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Zanzibar Coastal Teaching Volunteer

Jambiani, Zanzibar
from £945 (2 weeks)

Ref: AV008

There are few greater gifts than investing in someone's future through education - and what could be better than teaching local children while living the dream on the beautiful tropical island of Zanzibar!  Here local communities are badly affected by poverty, lack of education and training, and unemployment and by getting involved in local nursery, primary and secondary school education, adult classes to help promote tourism and environmental programmes, volunteers have many opportunities to make a real impact.  Arrive in Jambiani as a stranger - but leave as a friend.

Volunteers to this project should have a good command of the English language as much of the project work involves teaching English and in particular the adult literacy lessons can be quite advanced.  It is also helpful to be able to ride a bike!

Who can join: 17 years and over
Accommodation: Dedicated volunteer house
Transfer time: approx. 1.5 hours
Pick up Point: Zanzibar airport or ferry port
Meals: Meals included
Volunteer numbers: approx. 14

Duration & Fees

2 weeks£945
3 weeks£1,185
4 weeks£1,395
5 weeks£1,765
6 weeks£1,995
7 weeks£2,225
8 weeks£2,455

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Start Dates

Volunteers can join this project on every second Monday throughout the year and must arrive on their Monday start date.

2017 Start Dates:

22 May | 5 Jun | 19 Jun | 3 Jul | 17 Jul | 31 Jul | 14 Aug | 28 Aug | 11 Sep | 25 Sep | 9 Oct | 23 Oct | 6 Nov | 20 Nov | 4 Dec | 18 Dec

2018 Start Dates:

8 Jan | 15 Jan | 29 Jan | 12 Feb | 26 Feb | 12 Mar | 26 Mar | 9 Apr | 23 Apr | 7 May | 21 May | 4 Jun | 18 Jun | 2 Jul | 16 Jul | 30 Jul | 13 Aug | 27 Aug | 10 Sep | 24 Sep | 8 Oct | 22 Oct | 5 Nov | 19 Nov | 3 Dec

This project closes for the Christmas period early to mid December until early January.

Payment

£180 deposit at time of booking – balance payment of project fee due 12 weeks before departure

What's Included

  • Airport transfers from Zanzibar Airport or ferry port/harbour on arrival and departure
  • Full on site orientation and support from project staff
  • All accommodation including three meals a day in Jambiani (apart from Wednesday evenings spent at a local teacher's home which costs approx $10)
  • A contribution that goes directly into the project to fund resources such as building materials, equipment, vehicles etc needed for the development of the project.  It may also go towards providing essential medicine for the local clinic and porridge for the nursery school children each day.
  • Daily transport that may be required as part of the project

What's not included

  • Personal travel insurance to include cover for repatriation
  • Transport by air or ferry to Stone Town, Zanzibar Island
  • All items of a personal nature, travel goods, clothes
  • Email, internet and telephone calls
  • Soft drinks, wines and spirits
  • Visa fees -  approximately USD 300
  • Wednesday evening meals at a local teacher's home (optional)
  • Soft drinks, wines, spirits, snacks and weekend food
  • Any extra excursions over and above planned itinerary
  • Transportation not related to the project

Zanzibar Island, situated just off the Tanzanian coast in East Africa, is a beautiful  place with a deeply embedded history, an intriguing blend of cultures and renowned for its white-sand beaches, turquoise-blue seas and amazing sea-life.  It is home to many historical monuments, Chumbe Island Marine Reserve and Jozani Forest, where the indigenous red-colobus monkey can be found.  The south coast offers the chance to swim with dolphins in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.  The capital, Stone Town, is a mix of Indian, Arab and African influences with narrow winding alleys, bustling markets and mosques, and the famous amazingly crafted large wooden doors which are a must-see for volunteers who will enjoy a visit to this fascinating town. 

