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Tanzania Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

General

1. How long has your organization been accepting participants on the program? How many do you normally host at one given time?
2. What is your maximum capacity for volunteers?
3. What countries do your volunteers come from?
4. Do you receive volunteers from other sending organizations? Which ones?
5. What are your minimum and maximum age requirements? What is the average age of your participants?
6. What skills do you require/prefer in participants?
7. How many staff do you employ and what are your general roles?

Programme

1. What is the procedure for participant to arrive in host community? Does your organization assist with airport transfers?
2. Do volunteers receive an orientation? Who gives it? Where is it held? What topics are covered?
3. What do the first few days of the program look like?
4. What activities can volunteers participate in to feel more socially integrated into the community?
5. How is the local support network configured? What is the procedure for a student to get in touch with your staff?
6. How often do staff check in with volunteers? Is it on a scheduled or a case-by-case basis?

Accommodation/Host Family

1. What are the accommodations for volunteers (Homestay/hostel/apartment/guest house)?
2. If hostel, apartment or guest house, please describe the facilities:
3. If homestay, please describe the typical host family?
4. How are the families screened and chosen?
5. Is there typically more than one participant per host family/per room?
6. Are participants expected to cook your own meals or are meals provided? If volunteers are expected to cook your own, where can you shop for supplies?
7. What facilities are available for laundry?
8. What happens if a volunteer feels uncomfortable in his or her host family/accommodation? What steps do you take to solve the problem?

Volunteer Programs

1. What are the types of projects available to volunteers? How do you match volunteers with projects?
2. What projects are the most popular?
3. Do volunteers receive any training?
4. What type of volunteers would best thrive on this program? What are the conditions? (Extreme, rustic, intensive manual labor, isolated, community oriented, etc)
5. What challenges do volunteers typically face on the program?
6. Is there a project supervisor on site that the volunteer can go to with questions/concerns?
7. What are some helpful hints to tell volunteers before arriving?
8. Is there anything volunteers should bring with them (supplies, books, etc)?

Safety

1. Are there safety concerns volunteers should be aware of?
2. What medical facilities are available in the area? How far away are you from the project? What is the travel time from the project site to the medical facility?
3. What procedure should the participant follow if he or she is experiencing an emergency?
4. If the project is located in a rural area, what mechanisms are in place to ensure the participant’s safety and well being?
5. What is the safest way for volunteers to get around the city/town?
6. What is the risk management plan in case of emergencies with a volunteer or in the country?

General

1. How long has your organization been accepting participants on the program? How many do you normally host at one given time?

Since Jan, 2008. Approximately 9 volunteers per month

2. What is your maximum capacity for volunteers?

The maximum capacity for now is 25 volunteers per month

3. What countries do your volunteers come from?

So far we receive volunteers from the UK, USA, German, Canada and Australia.

4. Do you receive volunteers from other sending organizations? Which ones?

Yes e.g. GVP - UK, Michigan State University and ADRA International.

5. What are your minimum and maximum age requirements? What is the average age of your participants?

Age Requirement: Min 18 years and Maximum 80 years of age

Average Age: 24 years

6. What skills do you require/prefer in participants?

We require those who are skilled in Education, Nursing, Medical, Orphanage, law, Journalism, Environment keeping and Sports and those who have the ambition to venture in such areas

7. How many staff do you employ and what are your general roles?

You are 3 workers who constitute the team of our staff. These include the Project Manager, Financial Controller and Office Supervisor.

Program

1. What is the procedure for participant to arrive in host community? Does your organization assist with airport transfers?

Provision is made for:

  • Airport pick up to and fro
  • Taking participant to place of residence
  • Induction in office
  • Orientation at work place

2. Do volunteers receive an orientation? Who gives it? Where is it held? What topics are covered?

Yes (see above). The Project Manager is responsible for the orientation.

TOPIC COVERED: Contact Us, Tanzanian Culture, The dos and don’ts while in Tanzania, Placement, Safaris, Financial issues and Health and Safety Issues.

3. What do the first few days of the program look like?

Induction Week at any given placement (familiarization).

4. What activities can volunteers participate in to feel more socially integrated into the community?

Swahili Program which is offered at a regular interval: learning to know the abcs of the indigenous language, shopping activities, tourism and clubbing.

