How do I know KATz is a legitimate International Volunteer Business?
KATz Volunteer Adventure is a registered business in Tanzania. The (KATz) Business Registration Number is 205617. Although we are registered in Tanzania, our primary business account is in Australia through the National Australia Bank. We will not be requesting you deposit any money into an offshore account, and with Australian banking standards as strict as they are these days you would have no problem tracking us down, if you needed to! For any volunteers not based in Australia, we have a HSBC account in the UK whose standards are equally as strict as Australia’s and then theres the PayPal consumer security which is not too shabby either. We have a previous volunteer based in Sydney who is happy to meet locally for a coffee and a chat. And…… if you’re still not convinced! Drop us a line (or email us with your details and we will call you). Give us the third degree. We’ll even talk to your folks!
Why do I have to pay to volunteer?
It’s quite surprising when you first learn you need to pay to volunteer! After all, isn’t it time that your offering? Your time is extremely valuable and certainly a vital part of making a difference within the community where you are placed however there are several other aspects to consider when volunteering internationally. Accommodation, food, airport and placement transfers, local wages and administration costs are the financial components which make up your placement fee.
Why are the KATz placement fees more affordable than many other Volunteer Organisations?
Because we are a small team based in, and offering placements exclusively to, Tanzania. This means we do not have western administration and wage expenses (and no harbour view offices for our staff)
Where do my Fees go?
Your fees are spent on accommodation and associated placement costs such as food, laundry and local wages. Minimal administration costs also make up part of the program fee’s and these include the running and maintenance of the company vehicle, petrol, phone, Internet and next-to-nothing marketing costs. While admin costs are a pain there are absolutely no organisations, businesses or companies out there that can survive without them. At least with KATz you can rest assured that all the admin costs are being spent right here in Tanzania and contributing to the struggling economy. You can also feel a little better knowing that the wages are contributing to locals being able to sustain their basic human rights such as food, education and health care (and not on fancy clothes or nice cars).
How do I know my money will be spent as indicated?
Being in Tanzania and having a very personal relationship with the staff of KATz will allow you insights into the way we operate and the way our staff live. You will also discover the general costs of living and see the value of all KATz achievements within the community. You can compare our costs to other programme costs and see that we are right down there with the lowest fees charged for a volunteer experience. And….. if you’re still not sure your very welcome to visit the small out of town rental that is home to the (founder) director. Using their local ‘squat’ toilet and having a bucket shower (as they do every evening) should be all the convincing you need that your fees are making it to the right places!
Will I be safe?
Yes. Tanzania is known for being one of the most politically stable countries in Africa, so much so that we moved here ourselves! The KATz team will be right here alongside you offering support and ensuring your safety for the duration of your placement. That said, as with all countries ridden with poverty and desperation, theft can be a common occurrence which is why we have included a comprehensive guide on safety around town, in the Volunteer Manual. While Tanzania is internationally recognised for its political stability, with neighbouring countries such as Kenya and Rwanda in constant conflict, the KATz manual includes an up to date Risk Management plan with emergency evacuation procedures to cover any what-if situations.
Do I need to be 18 to volunteer?
Yes, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Can I volunteer if I am not from Australia?
Definitely. KATz welcomes volunteers from countries all over the world.
Do I need specific skills to volunteer?
No. Most of our placements have been established with no specific skill set in mind so that no one is excluded the opportunity to volunteer. That said, placements are very personal and not every placement suits everyone so be sure to read the placement particulars information sheets before making your final decision. Please note that a teaching background or TEFL at the very least is required for Secondary school placements (only) as the levels of understanding are greater.
Do I need to have TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) certification for the teaching placements?
No however with any placement you really get out what you put in, so while we do not require you to have the TEFL certificate it may be worth considering anyway. Bear in mind that the language barrier will be a challenge on most placements so reducing any other challenges, like the basic fundamentals of teaching, will make your placement that little bit easier. That said, the decision is entirely yours to make.
What will happen once I arrive?
Once you arrive, one of the KATz team will greet you at the airport (or the bus terminal if arriving from Dar es Salaam or Nairobi) and take you to the KATz Guesthouse (or your host daily accommodation). From there, we will play it by ear depending on how you feel after your flight. Over the course of your first two days in Tanzania you will be given a tour of the town and receive your induction and a warm welcome to Arusha and your new ‘home away from home’. Following your Arusha orientation, you will then be taken to your placement site and settled in before your placement commences. If you arrive mid week (on teaching and some orphanage placements), please consider that your placement will not be able to commence until the start of the following week as there is no school on the weekends.
What if I don’t like my placement?
Before you arrive in Tanzania, every measure is taken to ensure that you are compatible with your placement and as much as possible, know what to expect, so we can be sure you will, not only like your placement, but Love it. That said we completely understand that actually being in Tanzania, on placement often feels very different to how you imagined from the comfort of your home. If you are really struggling with your selected placement and we are unable to find a resolve that will see you enjoy the remainder of your program then we will assist you in finding something more suitable.
Can I volunteer with a friend/partner or in a group?
Yes. We can accommodate groups and couples or friends and family. Some placements have limited availability so please contact us to clarify before setting your heart on a specific placement.
Will I be working with other volunteers?
This completely depends on the time of year, the placement and individual preference. For example if you are staying with a host family they may only have enough space for one volunteer, or if you are volunteering during a quiet time you may be the only volunteer on that particular placement. Just let us know your preference before you select a placement and we will try to accommodate your requests.