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.
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.