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Social Impact Tours

No trip to Tanzania is complete without an understanding of how people truly live – but how to experience this in an ethical and respectful manner? Our Social Impact Tours are designed to have minimal impact on our village, work and clients, while allowing you to see what we do with your own eyes and providing income-generating opportunities to our families. We require a minimum of 48-hour notice for all guests. Morning tours will begin at 9am and afternoon tours will begin at 1pm. Variations to these times can be accommodated on a case by case basis. We can’t wait to see you!

1-3 Day Social Impact Tours

Half Day Tours

Full day Tours (no overnight)

2 Day/1 Night Tours

3 Day/2 Night Tours

Longer stays available by requestWe encourage visitors to donate as much as they are able – every dollar goes so far!

  • Coffee tour:Have you ever had a cup of coffee so fresh that just an hour ago you were shelling and roasting the beans? Now is your chance! Enjoy a tour of a local coffee plantation situated on the slopes of Mount Meru. Walk the plantation with a local guide who will teach you the entire process of producing coffee, from the growing of the plants and the harvesting of the beans, all the way to the grinding of the beans and the preparation of the coffee. You will learn the history of his family and his plantation, and then you will have the opportunity to partake in the process and make your own cup of coffee
  • Cooking demonstration: Have personal, one on one traditional cooking lessons with our personal TST Chef Glad, as she prepares the daily meals for the staff. You will spend the morning learning how to make Chai tea and a mid-morning snack of mandazi, a traditional donut-like treat. Then, go with Glad to the local market to purchase the food staples needed to prepare lunch for the afternoon. Learn how to make traditional dishes such as chapati, ugali, and beans and rice. Then you’ll get to enjoy your hard work and eat the meal you prepared with the grateful TST staff.
  • Home visit with outreach mama: Enjoy the unique and once in a lifetime experience of seeing firsthand how TST’s outreach program positively impacts the lives of community members in Nkoaranga. You will travel with our outreach team to visit one of the families that we work closely with, where you will be warmly invited into their home. The outreach team and family will share with you the business plan that they have created together, and you will be able to see the progress of their business project(s). You will see the exclusive, firsthand view of how the majority of community members live and how the family’s partnership with TST has helped them secure a better life for themselves, and their children.
  • Assist at Community Daycare: Located at the Happy Family Children’s Village, the community daycare center provides a high quality, pre-primary education to the children from the village, children of TST Staff, and the pre-primary aged children from the Children’s Village. Spend the morning or afternoon working, assisting, and most importantly playing with the children at the daycare center. Start the day by leading circle time with your favorite childhood storybook, guide the children in a creative arts and crafts project, teach the children and staff new, interactive songs, or organize some recess games and activities. No matter how you spend your time at the daycare center, be prepared for your cheeks to ache from all of the smiling.
  • Waterfall hike (counts as 2, full day activity): Enjoy all the village has to offer with an incredible hike through the lush green forest of Nkoaranga that ends at a beautiful waterfall. The trek is mild to moderate in difficulty, and will take you about two hours to hike in and two hours to hike out. You will be rewarded along with way with breathtaking views of the surrounding Usa River and Arusha towns. Those lucky enough to be hiking on a clear day will also be able to see views of the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro far off in the distance. Due to the length of the hike, this activity will count as 2 activities.
  • Visit nearby NGOs: There are several successful nonprofits in the area that are helping to improve the lives of Usa River community members in multiple different ways. You can spend the morning or afternoon touring some of these organizations and learning about the individuals and villages that they work with. Visit Tanz-hands, an organization that works with disabled individuals throughout the region, or Jifundishe, an adult vocational program, or IBES, a nonprofit that works to train highly qualified daycare and preschool teachers and orphanage caregivers. This is a great way to see some of the other ways that NGOs are helping to provide opportunities to a variety of individuals throughout the Arusha Region.
  • Tutoring help: Work with our incredible staff of student teachers to help prepare extra lessons for the children living in the Happy Family Children’s Village. The children living in the Children’s Village attend an English-Medium Primary school in the neighboring town of Usa River. Once the students return home from school, they work on their homework and extra lessons to help supplement their schoolwork. You will have the opportunity to work one on one with a student, or work with a small group of students to assist them with their extra lessons in Math, English, and Writing.
  • Traditional dance performance (Tues + Thurs): Enjoy an afternoon at the Cultural Arts Centre of Tumaini University located in Usa River, where you will get to watch a traditional dance performance provided by the university students. The show will contain traditional music and dances from a variety of cultures and tribes from across Tanzania. Or if you’re feeling a bit more daring, sign up to take traditional dance or drumming lessons taught by the students and staff of Tumaini University’s Cultural Arts Program. (Please note that this activity is an additional $10 per person.)
  • Sit in on Jewelry class: Led by our Social Enterprise Coordinator Reuben, you will have the opportunity to partake in one of our more unique programs, our social enterprise jewelry program. We work with individuals from the community who are interested and committed to learning basic jewelry making skills that they can then use to start their own small business. Students start out with basic beadwork, and work their way up to more advanced designs, and some even learn to work with metals such as silver. You will have the unique opportunity to sit in on one of the jew
    elry classes and not only see one of our social enterprise projects in action, but also learn some basic jewelry making skills yourself.
  • Arusha City Walk: Spend the day touring the streets of Arusha and learning some of the unique history of the city. Arusha, located approximately 15km from Nkoaranga is the 4th largest city in Tanzania, with an estimated population of 350,000. The tour will be customized to your needs/wants and can include a visit to the Arusha Museum, which is rich in history of both Arusha and Tanzania. Some other unique destinations include the Maasai market (a vast market perfect for buying souvenirs), the cultural heritage center (which is full of artwork and unique exhibits), the Shanga shop (a nonprofit set up to teach deaf, blind, and disabled individuals), the local market, excellent coffee shops, and so much more!
  • Canoeing at Lake Duluti: Located about 20 minutes from Nkoaranga is serene Lake Duluti, a crater lake measuring about 1km in length and 600m in width, with an estimated depth of 700 meters. The lake is surrounded by dense rain forest along almost the entire perimeter which gives a unique feeling of seclusion. Enjoy a few hours of canoeing while observing over 100 species of birds, including osprey, buzzards, storks, eagles, and so many more. Lake Duluti is also home to many reptiles which you will have the chance to observe, including monitor lizards. (Please note that this excursion is an additional $20USD per person)

