There are many young homeless girls and women living on the streets of Arusha. Many of them are at risk or experience violence, abuse and are often forced into crime and prostitution to survive. These young women have hopes and dreams like any group of young women around the world, the differences being not having the basic privileges others enjoy such as good education, stable homes or career opportunities.They are forced to put their dreams aside in order to survive harsh and cruel living situations that provide them no opportunity to progress and become independent. Many become pregnant at a young age with no family or community support, which often leads to abandoned or orphaned babies. This is problem that affects the entire community and local Tanzanian are leading the way to find solutions.
"Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise."-Maya Angelou
"It takes a village..."-African Proverb
Before 2011, there was no safe house, no shelters and no where to turn for many young women. One married couple, took two street girls in who changed their lives forever. The girls had been assaulted and left on the streets, deciding to take them in was the biggest decision they ever made. The couple faced criticism from many people who didn't understand why they would allow these strange girls into their home, when they barely had an income to survive themselves. But soon word spread across the community and people began telling them of more girls that needed help. Their once quiet house soon became a refuge, where there was no other.
Girls with variety of social and health problems came to them for help and people began to give donations, which started their amazing foundation. Today, the safe house has a structured program which requires each girl to create short term goals and long term plans for their future despite their situation. With that plan, the foundation finds volunteers who can help the girls reach their goals. For example finishing high school, volunteers will help the girls with homework and extra tuition every day; working in an office, volunteers will help the girls learn computer skills and office skills to help them become employable.
A young homeless girl who came to the shelter had dreams of becoming a hairdresser after dropping out of high school. With the help of the safe house and volunteer donations, the young mother built a small room where she know runs her hairdressing business. There is also a small music room where the girls can use music therapy or record songs together and people from the local community can make their own music for a small donation, which helps to keep the place going. Those gifted with cooking skills sell delicious home cooked meals in the community to raise small amounts of money. The young women all work together to keep going, look after one another and contribute to the safe house in structured way.
Your main objectives will be:
Support the foundation to take homeless girls off the street
Help with the daily running of the safe house to provide food, shelter and access to counselling and healthcare
Support the life counselling work run by the foundation staff which encourages the girls to learn to cope with their pasts and look after the psychological well being
Provide your time and skills to stimulate their young women's curiosity for learning and social development
Make any donations directly to the foundation to keep it's vital work running.
You role as a volunteer will be to provide extra reading and writing classes within the community, especially to those who don't have the chance to or cannot afford to attend regular local school. Provide assistance to the staff with social care on behalf of the girls and provide assistance with regular housekeeping and maintenance tasks around the shelter. This great opportunity will mean an amazing cultural exchange experience for you and a brighter opportunity for the community.
You will stay with other volunteers like you in a newly refurbished guesthouse in Arusha. Providing safe, clean and comfortable accommodation, comfortable bedding, excellent breakfast and dinner and housekeeping. This will be a quiet and friendly neighbourhood only 15 minutes from the main hustle and bustle of town. You will have 24 hour gated security, a domestic/cook (who will happily do your laundry for a small fee) and a coordinator who will ensure you settle in quickly and comfortably into your new town. This is a shared home where you will be staying with other volunteers and guests from across the world, so you will never be on your own in your new environment. The house is impeccably clean, well kept, modern and spacious.
Important VISA & Permit Information
You will be required to pay for a VISA prior to arrival. Please enquire for details.
What about COVID 19?
Tanzania has received the safe travel stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (See here) in the wake of the current pandemic. Aside from that, you will receive safety guidance and protocol once you have registered with us.