The project is based at Jambiani situated on the southern part of Zanzibar's beautiful and quiet east coast.  It is  about one hour's drive south from Stone Town and it is a long village, stretched along the coastline with a community that operates at a leisurely pace in the sunny, tropical climate. Here it is possible to witness incredible sunrises and enjoy the warm waters but also gain a great insight into life on the island with many experiences that will remain for a long time.

Volunteering Highlights

  • teach English to children, students, teachers and community leaders
  • gain teaching experience in nursery schools, and adult and youth English classes
  • help to strengthen and promote women's empowerment within the village
  • assist in improving educational facilities within the community
  • enjoy cycling through the village and on the beach while going to and from the volunteer projects
  • create developmental and sports games for pre-primary school children
  • play a role in keeping the beach and village environmentally clean and aware
  • get a glimpse of life on the island and make a tangible difference to this community
  • get a taste of Zanzibar culture - and learn a bit of Swahili!
  • explore the incredible marine environment and nearby world-class safari destinations
  • make friends for life with other international volunteers

Volunteer Projects

Pre-Schools
Volunteers will be involved in working together with the local teachers to provide fun, interactive classes to teach the children basic English vocabulary, handwriting, reading and teamwork skills.  There are opportunities to work in four pre-schools in Jambiani and there are lots of art and craft activities and sports as well as classroom English.  Any fully qualified teachers who would like to get involved in primary or secondary schools in the area should advise Amanzi Travel when making their booking and this may be possible.  However, this will depend on whether it is relevant to the needs of the school and cannot be guaranteed.

Volunteers will have the opportunity to engage with the pre-schools by getting involved with:

  • Teaching English to children and very importantly, also to the teachers;
  • Enjoy singing and dancing with the children;
  • Developing the children's creative and motor skills through crafts such as painting, drawing, writing and colouring;
  • Playing developmental games with the children;
  • General upkeep of the school to keep it a pleasant environment in which to learn.

Adult English Classes
Tourism is considered to be the sector of activity with the most potential in Zanzibar.  There is a drive, through tourism, to reduce poverty, improve education, empower the young people, address the issues of gender inequality and to educate the communities to become more environmentally responsible.  Volunteers get involved in teaching English to the local adults and young people who need to improve their communication skills in order to find employment within the tourism industry.  Volunteers will also teach English to the adults from nearby villages, including the local football team, teenagers and local women's groups.

Ramadan

Dates for 2017 to be advised
Ramadan is an Islamic religious observance that takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, the month in which the Qur'an (occasionally written as Koran in non-Islamic cultures) was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.  It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims do not eat or drink anything from true dawn until sunset.  Fasting is meant to teach the person patience, sacrifice and humility.  Ramadan is a time to fast for the sake of Allah and to offer more prayer than usual.  During Ramadan Muslims ask forgiveness for past sins, pray for guidance and help in refraining from everyday evils and try to purify themselves through self-restraint and good deeds. 

This is a time of fasting and during this month and the four days of Eid all school children will be on holiday and the schools closed.  There will be NO volunteer work associated with the schools during this month, but it is very likely that the adult English classes will still run although attendance may not be as good and volunteers will need to be flexible. 

Zanzibar is a wonderful place to visit and has many brilliant activities to offer during free time.  Volunteers will still have plenty of work to do and during school holidays could get involved in some of the following community orientated projects:

  • providing manual labour such as painting, repair work or even some building depending on the needs at the time;
  • environmental maintenance such as litter collections and tree planting;
  • making new resources for the schools such as posters and lesson plans
  • facilitating sports activities
  • hopefully adult literacy classes will continue - depending on the energy of the students while fasting!

