volunteering & internships
- Age: min. 17 years
- Duration: 4 weeks – 6 months
- Program Start: Every Thursday
- Affordable Fees detailed fee structure
- Accommodation and Meals in our comfortable volunteer houses or host families
- Our whole team is based in Tanzania and always there for you!
- For people of all walks of life!
- Please also read our information brochure / FAQ about a stay with us!
By volunteering you show active social commitment and make an important contribution to international understanding!
With STEP Africa you have the opportunity to find a project in Tanzania that exactly matches your interests. You can also have your voluntary work recognized as an internship for your studies.
Volunteering in Tanzania will be an unforgettable experience for you and will strengthen your intercultural skills. As a positive side effect you can score with your abroad experience with future employers. Even if you are a highschool graduate or are unsure about your future professional career, your time in Tanzania and the work in your project can consolidate your desired career or give you new impulses for your decision-making. Volunteering can also be a great chance for professionals to enhance their skills and gain valuable experiences in a developing country. You will get to know aid work in Africa with all its challenges first hand and will be able to form your own opinion!
We only place our volunteers into projects in which they can gain a lot of valuable experience for their future. Our volunteers do not replace local workers. Volunteers are assistants who offer support to employees. They also use their expertise to teach their target groups new skills and to open new perspectives.
What many of us have learned about Africa in the media doesn’t always reflect the truth. In Africa there is more than just poverty and misery. Tanzania is a country full of ideas and resources, politically stable and of breathtaking beauty.
Volunteer with a learning mindset
All of our projects welcome volunteers regardless of their backgrounds or believes. Volunteers are expected to be open-minded and creative because the areas of responsibility are not always precisely defined. With a little initiative and flexibility the integration into the project is usually very smooth. Volunteering in Tanzania always means learning to understand everyday life in a local aid project. We do not want our volunteers to replace local workers but rather want them to see themselves as supplementary workers who, through their assistance, contribute towards joyful day to day life in the projects and support intercultural exchange. We firmly believe that volunteers can make a long-term and positive contribution to their projects. But volunteering doesn’t just mean: “Hi, I’m here to help!” but rather: “Hi, I’m here to learn from you how I can help – now or in the future!”.
Our Current Projects
We aim at placing each of our volunteers into projects that best suit their skills and interests. Our partner projects are selected based on criteria of sustainability and their efforts towards education and, above all, based on their credibility and transparency. We are critically aware that not every aid project is a good project! We build on mutual acceptance and tolerance. At STEP Africa we do not make a conceptual difference between voluntary work and internships abroad because we believe that you are always both: A helper and a learner.
STEP Africa Community Outreach
Since 2021, we have been organising the STEP Community Outreach Program – our very own project – in the rural areas of Arusha to reach people who hardly benefit from services in the city. Our social worker Juma organises field visits 2-3 times a week. The outreach program ranges from medical and sexual education, conservation and tree planting, self-determination training, sports and games to handicraft activities. We focus on the skills of our volunteers and the needs of our target group. For these reasons, the Outreach Program is one of the most diverse, sustainable and experiential of our projects and our pride and joy.
Girls & Women Empowerment
Our women’s and girls’ projects aim to promote and demand gender equality. The distribution of roles and education in Tanzania are still very conservative for the most part, which means a great danger for many girls. Genital mutilation for cultural reasons, child marriages, rape with resulting teenage pregnancies and absence from school due to lack of menstrual products are part of the sad everyday life for many girls and women. Our projects fight for a change in people’s minds and for women to learn to use their voice. Our volunteers support our projects through education in schools, skill training (e.g. sewing of washable sanitary pads) and the all-round care and provision of young women. The women’s project can be perfectly combined with the STEP Community Outreach Project.
Childcare - Babies and Toddlers
We support several day care centres that look after babies and toddlers from needy families who need one thing above all else: A lot of attention. The children’s mothers often work long days at the market, where they are not allowed to bring their children, and are therefore dependent on safe care for their offspring. We also support a children’s home for orphans under the age of three whose mothers either died in childbirth or who were found abandoned. Especially during night and weekend shifts the need is high here. You can choose between either working full-time in the daycare or divide your time between daycare and baby home in order to be involved in the most meaningful way. All children have permanent local caregivers in the project, volunteers are additional helpers and supporters!