Please note that we can’t guarantee that all activities will be available at all times, and that for child protection reasons, contact with our residential children will be strictly limited. 

We will get back to you as soon as possible with our availability!

Volunteer Ethically in Tanzania

Want to be part of our efforts for happy, healthy childhoods? We would love to have you! Read on to learn how to join us in Tanzania, or click through here to read about our volunteering philosophyand how volunteers can ensure they are doing more good than harm with their efforts. The biggest single piece of advice is to volunteer directly with organizations working on the ground, not through for-profit agencies. 100% of  our volunteer costs and fundraising are put towards your stay and programs that help our children.

In order to provide chance, not charity, for the children and families that reside in the Meru District, we invite interested volunteers from all over the world to join our cause. TST works with the local community to create high impact and ethically responsible volunteer opportunities for those interested in affecting sustainable and long-lasting change. We are a completely humanitarian, non-denominational, registered nonprofit with one simple motive—to provide opportunity to the vulnerable children and families of Nkoaranga.  We are a small, tight knit team and we really depend on the commitment of the volunteers we partner with to help support our operations. Volunteering with TST will mean that you are part of a dedicated global network of people who truly want to make a difference!

For very short stays, we generally recommend that people come visit us for up to a week and participate in our social impact tours program. However, if you have a few weeks available and some special skills, we’d love to talk to you about volunteering to lead a workshop instead!  Volunteers run workshops on a huge range of topics – basic medical care, art (painting, jewelry making, knitting), woodworking, bookkeeping, or almost anything else you can think of. Are you an educator with experience in ESL? Can you teach a new art technique? Run a soccer day with outreach kids? Make murals? Teach dancing? Get in touch with your timing and a few ideas and we will set something up! Note: You will require a volunteer (“business”) visa to participate in this program.

We are always looking for dedicated longer-term volunteers who are interested in working with and loving our children! Childcare volunteers now have a minimum stay of four weeks, as it is too tough for the kids if there are many people in and out, building intense relationships with them. Trust us, it is impossible not to fall in love with these kids.  Most volunteers will spend the days working in our preschool, working with wonderful kiddos from 2-5 years old. We cannot recommend the longer stay highly enough – you won’t want to leave!

We have several internship positions that are available at various times, for a minimum of 4 months – please contact us if you are interested in these or in providing another type of support!

  • Social work intern – help with developmental assessments, help keep up children’s care plans and files, works very closely with Child Welfare Coordinator and Officer.
  • Volunteer leadership intern – assist volunteer coordinator with orienting, managing and scheduling volunteers during their stay, as well as volunteer recruitment.
  • Education intern – designed for those with teaching and ESL qualifications, this internship involves regular tutoring with TST staff and children to improve their English and academics.
  • US-Based Development Intern: Support for the development director an ED with the creation of events, fundraising programs, donor communications, etc

We offer several accomodation options, and are happy to host volunteers with their own housing – we can also refer you to some beautiful high-end lodges in the area!

  • Volunteer Compound: Basic accomodations in the compound with TST’s office, including lunch of weekdays, western style bathrooms, and wireless internet (infrastructure permitting).
  • Homestay: Enjoy a taste of village life by staying with a local family, close to the TST compound. You will share meals with the family and be provided with basic accomodation, including western style bathrooms.
  • Outside Accomodations: For visitors seeking a more luxurious experience, we can refer you to a number of wonderful facilities nearby our work, including Rivertrees Country Inn, Usa River Rehabilitation Center Guesthouse, and Mt. Meru Game Lodge.

This chart should help you figure out the total direct cost of your stay, as well as the amount due including the fundraising target. We will help you set up a page, provide you with fundraising ideas, and be there for you every step of the way!

Next Steps

Download the comprehensive volunteer information pack!

Ask any questions you have to our amazing VC, Susan!

Please fill out our volunteer application.

Someone will be in touch within 48 hours (power permitting) to follow up!

All volunteers have a fundraising expectation, of which at least 50% must be raised prior to arrival in the country. We will give you everything you need to run a great campaign!

Join us in Tanzania!

We can’t wait to have you, and we know you’ll have the time of your life.

Partnership Opportunities

Please download our comprehensive Partnership Prospectus for all the details on how to get involved with our work! We also encourage you to download our research pack, to truly understand why we work the way we do. .