School Term Dates 2016

Term 1:  5 January - 27 March
Holiday:  28 March - 6 April
Term 2:  7 April - 17 June
Holiday/Ramadan:  18 June - 26 July
Term 3:  27 July - 27 November
Holiday:  27 November - 3 January 2017

Zanzibar is a 95% Muslim society who observe the festival of Ramadan.  During this period volunteers may be asked not to eat or drink in public places to show respect to the local community.   However normal meals will be provided at the project house.  Volunteers should be aware that everything will be slower on Zanzibar during this period as all locals will be fasting, and hence tired!!  It should be noted that the local people will take offence at inappropriately dressed visitors and women should not wear revealing clothing such as mini-skirts, sleeveless tops and low necklines especially when in towns and villages and especially while doing project work.  Long skirts or shorts (knee length) should be worn and shoulders should be covered.  No tight clothing such as leggings should be worn.  Men must keep their shirts on in the villages and towns and wear at least knee-length shorts.  Trousers can be worn by men and women and any tattoos should be covered and piercings removed whilst in Zanzibar

Whenever there is a Zanzibar Public Holiday, volunteers will have the day off to either relax or take part in any of the tourist activities on the island.  Zanzibar Public Holidays are for 2016 are:

New Year's Day 1 January Saba Saba Day 7 July
Zanzibar Revolution Anniversary 12 January Nane Nane Day 8 August
Good Friday varies Nyerere Day 14 October
Easter Monday varies Eid al-Hajj varies
Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume Day 7 April Independence Day 9 December
Union Day 26 Apri Christmas Day 25 December
Workers Day 1 May Boxing Day 26 December
 Eid ul Fitr  varies    

A typical day in the life of a volunteer - Monday to Thursday

6.00 am Wake up for a sunrise jog on the beach or a swim in the sea.  Female volunteers may choose to join a local ladies' group exercising on the beach while male volunteers can join the Dulla Boys Football Team practice  
7.15 am Breakfast of fruit, eggs and toast  
8.30 am Cycle to one of the nursery schools in Jambiani village and teach English  
9.30 am Help serve porridge to the nursery school children and some volunteers will teach English to the nursery school teachers  
11.00am Teach English at a second nursery school  
12.30pm Lunch break and free time  
2.00 pm - 4.00 pm Some volunteers will teach Adult English Classes in Jambiani  
4.00 - 6.00 pm Some volunteers will teach English to students in Kizim Kazi/Some will teach English to a local women's group  
6.00 pm End of the day! Cool down with a swim, find a cold drink, visit a local hotel to use the Internet cafe, socialise with the locals or other volunteers or just relax and unwind on the beach before dinner  
6.30 pm Dinner - and time to swap stories of the day!  
7.00 pm Volunteers have time to chill out, play games or build a beach fire  

Volunteers should see this as a typical day but itineraries may differ depending on the needs of the project and number of volunteers at any one time, but this is a good example.

Fridays

Friday morning is usually spent at one of the local community projects - doing things such as planting trees, repairing or maintaining schools, cleaning the beach or sports activities with the nursery school children.  It can also include some prep time for lessons the following week.

Saturday and Sunday

These are days off to explore and take part in some of the many tourist activities in the area - or just rest after the week of volunteering.

Please note:  Zanzibar is a Muslim country and the majority of the population will take offence at inappropriately dressed visitors.  Volunteers are asked to respect this aspect of the local culture.  In addition drinking alcohol is not looked on favourably and therefore to preserve good relations with the local community drinking alcohol is not permitted during the week and drunken behaviour at any time is forbidden.  Drugs in any form are forbidden and possession carries a heavy prison sentence in Zanzibar.

The number of volunteers at this project will be approximately 14 at any time.

Optional Excursions

There are some incredible attractions in the surrounding areas such as the Mikumi National Park, Ruaha National Park, the famous Serengeti National Park, the unique Ngorongoro Crater and of course the opportunity to climb the mighty Kilmanjaro.  Zanzibar and Tanzania offer a variety of  tours and safari options available(at an additional cost) perfect for a weekend break and the project staff will assist volunteers with any arrangements they may wish to make. Most activities are priced to include transport, transfers, accommodation, guide and driver, park fees etc.  Popular outings include:

  • Jozani Forest and the Red Colobus Monkeys
  • Dolphin and humpback whale watching at Kizimkazi (seasonal)
  • Stone Town City Tour, Spice Tour. Prison Island
  • Meals with a local family in a local
  • Incredible snorkelling and scuba diving off Zanzibar Island's coral reefs
  • Volleyball, football and games on the beach
  • Tropical sunsets and BBQs on the bach

A little bit of luxury?

