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FAQ

Please refer to the TAMIHA Volunteer Guidebook for more information about our programs and student sponsorship.

SAFETY
How can you re-assure me that it will be safe?
Is there anything I can do to ensure my own safety?
Any words of advice?

HEALTH
Which vaccinations should I get?
Should I get travel health insurance?

VOLUNTEERING
Will I be useful?
Can I volunteer for only a few weeks?
Are there set start dates?
Are a few months too long?
How far in advance do I need to apply for a volunteer placement?
Do I need a Visa or Work Permit?
Is there anything I can bring with me for TAMIHA?

COST OF VOLUNTEERING
How does my money get spent?

LOCAL LIFE
Is there internet?
Is there a phone?
Is there laundry?
Are there grocery stores near by?
Can I make my own food at the homestay?
Can I get my own room or do I need to share?
Can you help me arrange a hike or a safari?
Are there ATM machines?
How can I get from Usa River to Arusha?

AIRPORT
Which airport should I fly into?
Will someone meet me at the airport?

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SAFETY

How can you re-assure me that it will be safe?  Tanzania, especially Usa River, are very peaceful places and security is rarely an issue.  Despite this we do all we can to ensure your safety.  Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) we will pick you up and drive you to your homestay.  You will be staying at Crispin’s home with his family.  His family or TAMIHA staff will take you around Usa River and Arusha for an orientation tour to familiarize  you with your surroundings.  The homestay gates and doors are locked at night and a security guard watches over the house.  We are happy to walk with you around Usa River if it makes you feel safer though you will see after a few days that this is not an issue.  We will be available 24/7 to answer all your security questions and concerns.

Is there anything I can do to ensure my own safety?  Yes.  Though we’ll do our best to keep you safe you are more in charge of your own safety than we are.  Bring a money belt to put your passport and money in.  Keep your money belt hidden under your clothes.  Don’t walk around with lots of cash.  Don’t pull out large sums of money in front of locals.  Its rude and disrespectful.  Don’t walk around at night – especially by yourself.  Do not wear jewelry or expensive clothing.  Do your best to blend in.  Do be humble – and a smile goes a long way. 

Any words of advice?  Please keep in mind that this is Africa and most things don’t necessarily run smoothly or on time.  It is of utmost importance that you mentally prepare yourself before you come.  Patience and acceptance of the unexpected will make your life a lot easier. 

HEALTH 

Which vaccinations should I get? Yellow Fever vaccination is legally required to enter the country.  Malaria pills are highly recommended.  Polio, Hep A, Hep B, Diphtheria/Tetanus, Typhoid, Tuberculosis and Cholera vaccinations are a good idea.  Discuss with your local travel clinic for the most up to date list of required vaccinations.

Should I get travel health insurance? We strongly suggest you make arrangements to have travel health insurance during your stay in Tanzania.  TAMIHA does not offer travel insurance.

VOLUNTEERING

Will I be useful? That depends on you.  When you come here just take a look around. There is a lot that needs to be done.  In addition to your daily responsibilities pick something that you see is missing and make it your own project.  Don’t give money to someone to get it done – do it yourself.  Pick a manageable size project for the time that you are here.  When you leave your project will be the legacy you leave behind. 

Can I volunteer for only a few weeks? Absolutely.  Its not the duration of time you’re here but the quality of work and amount of heart you put into your work.  We have had volunteers who have stayed for only a few weeks but had tremendous impact.  We need your help even if its for a short period of time.

Are there set start dates? No.  We are flexible and do our best to accommodate your schedule.  You may come and go as you please. However, you must communicate and coordinate with us for the purpose of airport pickup.

Are a few months too long? Absolutely not.  We strongly encourage long term stays.

How far in advance do I need to apply for a volunteer placement?  Plane tickets are expensive so we suggest you plan far in advance.  For registration purposes we need to have received your payment (50% of the overall fee) one month prior to your start date.  Fee Schedule 

Do I need a Visa or Work Permit?

