"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.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Tanzania is devastating. With 1.4 million adults and children infected with HIV (approximately 8% of the population),the daily life of every citizen has the potential to be affected. Although the impact of HIV/AIDS is widespread, Global Service Corps (GSC) Tanzania’s HIV/AIDS Prevention and Nutrition Education Program wields an effective weapon: education.

GSC volunteers and staff members work alongside one another to educate local Tanzanians about HIV/AIDS, health and nutrition in rural and urban communities. The community workshops provide valuable information that empowers Tanzanians to make informed decisions about their sexual health and behavior. GSC volunteer participants and staff members work together to create a comfortable learning environment that allows community members to discuss sensitive topics and ask questions. The impact of the HIV/ AIDS Prevention and Nutrition Program in Tanzania has resulted in international recognition and funding from organizations including the Mennonite Central Committee, USDA, Africare, and Fintrac. As a GSC volunteer participant, you will have the incredible opportunity to work on grant-supported international development projects and gain hands-on field work experience.

Volunteer participants who enroll in the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Nutrition Education Program in Tanzania can look forward to:

  • A week-long cultural orientation and technical training that includes basic Swahili language classes, culture and safety information and technical training in HIV/AIDS. public health and nutrition in the context of Tanzania
  • Firsthand service-learning experience leading health workshops with GSC's staff of professionals
  • Opportunities to work with vulnerable populations including women's groups, youth, Maasai and other indigenous cultures
  • Insight into international development issues and solutions for both rural and urban areas
  • A true cultural immersion experience while working, learning and living alongside local Tanzanians

For more information, continue reading below:

Volunteers from all backgrounds are invited to participate in GSC’s  HIV/AIDS Prevention and Nutrition Program. Participants can choose a length of stay ranging from a two week minimum commitment to six months or more (see also Integrated Service Learning Programs and the Community Development Program).  Click here to find Dates & Rates.

During your first week in Tanzania, you and your fellow volunteers will attend orientation conducted at the GSC office, which includes basic 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. After completing orientation, you will find yourself prepared with the knowledge and tools needed to help conduct workshops in the community in conjunction with GSC’s team of experts.

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

Whether you are working in a rural village, urban center or school setting you will be a member of the team, which will include GSC Tanzanian counterpart staff and other GSC volunteer particpantss.  The community trainings you help facilitate will not only include 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. 

Rural Trainings

Since 2001, GSC has been providing valuable HIV/AIDS prevention and sustainable agriculture trainings in rural villages in the northern region of Tanzania.  Due to the remote nature of many villages, local citizens often lack necessary health and disease prevention understanding.  The rural trainings bring health information and awareness to vulnerable populations including, Maasai and other indigenous populations, women’s groups and those living with HIV/AIDS.

Working with your counterparts, you will help conduct week-long workshops in HIV/AIDS prevention and nutrition. 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.

Town Trainings
In addition to GSC's work in the underserved rural areas, volunteers and GSC staff members also train community groups in Arusha. The combination of rural and urban training experience helps volunteer participantss to better understand the complex nature of health and community development issues. Depending on the needs of different groups in Arusha, GSC hosts workshops at various urban centers including vocational schools, primary and secondary schools, women’s centers and more . New community groups are trained in the full HIV/AIDS & Nutrition curriculum, while groups trained in the past are provided follow-up refresher trainings. At the conclusion of each town training program, a community member who is living with HIV/AIDS encourages each trainee to be tested. Trainees are encouraged to be tested so that they know their status.

Depending on the needs of the community and available funding, 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) 

Youth Program and Day Camp*

HIV/AIDS Program volunteer participants arriving at the beginning of June will be involved in the annual GSC 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.

“My most memorable experience was teaching at Day Camp and forming relationships with my students. I wasn’t expecting this to be my favorite part, but I can honestly say that that experience has made me open to the idea of teaching at some point in my future. Because we had two weeks in Nduruma, we were able to really get to know our students on an individual level. I was so proud by the end of the two weeks when they graduated from the program!”
- Elizabeth L., Tanzania Summer Program

*Note: June is the only month when Day Camp activities operate. The Day Camp sets the foundation for GSC’s Youth Program  follow-up activities when funding is available throughout the year. If arriving after the June camp, you may have opportunities to participate in these youth activities that support and equip students to start health clubs and share what they’ve learned as peer educators.

Through GSC’s programs, you can help raise communities’ overall knowledge of HIV/AIDS and health-related issues. This knowledge will help reduce stigma, increase testing, and help people live healthier lives! 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.