Have you thought about treating yourself to a night or two of luxury at the end of your project? We can provide a perfect haven to unwind and indulge yourself before heading home. Take a look at the Breezes Beach Club and Spa or the Baraza Resort and Spa to see if you're tempted.

Getting There

Volunteers should fly directly into Zanzibar Airport in Stone Town. There are direct flights from Europe, the United States and South Africa to either Nairobi (Kenya) or Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) and then easy connections on to Zanzibar Island.  Volunteers need to arrive into Zanzibar Airport  between 7.00 am and 12.00 noon on the Monday their placement commences.  There they will be met and the drive from the airport will take approximately one and a half hours.  Return flights at the end of the placement should be made for after 12.00 noon on the Monday the placement ends.  Should volunteers need to arrive or depart outside of these times they will be able to book and pay for a private transfer to and from the volunteer base at an additional cost.

Amanzi Travel can help with flight arrangements and volunteers who book their flight and volunteer project together can take advantage of the ATOL licence held by the company, giving added protection and peace of mind.  Please contact Amanzi Travel for details.

A perfect way to explore more of Africa

Before heading straight back home, why not take an Overland Journey through Africa to explore more of the wonderful sights and experiences that this beautiful continent has to offer.  You can take a trip that starts and finishes in the same city (eg Windhoek to Windhoek) or you can use it as an opportunity to get your from one city to another (eg Cape Town to Nairobi).

“This has got to be the best way to see Africa in a short period of time ... brilliant. The guides were fantastic, the campsites great, and the food excellent. The overland trip was excellent - really well run”
Southern Sun 21 days, Cape Town to Victoria Falls - Jennie and Stuart, Sweden, aged 32 and 34.

“I didn’t know I could become such close friends with people in just a week. The trip attracts a great group of people who are so easy to get along with. My group ranged from 20 to 70 and we all sat down with a drink, played cards together and just gathered around the campfire.  It was an experience of a lifetime and I will definitely recommend this to my friends and family”
Tanzanian Game Parks and Zanzibar, 10 Days and Masai Mara Safari, 3 Days - Sara, Canada/Malaysia, aged 20.

 From 3 days to 56 days, take a look at the exciting Overland Trips here.

Support and Orientation

Support and advice is available from Amanzi Travel office staff and project/trip leaders. Upon booking, you will receive a comprehensive pre-departure pack that provides all the details you will need to prepare for your trip to Africa.  This document includes information on accommodation, staff, visas, optional activities, packing checklist and medical advice and if you have any questions that are not answered in the pack we are always on hand to help and advise. We will do all we can to ensure that you are well prepared and looking forward to your trip to Africa. You will also receive an in country orientation on arrival.

A 24 hours a day, 7 days a week emergency contact number is provided for everyone who travels with us.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence (9401) and is able to arrange your flights on request giving you financial protection for your flight and trip costs. We also offer advice on personal travel insurance for your trip.

Jambiani, Zanzibar, Zanzibar Coastal Teaching VolunteerJambiani, Zanzibar, Zanzibar Coastal Teaching VolunteerJambiani, Zanzibar, Zanzibar Coastal Teaching VolunteerJambiani, Zanzibar, Zanzibar Coastal Teaching VolunteerVolunteers will be accommodated in the volunteer house in Jambiani village, which is just a short walk away from the beach.  It is a great place to soak up the sun, have a swim, read a book or enjoy some beach games.  Sunrises across the Indian Ocean are amazing.

