Orphanage Placements

General Overview There is a high demand for orphanages throughout Tanzania due to the overwhelming number of children left behind when their parents pass away due to illness and disease, including HIV. There are two main types of orphanages throughout Tanzania, day orphanages and boarding orphanages. The day orphanages which are most common are run like schools where children attend during the day and go home to stay with family friends or relatives in the afternoon. Children are sent to these orphanages (prior to school) as their carers are unable to look after them during the day. Boarding orphanages run around the clock and are usually overcrowded and understaffed due to high demand and the expenses associated with running them. Volunteers are able to feed the children, teach basic English, arts and crafts, sports and games and assist with the overall care of the children. Orphanage work can be quite confronting but is very rewarding and the often neglected children just love being showered with attention and cuddles.

Day Orphanages KATz combines day Orphanage placements and Nursery placements as the overall structure, general operation and volunteer roles are the same along with the primary focus being Teaching English. If you are considering a day orphanage placement then please visit the Teaching Placements page for a general overview. Note also that most volunteer organisations do not combine the two so when researching be sure to find out exactly what roles you will be carrying out, especially if you have your heart set on care work within a boarding orphanage.

Boarding Orphanages The boarding orphanages differ greatly from one to the next. Some are well established but heavily rely on volunteer support for their day-to-day operations while others are independently run by locals making them very understaffed and under-resourced. All orphanages have been selected by KATz where volunteer assistance has a very direct and obvious impact. Availability along with individual preference will be important factors in final placement selection.

Orphanage Placements available


Cradle is situated in USA river (approximately 25 minutes out of Arusha town). The babies home has been in operation since the End of 2005 and is intended for short-term care, usually 2 -3 years, after which time the children are returned to a relative or family member who is able to care for the child. Many of the children find their way to the home when their mothers die during (or shortly after) childbirth. Fathers and family members left behind are often unable to care for the infants or meet their nutritional requirements but they are encouraged to make regular visits to the home and assist in the care of their child. There are some cases where the children have no family members to care for them so the centre works with social services to find a suitable family for adoption.



Sam’s Village Orphanage is a set in a beautiful area known as Moshono. The orphanage is host to 25 kids ranging in age from babies to teens. The kids attend various schools during the morning so volunteer placements here commence after lunch. Volunteers have the opportunity to teach English, assist with homework, tuition and reading as well as playing games with the kids, who just love the attention.


Ujamaa Children’s Home

Ujamaa Children’s home was founded in 2009 by an Auzzie woman Carley Andrews. It was Carley’s vision to set up a Children’s home that is not just another orphanage and instead offers the children a family, where the kids can grow up in a safe, healthy and caring environment and she has achieved exactly that. The children’s home has 10 of the most gorgeous kids you could ever meet who will remain in your heart long after you leave Tanzanian soil. They are currently in the process of building a wonderful home of their own and once the building is completed they will be looking to expand their wonderful little family to 20 children. As the kids are all at school during the day placements here are offered in the afternoons, commencing at 2pm, on the weekends or during the school holidays in April/August and December



WIL is a Community centre offering free daycare to children coming from a variety of troublesome backgrounds in the Moshono area. The centre was started in 2012 by an American woman named Aubree who wanted to offer support to children who were at risk of ending up in orphanages. The centre offer’s free education and daycare to children coming from single parent families, kids living with elderly relatives and those living in poverty who are unable to provide adequate food and care for their child/ren. The idea behind the centre is to prevent kids ending up in institutionalised care and keep them with their families whilst ensuring their health and safety needs are met. The kids range in age from babies to school aged kids and duties at the centre include caring for the babies and teaching the toddlers in the Nursery class on site. There are opportunities to help out with the administration of the newly founded NGO as there is always plenty to get in the day to day operation of the place.

Children’s Village of Arusha (and Karatu)

The Arusha Branch of the Children’s village is based in Njiro and home to 38 kids ranging in age from 18 months to 15 years of age. They are a Christian affiliated orphanage although they welcome volunteers of any faith or religious background. The kids have many nannies who take care of the day to day operation of the orphanage so volunteers can take time out to love on the kids, play games with them, enjoy arts and crafts with them and implement new activities. The founders are an American couple who welcome new ideas and love volunteers to be as creative as possible during their time at the home. They are more than happy to receive assistance in some of the administration duties at the home as well as providing the nannies with new ideas on interactive learning techniques and tuition support for the kids.

The Karatu branch has a babies home that is fully operational, which is home to 32 bubs. They are still in the process of building the children’s village which will eventually be home to 260 children. The vision is that, once fully operational there will be a cluster of houses, each home to 12 children and a house mama or house parents who will take care of the kids as their own family. Karatu is a village approximately 2 hours out of Arusha, which is a beautiful village that struggles with poverty and prostitution and as a result many children are unable to be cared for or are left to fend for themselves from a young age. 

