Tanzania|Volunteering in Africa

Before I went to Tanzania, I didn’t thought about that I can do volunteering over there as I think for this kind of activity, you always have to go with an organisation. Until I met Nicas in a Facebook group called “Africa Backpackers”. I had a few post over there asked for people’s suggestion on travel in Africa. Nicas sent me a message told me that he host people couchsurfing in his house, they help people arrange some local tour or even Kilimanjaro hike. The most important is he have a school that help the local kids learning, and they always need volunteers. That’s how I started to communicate with Nicas. He gave me lots of useful information whether is regarding to living condition over there and some tips of travelling in Tanzania.

Sharon-she’s one of talented kids who’s really good at drawing colour!!

During our conversation, I can tell that Nicas is a well educated person. Someone who’s dream big that hoping he can contribute a lot to help his community. It didn’t took me too long to considering, then decide that I’m going to couchsurfing his house. We’ve been keep in contact before I off to Tanzania. For me, Nicas is already like a friend before we met in person. 

On the day I arrive in Moshi, I took 10hrs bus ride from Morogoro. Because of the staff on the bus couldn’t speak English at all. I asked Nicas to wrote me a message in Swahili so that I can show the message to the bus staff to drop me off at the right location. Nicas can pick me up from there. When the bus dropped me off, Nicas already waited there. We also went pick up another Greek girl who’s arrived the same day-Maria. I was lucky to met such an amazing girl during my stay in Moshi.

Next day in the morning, we went to the school waiting for the kids coming. They were all curious about us, these what they so called “Muzungu” (Swahili: Foreigner). And kids looks so shy, but I can tell from their eyes that they wanted to play to us. So I decide to make the first approach, I use the gesture to told them it’s ok to get closer, sit next to me. A few girls came to sit on my laps, playing my hairs. These kids are all under age 5, Nicas’ school teach these kids some basic knowledge, numbers, English…etc to help them to get ready to the primary school. 

Both girls on the left are Anna and then it’s Aisha (I tried hard to remember their name….)

I can’t tell you how adorable these kids are. They’re absolutely naive. Unlike the kids from modern countries. Been access the internet way too early, as a result that many parents have to use the mobile to comfort kids. In Tanzania, many people don’t even have a phone, don’t be mentioned about only a few has smart phone. Kids are just playing around on the street. It would makes you feel that, they have very little things but still live happy while we have so many, but still complaining about everything in our life! 

Nicas tried to let every kids in school have uniform to wear.

Everyday, when these kids see us in the school, they love to came and hug you, hold your hands. Sometimes, each of my arm have 2 or 3 kids, they’re happy even they just touch you a little bit. I tried to give them as much hug as I could. Also, I have a task that I need to take as many photos for the kids as possible. I told Nicas that there’re not much I can do, but the least I can help is I would like to write an blog post for his school. If that can help more people understand more detail about his school.

My cute Anna, always smiling to me. No doubt this is my favourite portrait in this trip!

All the staff are very friendly in Nicas’ school. Even some of them can’t speak English. Henry is one of them, we love to sit in front of his shop talk. And he like to talk about his dream, how to make the shop nicer. And Nicas told us about the current problem in the country. Why he want to started his school at the first place. In the future, school will have electricity, so in the evening people can come to school to learn some technology stuff or have meeting there. Currently, due to many people they don’t have the way to access the internet, don’t know what’s the world like out there. Church made people believe that the miracle can bring a blind people see the thing again. (Yeah, sounds like Taiwan long long time ago, some religion use this kind of stuff fraud people.) And all Nicas family are really nice. Helping to prepared snacks for the kids every morning. Also make food for us sometimes. 

Kids’ favourite–Tea time.
Nicas’ staffs and family work up early everyday to make bread for kids. Kids go home at noon, and many of them have to wait until evening when parents back from work to be able to have food to eat. Nicas also hope to provide lunch for kids in the future.
(That also require fund )

Other than that, Nicas also helping on a project called Eezer. It was invented by a European, the trolly can hook behind of a motorcycle. Mainly use it for take pregnant woman or elderly who live in a remote village to the hospital. Because the maternal mortality and infant mortality still very high in Tanzania. Many pregnant women never go to the hospital before they deliver the baby. And ambulance won’t reach the remote area like this. That’s how this project idea came from. 

Nicas also helping local artist selling their painting. Ship worldwide. And the small portion of profit will goes to Nicas school. I bought 2 paintings that I really really love it. And they’re all not expensive at all. But looks really nice. 

Kids are playing one of their favourite –Jump like Massai !!!

I wish that I could’ve stayed in Moshi for longer. 1 week is just too short!! When I already get to know everyone, then I’ll have to leave. If you have time, I recommend you stay longer. It was sad that have to said goodbye to everyone. But I believe if we want, we’ll see each other again one day in the future!! 

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in volunteering for Nicas’ school. There’re a few way you can get in contact him. 

Tripadvisor: https://reurl.cc/Or43r

Instagram: https://reurl.cc/ReXGG  (nicas_education_kilimanjaro)

He help people arrange local tour, Kilimanjaro hike, safari. And part of profit will goes to support the free school. It’s not difficult to do volunteering in Tanzania at all, and not expensive. Unless you need the certification to proof that you’ve been volunteering, otherwise, there’s no need to apply for the volunteer visa (USD 200). Tourist visa is only USD 50.

The highlight video that I made for my solo travel in Tanzania

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