Volunteers will sleep in shared, same-gender rooms that are basic and comfortable, in the volunteer house alongside the local village.  They will share rooms with up two or three other same-gender volunteers. Each room is en suite and equipped with shelves, bunk beds, mosquito nets and fans.   Housekeeping is done on a regular basis and bedding is provided.  A laundry service is provided at 10,000 TZS (roughly $5) per load.  Volunteers should take their own swimming towel. 

The two Project Co-ordinators are resident at the accommodation and the office is also based there.  There is also a resource room to keep items needed for project work and for lesson preparation.

Three nutritious meals a day are provided (except for one night a week when volunteers may choose to eat at a local home).  Breakfast consists of bread, porridge, toast, fruit, eggs, tea and coffee.  Lunch and dinner are a mix of local and international flavours and great sea food.  Meals are prepared daily by the team of chefs.

Whilst every effort is made to provide varied and interesting meals, the nature of the rural location means that food will generally be quite simple but still nutritious.  Vegetarians who do not eat fish may find the diet a bit restricted and may wish to take food items from home to provide added protein to their diet.

Volunteers should advise Amanzi Travel in advance of any food allergies or specific requirements.

Zanzibar is a Muslim country where drinking alcohol is not looked upon favourably.  In order to ensure contining good relations with the Jambiani community, no alcohol is permitted duirng working hours or during weekday evenings.

Please Note:  There is NO HOT WATER for showering - most places in Zanzibar do not have hot water.  Water is a precious commodity in Zanzibar and should be used sparingly.

Click here to view the full interactive mapTanzania - Take a Gap Year or Holiday to Help Communities Grow

Why visit Tanzania

Tanzania is unsurpassed for its magnificent scenery: from the snow-capped heights of Mount Kilimanjaro, the "Crown of Africa", to the exquisite floor of the Ngorongoro Crater; the jewel-like coastal islands of Zanzibar to the awe-inspiring Great Rift Valley, the natural splendours set the stage for the astoundingly diverse wildlife. Within the space of several hours it is possible to go from lazing on idyllic beaches and diving on exquisite coral reefs to exploring the narrow alleys of Arabian influenced Stone Town, from climbing mist-covered slopes in the Southern Highlands to trekking through barren landscapes around Ol Doinyo Lengai, guided by spear-carrying Masai warriors. Turtle season is between December and May, and these prehistoric creatures can be seen laying their eggs on the beaches.

Yet, despite its attractions, Tanzania has predominantly managed to remain unassuming and low-key. It has also remained enviably untouched by the tribal rivalries and political upheavals, and this makes it an ideal choice for both first-time visitors and Africa old hands.

Tanzania's natural endowment as a wildlife safari destination is unrivalled. Wild animals roam in vast uncrowded and unspoilt areas. The magnificent collection of game sanctuaries to the north of the country, near the border with Kenya, is referred to as the Northern Circuit. This is the most popular and accessible wildlife safari route in Tanzania, and is considered as one of the finest game viewing areas anywhere in the world. Arusha, a city of northern Tanzania is surrounded by some of Africa's most famous landscapes and national parks. Beautifully situated below Mount Meru on the eastern edge of the Great Rift Valley, it has a pleasant climate and is close to Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, and Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as having its own Arusha National Park on Mount Meru.

Highlights of Tanzania

  • Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain.
  • Bordered by Africa's three largest lakes - Lakes Malawi, Tanganyika and Victoria.
  • Zanzibar Island, exploring bustling Stone Town, a World Heritage Site, and idyllic beaches, snorkelling, and picturesque fishing villages on Mnemba Island.
  • Ngorongoro Crater - the largest intact caldera in the world, where wildlife are specifically protected.
  • Olduvai Gorge - said to be the birthplace of man.
  • The 20-million-year-old Great Rift Valley.
  • The vast game-filled plains of the Serengeti and hot air balloon safaris.
  • The annual Great Migration of millions of herbivores is a once-in-a-lifetime experience can be viewed between Tanzania and Kenya.
  • More than twenty-five percent of Tanzania is dedicated to conservation areas.
  • Possible to view the elusive "Big 10" in Tanzania - elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, hippo, zebra and giraffe - plus the famous chimpanzees on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.
  • Tanzania boasts over 1,000 bird species, with Lake Manyara National Park alone being home to over 400.