Please note that a work permit is required to volunteer in Tanzania.  The cost of the work permit is $550 USD.  If you have a work permit you DO NOT NEED A VISA.  We work with immigration to get you the work permit prior to your departure.  When you enter the country just show your work permit at immigration and you will be permitted to enter the country.  We can be fined up to $400 USD for having volunteers without work permits.

FYI: A Visa can be obtained upon arrival Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).  The process takes a few minutes and is quite hassle free.  The cost is $100 for US nationals and $50 for other nationalities.  Check with the Tanzanian high commission in your own country for more details.

 Is there anything I can bring with me for TAMIHA? We certainly could use computers – especially laptops.  We do not need the latest technology but please do not bring electronic equipment that will break down in a few months.  Africa seems to be the final destination for the world’s unwanted electronics.  We do not want to contribute more to the landfills.  A well functioning laptop would be very useful.  English, French, Spanish or other language books would be great.  Anything that you imagine might teach our orphans, youth and widows new skills would be useful.

COST OF VOLUNTEERING

How does my money get spent? 
 Your money pays for:

  • Pre-arrival administrative fees
  • Airport pickup
  • Orientation program (including Swahili lessons)
  • Your food and accommodations
  • Rent and utilities for the orphanage and vocational school buildings
  • Wages paid to our qualified teachers
  • Food for the orphans, widows and HIV patients
  • Supplies for the orphanage and vocational school
  • Fees for starting new projects in neighboring towns

Our goal is to be self-reliant and sustainable; however, we are still a very young organization and therefore need financial assistance to build a strong foundation.  The financial support and volunteering you provide are absolutely vital to the survival of our organization.

LOCAL LIFE

Is there internet? Internet is available at 3 different locations in Usa River (approximately 20 minute walk from your homestay) and at numerous locations in Arusha.  Internet connection can be intermittent and slow compared to western standards. 

Is there a phone? During your orientation we will take you into Arusha town and help you buy a phone.  You can purchase a Vodafon cell phone for approximately $35USD.  Then you can buy cards in $5, $10, $20 denominations for airtime.  Using a phone is quite easy and reliable in Tanzania. 

Is there laundry? There are no laundry machines.  You can either wash your own clothes by hand or hire a local who would be more than happy to wash your clothes for a fee.  Out of respect do not ask locals to wash your private garments.

Are there grocery stores near by?  There are super markets in Arusha that are similar to western supermarkets.  The prices are quite high.  In Usa River there are shops and vegetable stands where you can purchase most staple food items.

Can I make my own food at the homestay? Absolutely.  It is one of the great joys of traveling to share the foods of your country with your new friends.

Can I get my own room or do I need to share? We will do our best to accommodate your preference; however, this will depend on the number of volunteers we have at a given time.  Please indicate your preference during registration and we will do what we can to accommodate you.

Can you help me arrange a hike or a safari? Because of our steady flow of volunteers we can get special discounts with the very good safari company AKILI SABLU EXPEDITION.  We would be more than happy to help you arrange hikes/safaris. Click here www.akilisablu.com

Are there ATM machines? Yes.  There are Barclays and Standard Bank Financial ATM machines in Arusha. These ATM machines accept debit and credit cards from most major banks around the world.

How can I get from Usa River to Arusha? You can hire a taxi which is more expensive or you can take the local dalla dalla.  The fare is approximately $0.40USD one way.  Traveling on the dalla-dalla can be scary the first few times; however, it is definitely something to be experienced.

AIRPORT

Which airport should I fly into? Due to limited resources we can only do airport pickup from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).  If you plan to fly into Nairobi or Dar E Salaam and take a bus to Arusha we can arrange to pick you up at the Arusha bus station as well.  It is very important that you communicate this information with us so that we can accommodate you accordingly.

Will someone meet me at the airport? Yes. Once your plane lands you will stand in line for a Visa (if you don’t already have one) and then go through security.   A representative will be waiting for you at arrivals with a sign that has your name on it.  The representative will take you to your homestay.

Prior to your departure from your home country we will send you our local phone numbers and address just in case there is miscommunication and you have to find your own way to the homestay.

 

 


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