahili, a language spoken by many people in Africa, and work in beautiful surroundings.
The school is located in a beautiful area surrounded by the nature, and you will be immersed in the real "African life".
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We work hard to improve the lives of young children (aged 5 years and under) through early years education and social support. We are looking for an international team of volunteers to help here.
We started the school almost one year and a half, though the situation was difficult...
Volunteers started to come to join with us for volunteering like:
Playing with the children
Gardening and growing the permaculture project
Renovations of the old classroom
One volunteer supported us to build one new class that we are using now:
You can see in our pictures.
FOCUS AND GOALS OF THE PROJECT/SCHOOL.
Right now this place we rent, however our plan was to buy our own land and to build the permanent
School and to be independent. And the good news is that we succeeded to buy the land from help from the volunteers.
For the moment we are looking building permanently school here, which will be helpful to the community,
At the moment we don't have enough income to continue with buying building materials and other expenses.
So if you can help us in any way, you are warmly welcome too.
Volunteers will be involved in:
Gardening and farms and
Helping in the kitchen - bring your favorite recipes and take a turn cooking! We love trying new meals.
We work with all kinds of people with lots of different levels of experience. Professionals are welcome, but you don’t have to be a professional to help us make a difference.
We also run a small garden as source of source of income. Volunteers are welcome as well to help us with this.
You can create your own classroom with your own topics, example : cooking workshop, simple geography, sports, creative arts, simple and fun gardening etc....
You can coming here as a teacher, or to help us to build a new school for the kids too. Farming and gardening are the third option.
We DON'T ask any money from the volunteers but we do need your help. Then if you are able to help us by bringing and / or buying some stuff of course most welcome.
Basically we have low incomes from the kids to our school.
Everyday all day is not easy to run the school. We serve them breakfast and lunch each day.
What we need is probably easier for you than us :) (for the most of this list) :
- English books, learning materials
- Paper (A4 for example)
- Pens, pencils, rubbers, world-map, school bag etc...
- Electronics stuffs (keyboard, old laptop, iPad etc.
- Boarding games, toys, games, balls etc...
- Seeds for the garden, soaps
And..anything you can think of that would be used in a nursery school :)
FOR THE KIDS-a pack of rice (just an example) or any foods for THEM.
Swahili (Kiswahili): Fluent
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
You can contact them directly for more information.
We provide shared rooms for individuals or private rooms for couples. We don't have a modern bathroom but volunteers can shower with a bucket, just as we do :) (By the way, is a double-bed)
We also provide local food for volunteers, like traditional ugali and rice. We are happy to cater to vegans and vegetarians so please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements.
We have hot tea all along the day :) Fresh ginger and cardamom.
The rules for volunteers in Tanzania have recently changed. You are now required by the government to get a business visa on arrival, which costs $250 and lasts 3 months.
Mafinga weather varies, but is generally hot in the day and cooler at night. We advise you to bring suitable clothing accordingly.
WHAT TO BRING
Please bring whatever you feel is necessary, but our visitors often bring:
Malaria tablets (please consult your doctor before departure)
A sun hat
Comfortable shoes you can work in
Buses for Mafinga leave Dar es Salaam at 6am, so you must be at Ubungo bus station for 5.30am (around 35.000 TSH). This means you will probably have to spend a night in Dar before travelling to us. We can help you book a cheap hotel near the station (ask u for the lodge name).
The bus takes around 9-10 hours and you will see much of Tanzania on the way, including giraffes and zebras as it travels through Mikumi National Park!
It also makes regular food and toilet stops. It's helpful to have small denominations of shillings so you can buy things to eat and drink at stops, or when sellers come to the window with snacks.
DURING THE TIME OFF
During the time off volunteers have a chance to visit some places like:
-One of the biggest National park in southern part of Tanzania (Ruaha National park )
-Isimila stone age
-Gangilonga ("Speaking Stone")
The population of Mafinga: 60,000
We are just outside of town center, surrounded by nature, gardens etc.
Walking distance to Mafinga town center: 3 km
You will find ATMs, hospital, gym, hotels, bars, supermarkets etc in Mafinga town
Health Center: 100 meters away
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host can provide space for campervans.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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