Climate

Seasons Max Min
Summer (November -May) 31 °C 20 °C
Winter (June – October) 22 °C 15 °C
Rainfall: March - May (Long Rains “Masika”), November - December (Short Rains  “Vuli”)

Tanzania has a generally comfortable, tropical climate year-round, where temperatures rarely fall lower than 20°C.  The coolest months countrywide are from June to October (15–20 °C), when it is also dry, and the warmest from December to March (25–31°C), although there are significant regional variations:-

  • Along the warmer and humid coast, the average daily temperatures hover in the 30°C range, and only go as low as 25°C due to sea breezes from June to September. The climate here is determined in large part by the monsoon winds, which bring rains in two major periods. During the “masika” (long rains), from mid-March to May, it rains heavily almost every day, although seldom for the whole day, and the air can get unpleasantly sticky. The lighter “vuli” (short rains) fall during November, December and sometimes into January. July and August have the lowest rainfall.
  • Inland, altitude is a major determinant of conditions. The central plateau is somewhat cooler and arid, while in the mountainous areas of the northeast and southwest, temperatures range between 10 and 20°C during cold and hot seasons respectively, and it can rain at any time of year. In the Kilimanjaro area, temperatures vary from 15°C in May-August period to 22°C over December - March. As one heads to the peaks of Kilimanjaro, temperatures can drop to below freezing, especially at night. The best climbing on Mount Kilimanjaro, which is surprisingly easy, is from August to October and from January to March.

Key Facts

Population – 43.7 million
Capital – Dodoma is the political capital, and Dar Es Salaam is the principal commercial city
Currency – Tanzanian shilling
Language  –  Swahili is the most widely spoken language, although English is the official language
“karibu tena” – welcome again

Peoples and Culture:  there are over 120 tribes in Tanzania.  However, the majority of people on Zanzibar follow the Muslim faith. Dress code to them is of particular importance and it is suggested that women try to dress fairly conservatively in order not to offend the local people. An Arabic influence is also evident in the people, who are a mix of Shirazia (from Persia), Arabs, Comorians (from the Comoros Islands) and Bantu from the mainland. The official language of Zanzibar is Kiswahili. Most residents have a good knowledge of English, Italian and various Arabic dialects.

Zanzibar's most world famous musician is Freddie Mercury! He was born Farrokh Bulsara on September 5th 1946 in Zanzibar, to parents Bomi and Jer Bulsara, who were Parsees - members of the Zoroastrian faith.

Time difference – GMT +3 hours
Telephone – country code 255

Zanzibar Coastal Teaching Volunteer

Zanzibar Rural Teaching Volunteer (link to project)

My 4 weeks volunteering in Zanzibar gave me the insight I wanted into another culture and I feel immensely satisfied at having achieved this at my age! The people of Jambiani were warm and welcoming, as were all students and I met such interesting people along the way.

African Encounter 36 day (Southbound (link to project) / Northbound (link to project)

During the 5 week overland trip from Zanzibar to Cape Town I saw so much of Africa that I'd always wanted to see, from the countryside and scenery, to the animals and people, who were always keen to wave as the truck passed through. Such a land of contrasts from east to west, green and lush in the east to the dry deserts of the west. Vic Falls was fantastic, as were animals in the Chobe and Etosha Pan and so many other things too numerous to mention.

Having thought about doing this trip for so long, I can't believe I've done it but I did and have experienced a trip of a lifetime - thank you Amanzi Travel.   Also just to add, Pat was great, helpful and encouraging, she really helped me decide to 'go for it'.