5. How is the local support network configured? What is the procedure for a student to get in touch with your staff?

There is full access to GVP staff via telephone, emails and office visitation.

6. How often do staff check in with volunteers? Is it on a scheduled or a case-by-case basis?

  • Check is done as per master plan system at least twice a month
  • Any other checks can be conducted if need be.
  • Evaluation forms are issued.

Accommodation/Host Family

1. What are the accommodations for volunteers (Homestay/hostel/apartment/guest house)?

The majority of volunteers stay in our group accommodation but occasionally people stay with families in homestays. Hostel accommodation can also be arranged if prefered.

2. If hostel, apartment or guest house, please describe the facilities:

Full furnished with hot shower, western toilets, self catering or catered by a professional cook.

3. If homestay, please describe the typical host family:

Well trusted, friendly and sizable family members.

4. How are the families screened and chosen?

  • Highly selected based on your PR in the community
  • Conducive environment based on previous experience on hosting volunteers.

5. Is there typically more than one participant per host family/per room?

The ideal rationale is one volunteer per room but you are at liberty to share.

6. Are participants expected to cook your own meals or are meals provided? If volunteers are expected to cook your own, where can you shop for supplies?

Unless you prefer self catering otherwise all meals are cooked for them. Shopping dukas and markets are readily available nearby.

7. What facilities are available for laundry?

Laundry services are available but not in the house.

8. What happens if a volunteer feels uncomfortable in his or her host family/accommodation? What steps do you take to solve the problem?

In case of discomfort in the host family we relocate the participant.

Volunteer Programs

1. What are the types of projects available to volunteers? How do you match volunteers with projects?

Refer answers from section A question 6. Your application pack gives us the idea where to locate them but we also consider your priorities.

2. What projects are the most popular?

Nursing, Orphanage and Teaching.

3. Do volunteers receive any training?

A brief Training is done through the Orientation Week

4. What type of volunteers would best thrive on this program? What are the conditions? (Extreme, rustic, intensive manual labor, isolated, community oriented, etc)

Community oriented sort of volunteering services have caught the attention of many organizations who accept working in collaboration with us.

Local collaboration is made between GVP, Tanzania and institution within the community where volunteers will provide your volunteering services and once the agreement is reached MoU is made and signed.

5. What challenges do volunteers typically face on the program?

Challenges:

  • Language barrier: in Tanzania Swahili is a formal language therefore most of our people do not communicate in English which is a formal language for most of the volunteers.
  • Work Permit: When document required for work permit processing are not submitted in time may delay the process of getting and formalizing the placement.
  • Transport: Volunteers usually pay for your transport to and from work but the transportation system is not well structured as it is in the west.
  • Cultural shock: some volunteers find it hard to acclimatize to some of our cultures.

6. Is there a project supervisor on site that the volunteer can go to with questions/concerns?

The answer is Yes.

7. What are some helpful hints to tell volunteers before arriving?

PLANNING FOR YOUR STAY

Learning About your Destination

It’s important to learn about the history, culture, and background of the people you will work with during the program. A good method is to obtain a travel guidebook, such as one of the Lonely Planet series, and study the cultural and historical sections.

You should learn as much as possible from those you come in contact with.

Climate and Weather

For a general idea of the climate to expect in Tanzania, You need to visit www.climate-zone.com. For international weather forecasts and current conditions, visit Weather.yahoo.com or www.intellicast.com.

Money and Credit Cards

Currency exchange rates can be found at www.xe.com/ucc/full.shtml. You should be aware that the rate you actually receive will normally be a bit worse than shown on the website. Ask for advice from your contact person at the institution before exchanging large amounts of money.

Banks normally provide better exchange rates than hotels. You will always receive the best rate when changing clean, recently printed large bills. The exchange rate for cash is normally better than for Travelers Checks, which sometimes can only be changed at banks for a fee.

Credit cards are accepted in Tanzania but it takes time before you are cleared for use, and ATMs are available at many banks. If you do bring a credit card, you need to be sure to inform the issuing bank about your travel plans. Otherwise you may deactivate your card to prevent fraud.

It is safer to use a money belt rather than a purse or wallet. You should protect your return airline tickets and passport as if you were cash.

Internet Access and Phone Calls

Email is an easy way to maintain contact with family and friends while in Tanzania. Internet café service is available.

