"I'm sure when I ponder my life experiences, during the twilight of my years, I will regard my six weeks in Thailand as six of the most sensational weeks of my life... I traveled to Thailand hoping for an enriching experience. What I found exceeded my wildest expectations."
Chris Cox, International Health Program, Thailand

PROGRAM UPDATE: After 20 years of service in East Africa, GSC has concluded our work there, and therefore are NO LONGER offering programs in Tanzania.

We’ve decided to leave our Tanzania web pages up so visitors to our site can get an idea of the kind of work that we have done. Information can be found below on best practices and lessons learned from our Tanzania program that we've carried over to our Cambodia programs.

Volunteer participants of all backgrounds are welcome to participate in GSC’s Global Public Health Program! Volunteers work to address critical public health issues in Tanzania through HIV/AIDS prevention trainings, a three-day nutrition education program, and sustainable agriculture programs that improve food security.

In response to alarming findings by the World Health Organization, GSC is focused on lowering the rate of childhood stunting, or low weight-for-age. Stunting is a sign of chronic malnutrition and poses long-term developmental risks. This health outcome can be prevented by improving childhood nutrition by educating on breastfeeding and healthy nutrition practices. GSC is at the forefront in delivering this education by providing innovative educational programs that combine use of locally grown food products that are naturally rich in nutrients with food security and childhood feeding practices.

As a program participant, you will lead training sessions on nutrition basics, including identifying key nutrients and problems associated with malnutrition. The trainings stress maternal and child nutrition, while focusing on balancing nutrition by utilizing locally grown foods that are rich in nutrients. In order to provide well-rounded service, volunteers lead HIV/AIDS prevention workshops and work to improve food security through sustainable agriculture, food preparation and preservation techniques..

This program offers volunteers a rich and rewarding experience as they address important public health concerns facing Tanzanian children and families. The program requires a minimum commitment of four weeks. Scheduling depends on individual availability and interest.

GSC volunteer Katlyn and a new friend after an HIV/AIDS prevention workshop in a Maasai community.

The Life of a GSC Volunteer

As a Global Public Health volunteer, you will receive the GSC HIV/AIDS Prevention Manual prior to your departure. This will include teaching tips, sample lesson plans and plenty of resources to help prepare you for your service.

During the first week in Tanzania, you will attend orientation at the GSC office, which includes Swahili lessons, information on safety, culture, and the history of Tanzania, as well as guest lectures on gender issues, home-based care, and living with HIV. At this time, you will also receive technical training to prepare you to educate the local community about HIV/AIDS, health, and nutrition. The training includes information on HIV transmission and prevention, but also cover the treatment of STIs, life skills, stigma and human rights issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, and the importance of healthy living through good nutrition. After completing orientation, you will be equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to help conduct workshops in the community along with GSC’s team of experts.

Depending on the scheduling logistics and the needs of the community, your program may entail one or more components of the Nutrition Education and HIV/AIDS Prevention Programs (see descriptions below). During the first week of orientation, you will be given a more specific overview of your day-to-day schedule.

1) Rural Trainings:

You may find yourself housed in a local hostel or camping in tents at a base camp along with GSC staff and other volunteers in a village outside of Arusha, as part of a team delivering a package of GSC interventions. Whether you are an experienced camper or a novice, have no fear! GSC provides all necessary equipment, including mats, tents, and sleeping bags, although some volunteers prefer to bring their own sleeping bags. You will stay in a secure area, usually in the compound of the village leader, and a local mama will prepare meals for the group. Volunteers find staying in the village culturally rewarding because they have time to visit with community members and truly experience rural Tanzanian life. Most GSC participants who have stayed in rural areas providing trainings to these populations indicate that this was one of the highlights of their volunteer experience; however, training opportunities closer to town are also available for volunteers if these rural assignments are not of interest. (See below for details about Town Trainings.) 

GSC volunteers and community members putting the finishing touches on a keyhole garden.

2) Town Trainings:

In addition to GSC's work in the underserved rural areas, we also train community groups in Arusha, so you should expect to participate in the Arusha town community trainings as well. New community groups are trained in the full Nutrition and HIV/AIDS curriculum, while previously trained groups are provided three-day refresher trainings in nutrition. At the conclusion of each town training program, a community member who is living with HIV/AIDS encourages each trainee to be tested so they know their status. Approximately 80% of all trainees participate in the counseling and testing provided at the training.

During your time in town, depending on the needs of the community you may also have the opportunity to assist GSC staff Peer Education Coordinators in bringing health lessons to secondary school students during afterschool health club meetings. This is a follow-up on the GSC annual HIV/AIDS Prevention, Health, and Life Skills Day Camp. (See below for details about GSC’s Youth Program and Day Camp.)

GSC volunteer leading a workshop during GSC's annual Day Camp.

3) Youth Program and Day Camp - June Only:

HIV/AIDS Program volunteer participants arriving at the beginning of June will be involved in GSC's annual HIV/AIDS Prevention, Health, and Life Skills Day Camp conducted at secondary schools in the Arusha region. These two-week long camps are designed to be an interactive way for Tanzanian students to learn about issues surrounding HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention, relationships, sexuality, and healthy life skills.

Through GSC’s programs, you can help raise communities’ overall knowledge of nutrition, HIV/AIDS, food security and related health issues. Whether your volunteer work is participating in community trainings, the Day Camp, or other Youth Program activities, you will undoubtedly be changed by your experience and will leave knowing that you have impacted lives and made new friends.

Contact Tanzania@globalservicecorps.org for more information.