Judith, UK, aged 62 (Zanzibar Coastal Teaching Volunteer, African Encounter 36 Day (Northbound), African Encounter 36 Day (Southbound))

Zanzibar Coastal Teaching Volunteer

Thank you for your help throughout my booking. It was an incredible experience, made up of moments which I will remember for a very long time. The project was not only an integral part of the community in Jambiani but also incredibly valuable. It made me wonder why I hadn't done anything like it before!

Amy Rosier, England, aged 18 (Zanzibar Coastal Teaching Volunteer)

Zanzibar Coastal Teaching Volunteer

Everyone that has the chance to do something like this should definitely take the opportunity. It was the best part of my year out, and wish I could have done it for longer.

Alice, Scotland, aged 19 (East African Discoverer - 15 Days, Zanzibar Coastal Teaching Volunteer, Zambia Teaching Volunteer, East African Discoverer - 15 days)

Zanzibar Coastal Teaching Volunteer

I really hope you know how much of a wonderful time I had. This trip was more than I could ever ask for and everything that you did truly made it perfect. I miss the kids SO MUCH.

Annie, USA, aged 20 (Zanzibar Coastal Teaching Volunteer)

Zanzibar Coastal Teaching Volunteer

I loved my time here in Zanzibar and would love to stay longer to work with the new volunteers and see the project progress. I haven’t done a volunteer project before, but am very happy that my first one was here.

Sue, UK, aged 25 (Zanzibar Coastal Teaching Volunteer)

Zanzibar Coastal Teaching Volunteer

The group I was in was filled with such great people! I feel we made lifelong friends and being right on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world was really incredible. Meeting and working with Mr Okala was definitely a highlight , we learned so much about his native home and way of life from him.

Veronica, USA, aged 24 (Zanzibar Coastal Teaching Volunteer)

Zanzibar Coastal Teaching Volunteer

This great project is based in Jambiani Village which stretches along the coastline in the south east of the Island.   Volunteers fly into Dar-es-Salaam and then either have a 20 minute flight or take the ferry to Stone Town, the capital of the Island, where they are met and taken to the volunteer house which is about one hour’s drive. Volunteers all live together in this house – in the centre of the village and just 20 yards from the beach – great for a cooling swim at the end of a busy day.  All volunteers set off for work together – on bicycles – and although there is not a lot of motor traffic to worry about, the cattle that wander through the village during the day and settle for the night in the middle of the road must be avoided at all costs!  But this is real Africa and it doesn’t get much more rural than this. Volunteers spend their days helping in one of the local schools – pre-schools, primary schools or secondary schools where they help to teach the children, sing with them, play games and generally help with their development.  They may also help out in the tourism training school – a great venture set up to improve the chances of the local population in getting employment in the fast-growing tourist trade on Zanzibar Island.  They help the students with basic computing and admin skills, perhaps help them write a cv as well as with customer care and, of course,  helping them improve their English.

The “working day” normally ends around 5.00 pm and then everyone returns to the house – perhaps making a detour for stamps or a cold drink on the way. The evenings are usually spent having a meal together, chatting over the events of the day or perhaps going along the beach to one of the local hotels for a cold beer – which is enjoyed sitting on the veranda listening to the waves gently lapping on the white sands. 

There are lots of exciting things to do at the weekends.  Stone Town itself is a fascinating town with a strong Muslim influence and lots of interesting buildings to visit.  The Africa House Hotel – situated on the seafront – is a very famous hotel that was originally the British Club and all visitors to the Island should come to this hotel at least once to view the fantastic sunset from the hotel balcony.  One exciting outing is to go and swim with the dolphins and there are other fabulous beaches on the Island that are well worth visiting.  

The food is very good and everything is “home made”.  Fish is caught on the beach and is very fresh but the cook – who prepares lunch and the evening meal -  also makes great pancakes, samosas and even chips.

Zanzibar is one of the most beautiful places in Africa to visit and the chance to take part in such a worthwhile project puts it high on the list for anyone wanting a great experience this summer.

Patricia, UK, aged 62 (Zanzibar Coastal Teaching Volunteer)

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