We are looking for:
Volunteers to teach all subjects and create arts and athletic programs at Helping Hands School and would like our volunteers to be open to sharing new ideas with our students and developing a close relationship with each of our children. We are also in search of sponsors for our individual children as well as for the construction projects currently taking place on the school ground to allow our students to continue their education in a more efficient manner. Although donors and sponsors are great for our project, we are most eagerly searching for volunteers because we believe in the one-to-one connection with our students and visitors and the lifelong difference that makes in the development of our children.
Specifically, at Helping Hands, volunteers can expect to stay in a hostel located outside of the village area and more towards the city of Arusha. The hostel is equipped with all the essentials and is meant to be a traveler’s “home away from home”. We want to ensure that our volunteers receive the best treatment possible so that they will be comfortable for the duration of their stay with us. We value you as our family from the time you land in Tanzania and even after you return to your home country. Therefore, we will do everything to ensure that your time with us is comfortable, safe, fun and memorable. We encourage our volunteers to contact us for any special inquiries such as dietary or safety concerns they feel we should be aware of or with any general questions they may have. We will do our best to guarantee that your time here is well-spent!
Throughout the duration of the week (Monday-Friday), from 7 AM, our volunteers are provided with transport to and from the school and often, our volunteers enjoy riding down the dusty dirt path to the school with our teachers and children. The students love when the volunteers ride in the van and sing songs with them so we highly encourage our volunteers to take this opportunity and enjoy every minute. Although this may be difficult for big groups, we can accommodate several in our vehicle and are looking at options for larger transit sources as our school grows and enrollment increases.
Although our volunteers can expect to begin their day with the children at around 7 AM, the students and volunteers begin the school day at 8 AM with songs and dance, games, and the anthem of Tanzania, followed by a formal march into the classroom. Students then begin learning through song and here is where volunteers are encouraged to take the floor with their ideas for student engagement. Our teachers love to watch our volunteers share their ideas and will assist in any way possible to facilitate in the instruction process.
After learning for a bit, the students then are released to stretch and play games among themselves and here is where the students can build a one-on-one relationship with our volunteers. Past volunteers have brought watermelon for our students and passed out slices and played football. Others have brought instruments such as the Ukulele and sang for our children.
However, this time is where you are free to be you and share the games and talents you know and have with our students and really just be free to be you. We want our students to learn from our volunteers, and step out of their comfort zones.
We wish for our volunteers to assist in breaking down all social barriers our children may have and ask that our volunteers encourage our children to express themselves. We require that our volunteers take each task presented to them with a smile and even when they are unsure or service, we ask our volunteers to continue to try so that our children feel encouraged as swell.
Once students have released all their energy, we bring them back inside for their porridge and usually this is a period where volunteers help serve the students but also, when our volunteers can connect with our teaching staff or talk to our students individually. Most of our students aren’t high in English fluency, but they are young and in order for them to become fluent, we need our volunteers to sit and speak with them and encourage them to use the words they know. Also, our volunteers are allowed to take this time to reflect on how the teaching day went and offer suggestions to the teaching staff and administrators for the school about the areas in which we can improve and the aspects that are going well within our education program.
At just after 12:30 PM, the children load back into our big van and are taken to their respective homes. Still, our students sing songs all the way laughing and smiling, joking with our teachers and volunteers about the events of the day. After all students are taken home, usually our volunteers are invited to go out to a local lunch or can be dropped off in town or at the hostel for rest. Volunteers are welcome to explore the surrounding area in the evenings after school and are encouraged to design projects for the students in their spare time. Most of our volunteers are eager to find more ways to engage with our children and for those who wish to connect on a deeper level, we provide basic Swahili lessons that are available upon request!
We encourage you to reach out to us for ways you can be involved with our project before, during, and even after your stay with us has ended and we are excited to welcome you to the center!