You may also be able to use a calling card provided by your home long distance carrier, however this method can be quite expensive.

Appropriate Conduct

You will be expected to respect people and your cultures.

Health AND Safety

Vaccinations and Anti malarial Drugs

You should remember that it is possible to contract a disease during a short trip. It is wiser to be cautious and think preventatively. Consult your GP or doctor or local public health department about which vaccinations to receive before travelling. Recommendations can be found at www.tripprep.com and www.cdc.gov/travel.

Malaria is a potentially fatal disease that is endemic in many warm parts of the world.

Country-specific information is available at the websites listed above or from your local public health department. Malaria is a risk in Tanzania, you should see your GP or doctor about a prescription for a prophylactic drug such as Larium or Malarone. You should remember to take these drugs with food.

You should take your anti malarial drugs as prescribed. The risk of potential side effects is far less than the risk you face if you happen to contract malaria. Of course, the best defense against malaria is to avoid mosquito bites. You should also bring repellent and use it liberally, especially at dawn and dusk.

Food, Water, and Upset Stomach

Food that is cooked or peeled is normally safe. You should beware of salads, fruit juices mixed with unpurified water, and ice cream that may have thawed and been refrozen. You should assume all tap water is unsafe, including ice in drinks and therefore, drink only purified water or prepackaged drinks.

Bottled water can be purchased in most places in Tanzania.

Even if you are careful, upset stomach is still likely at some point during your travel.

You should remember to keep drinking plenty of fluids. Foods like bananas, rice, and apples, and natural remedies like charcoal can often help. Imodium or similar medications can stop diarrhea temporarily, though a complete course of an antibiotic such as Cipro is generally a more effective treatment. You should remember consulting your GP or doctor about these and other remedies before leaving home.

Sickness and Emergencies

In case of sickness or accident, you should seek treatment locally and save any medical expense receipts for insurance reimbursement. If You become more than mildly ill, alerting the Coordinator of GVP, Tanzania or send an email at gvptanzania@gmail.com or call at +255 754 724 398 is necessary.

Travel Insurance

We advise that all participants purchase short term insurance for the duration of your stay.

Safety

Perhaps the greatest potential risk you will face in Tanzania is being struck by a vehicle. Be extremely careful when crossing the street. Also, we discourage making any side- trips without prior consultation with the GVP, Tanzania management.

Risk is an inherent part of travel, and ensuring absolute safety under all circumstances is simply not possible. Before volunteers decide to travel we advise our partners to prepare Release, Indemnity and Assumption of Risk Agreement form for them to sign.

8. Is there anything volunteers should bring with them (supplies, books, etc)?

 

Things to Pack

As you pack, keep in mind your airline’s baggage weight allowance. In addition to clothing, toiletries, and personal medications, you may wish to include:

  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Hand soap
  • Emergency toilet paper
  • Small flashlight
  • Bag of powdered laundry soap
  • Antibacterial gel for hand washing
  • Dual-voltage travel iron
  • Dual-voltage hair dryer
  • Snacks, such as dried fruit and nuts, granola bars, wheat crackers, etc.
  • First Aid supplies (bandages, antibacterial cream, aspirin, etc.)
  • Charcoal tablets, Imodium, and Cipro

Safety

1. Are there safety concerns volunteers should be aware of?

Included in no. 7 above

2. What medical facilities are available in the area? How far away are you from the project? What is the travel time from the project site to the medical facility?

We locate volunteers in a reachable area to medical facilities approximately 10 minutes walk (Town Area).

Rural Area: approximately 30 minutes drive. Our GVP, Tanzania car is standby in case of emergence.

3. What procedure should the participant follow if he or she is experiencing an emergency?

We advice them to contact GVP, Tanzania Staff or Report to the nearby police station or home embassy office.

4. If the project is located in a rural area, what mechanisms are in place to ensure the participant’s safety and well being?

All our placements are well connected with transport facilities, police post and all kind telephone, cell phone communications.

5. What is the safest way for volunteers to get around the city/town?

Public transport famous by the name of Daladala is the commonly used by our volunteers, walking and cycling. However, advice is provided to them to use taxi during the night when you are late out of your rooms.

6. What is the risk management plan in case of emergencies with a volunteer or in the country?

Included in no. 7 above.

 

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