Childcare - Pre-School & Kindergarten
Kindergarten and pre-school in Tanzania are very much influenced by the British school system where teaching starts at age three. Accordingly, the days are already structured rigidly for the young pupils. All our preschools have teachers who teach the children the basics they need to know, yet it is almost impossible to meet the learning needs of all children. And often, fun and games fall by the wayside. This is where our volunteers come in. As assistants, they are mainly responsible for fun and games, artistic and musical elements in the day-to-day care. Teaching assistance, individual support, designing the classrooms and conceptual activities also fall within the scope of our volunteers duties. The children from our free pre-schools live in families who cannot afford private care. Public kindergarten places are virtually unavailable in Tanzania.
In particular, trained educators, aspiring teachers and volunteers with a love of teaching and imparting education will enjoy our school projects. Our partner schools all have English as the first language of instruction, so communication with students and teachers is easy. Our schools support students from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds who often cannot afford expensive school fees for private schools. Even students who have not reached the national selection process for secondary schools, which guarantees only 20% of students nationwide a free school place after grade 7, are taught in our partner schools free of charge through sponsorships and scholarships or for very affordable school fees. In Tanzania’s schools there is a lot of frontal teaching, which you should be prepared for as a volunteer. In addition to assisting with lessons, there is also a lot of work in the area of supplementing musical, sporting and creative activities on the programme.
Medical & Therapeutical Internship
A medical internship in Tanzania can provide (prospective) professionals with an immeasurable value of experience, because many diseases that are commonplace here are only known from textbooks in the western world. We have already supervised many nursing interns, famulants, nursing trainees but also volunteers from the fields of physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Recognition by the training institution is usually possible without any problems. However, an internship in a medical or nursing facility also means learning one’s own limits, because there is a lack of many things and improvisation is often necessary when caring for patients. A high degree of empathy and pragmatism are basic requirements for an assignment in a hospital.
Street dogs and cats are a common sight in Tanzania. In Arusha alone, the street dog population is estimated to be in the millions. In a country where people often do not know how to put food on the table themselves, it is not surprising that there is not much left over for the animals. Dogs in particular do not have the status of pets here, but are often locked away and mistreated as guard dogs. It is not common practice to castrate animals, which is why the street dog population keeps growing – and with it the misery of the animals. Our animal welfare project works to help the animals by taking in dogs and cats, providing medical care and placing them in good hands. Helping with vaccination and spay and neuter campaigns is also part of this rewarding program.
Construction and renovation projects are suitable for all volunteers who are skilled and experienced in handicrafts and would like to use their knowledge on site and pass it on to local craftsmen. We almost always have acute renovation or construction needs in at least one project, so volunteers in this area are always welcome. If you have specific skills, please contact us directly so that we can find a suitable place for you to work. Participation in construction projects is only possible after a successful fundraising campaign. Building materials are much cheaper in Tanzania than in western countries, so a lot can be achieved with comparatively little.
Your advantages with STEP Africa
Your stay in Tanzania should be beneficial and meaningful for yourself as well as for your project. We will therefore provide you with intensive support right from the start. With the help of our volunteer guidebook you will be able to prepare for your assignment step by step. We are always there for you and can provide you with advice and hands-on support in case of any questions or unexpected problems. Our team is in regular and personal contact with all of our projects. This is the only way we can ensure that sustainable work is done and that you as a volunteer are in best hands.
Our Volunteer Program - Explained Step by Step
You can sign up for the STEP volunteer program online using our application form. Before you register you should think about your desired field of work and specify your expectations and wishes for your stay in Tanzania. This way we will get an idea of which project(s) will best suit you.
Please note that our arrival days are always Thursdays and our departure days are always Wednesdays and you should plan your travels accordingly.
Our volunteers can choose between accommodation in one of our STEP Africa Hostels and accommodation in one of our two lovely host families. Our volunteer houses are located in Njiro district, Arusha in a central location with good access to projects and shops for daily needs but still outside the stressful city centre. They are a retreat for our volunteers and their home away from home during their time in Tanzania. In the houses, everyone finds like-minded people and our team is always available to answer questions, give ideas or just to have a chat with. STEP volunteers are also housed together in the host families and can get to know life in a Tanzanian family at first hand.