3 thoughts on “Orphanage Placements

  1. I would thoroughly recommend going with Katz for your volunteer experience in Tanzania. They are a smaller company than most and this means that they can offer excellent one-one advice and support once you are in Tanzania, unlike many of the bigger, well known companies that do not offer the same level of care and have no staff ‘on the ground’. Jodie and Kelvin are a lovely couple- friendly, kind and always on hand to chat, explain cultural differences or help you to organise once in a life time Safari trips, mountain treks or holidays on Zanzibar.
    They made great hosts and I really enjoyed living in the Katz guesthouse with them – good food (go to Tanzania just for the chappattis, you will not regret it!), comfortable living space and beds and the extra security that you would not get living on your own. The Katz placements that I did were great. The children were lovely and I thoroughly enjoyed working with them. I gained many new skills, learning how to change a nappy and provide basic care for infants, as well as how to lead a class of young children, keep them entertained and in control.
    On a different note, Arusha is a lovely town and a great part of Tanzania to visit. The climate is hot, but not uncomfortably humid like many areas on the coast – there is always a breeze from nearby Mount Kilimanjaro to cool you down. The town is very beautiful in areas, with wide, tree-lined avenues and nice buildings. There are many lovely bars and restaurants in Arusha too. Via Via is always a good shout, with a live band playing music every thursday evening if dancing is your thing. The Arusha Hotel has a lovely pool which is open to the public and the Mount Meru Hotel has a great bar with amazing sofas if you feel like relaxing. And the Milk and Honey restaurant is well worth a visit if you want to sample some local dishes. There are also many internet cafes in Arusha providing both desktop computers and wireless if you have your own computer. They invariably serve very good coffee too!
    Public transport is cheap and very regular – never did I wait more than 10 minutes for a dala dala (the bus) to appear. I would also recommend the natural history museum if you want to find out more about Tanzania’s colonial history – try and blag a ‘volunteer discount’…it sometimes works! There is a thriving volunteer scene in Arusha – you will definitely meet other volunteers if you go to Via Via on a thursday night and there are usually other volunteers at the placement who are keen to go on tours around the local area.
    Maji-moto is a great destination for a day-trip. A wonderful natural hot spring 45 minutes from Arusha, you can take a dip in the morning before stopping for a traditional lunch of chips mayai (a chip omlette – actually delicious!), perhaps taking another dip in the afternoon, before heading back to Arusha. Watch out for Mount Kilimanjaro if you go – we could just about make out its snow-topped peaks on our return trip.
    Overall, I had a brilliant time on my Katz placement. The pre-departure advice was excellent and I always felt secure in my choice to go with Katz. They provided good advice on travel, helping me to book it, and I didn’t feel at all daunted by what could have been a very scary experience traveling from England to Tanzania. I think Katz is a good choice both for people who haven’t volunteered in a foreign country before and want the extra support, and for experienced volunteers who want a good introduction to the area (Katz provides a very good town- orientation).
    Arusha is a good choice for your stay in Tanzania too- the locals are very very friendly, always willing to chat and help you if you get lost (like I did, many times!), and tend to have a good level of English because Arusha is a popular tourist destination for safaris due to its close proximity to the Serengeti. If you get the chance, do Safari – you can book this through Katz too. To conclude, choose Katz!
    Sophie, Orphanage Volunteer Placement Sept/Oct 2012

  2. Back in 2008, I set of on a journey that I will never forget; I found myself in Tanzania and along the way met some amazing people, Jodie being one of these people.

    Jodie and I spent time in a small Maasai community outside of Arusha and this is where I really got to know Jodie and learn about her strong passion for helping others in need. She is a person that you will never forget.

    As a team, Jodie and Kelvin bring together the knowledge and experience that comes with being a ‘local’ in the community and Jodie’s experience as a volunteer allows her to offer other above and beyond the experience she had.

    I can guarantee that your experience with the KATz team will take you under their wing and ensure that your African experience is all that you have hoped for and more. There is so much on offer from the one company that you will not be disappointed.

    You will leave Africa and the Team at KATz yearning to return in the future.

  3. “I just arrived back in Sydney about an hour ago, and I just wanted to email you to say a huge thanks….
    I have the most incredible memories from the time I spent in Arusha, both at the orphanage and out and about in town. The trip exceeded any expectations I ever had and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the same program to friends and family. Thanks so much for everything you and Kelvin did to make the trip as smooth and enjoyable as possible, both before my trip and after. Everything you did meant the world to me and I can’t thank you enough. I would love to keep in touch…

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