Note: This report is based on a questionnaire filled in by
your predecessors, with additions by our staff. While
every effort is made to ensure that the information it
contains is up to date and accurate, no responsibility can
be taken for any errors, since conditions at any project
inevitably change over time.
1. Name and full postal address of the project:
Caretakers of the Environment TanzaniaPO BOX 5082 Bugando Post OfficeMwanzaTanzania
Your host is
Mutani Yangwe, the founder of the project. When
Mutani is in Uganda, Vedastus Cleophas is in charge, with Jeff
and Danny around to help out as well.
Either in the office or at one of the many internet
cafes in town. Most charge 1000 TSH an hour. The closest is in
Ghana and is within walking distance.
3. Telephone exchange and number:
Fax exchange and number:
You can send faxes at most
4. Nearest major town (NMT):
The city centre of Mwanza.
5. Normal transport to NMT:
Dala dala. These cost 200 TSH
and are the cheapest form of transport. The dala dala to
Kilimahewa (rust coloured stripe) or Kiloleli (yellow and blue)
drop you at the Kilimahewa bus stand outside the House of
Music. In town, you can either catch them on Airport Road or
Market Street. On the way out of town they do not stop on
Nyerere Road. Taxis are also available, and cost about 3000
TSH to Kilimahewa from the centre, though you have to barter.
6. Distance in miles and time to NMT:
miles along Airport Road, about 10 minutes.
7. Whether mail is delivered to project address:
gets delivered to the Post Office and somebody (Mutani or
Danny) will check this once or twice a week, depending on
whether anybody is expecting anything.
8. Usual length of time for a letter to arrive from the UK:
Letters about 1 week or less. Parcels maybe 2, but it depends.
9. Name and distance of nearest commercial airfield and
Mwanza Airport, along Airport Road. You will
have arrived there! There is also a train station in the city
centre, on the road along towards Hotel Tilapia. Trains are not
a very popular form of transport and I wouldn’t recommend
them. Buses are generally used to travel to nearby towns,
though these can be slow and labourious.
10. Your main work:
Teaching at Nyamanoro Secondary
School. You can teach whatever subject you want. The
teachers mostly teach out of one of the few textbooks they have
so you can have the opportunity to take over and inject fresh
ideas into the lessons! Also teaching or helping out at Tumaini
(Hope) Nursery. The kids don’t speak any English so games
and activities are a good idea.
. Other work you are likely to be doing:
interest of the Project leaders is environmental education. At
Nyamanoro you will give talks about environmental awareness
after school to the Environmental Club and any others who are
interested. Their basic level of knowledge is surprisingly low so
don’t assume they know anything; what is obvious to you may
very well be news to them! You can also do activities e.g. we
created a garden on the school campus. From time to time trips
are organised at the weekend with the Caretakers group to
local beauty spots. If you have the knowledge and equipment
for any sports or games you are welcome to start a sports club
after school. The students are always interested and willing to
get involved in anything you organise. There is also a possibility
of working at one of the orphanages in town if you are prepared
to organise this yourself.
Work is being undertaken to set up an orphanage/day care centre so you may have the opportunity to get involved in the construction/organisation/running of this centre (depending where we are in the development of this).
12. Size and organisation of your project (e.g. pupils by
sex and age range, average class size) and the background
The average class size at Nyamanoro is 40,
mixed sex. They come from a mixed background, and there are
some orphans integrated into the classes. The ages range from
14 to 20. There are 3 forms (roughly Y7, 8 and 9) and currently
2 classes in each form, although expansion of the school is
underway. National exams are undertaken by Form 2 in
October/November. The medium of instruction at the school is
English (meaning all subjects are taught in this language),
although the comprehension of oral English, especially with
your accent, means that you may sometimes need to simplify
the language that you use and make sure you speak slowly and
clearly at all times.
13. How your project is funded, who controls the funds,
and fees, if any:
The local Government fund the school, with
support from Caretakers. Students pay school fees to attend
the school. The nursery is funded by Caretakers.
14. Equipment you will use/supervise:
There is very little
equipment available at the places you will be working. Usually
the equipment available will be a blackboard and chalk. There
are places in town where you can get any worksheets etc.
photocopied. The secondary school doesn’t have electricity so
there is no electronic equipment (e.g. audio visual) available.
. Text books used:
There is a syllabus at the secondary
school, roughly at KS3 or GCSE level (English school system).
There are very few textbooks at school; the teachers pass them
amongst each other. The students do not have any textbooks.
It is a good idea to bring as much teaching aids with you as
possible, as well as visual aids (e.g. posters, worksheets etc.)
to vary lessons as much as possible. Any teaching you do at
the nursery or any orphanages are informal and have no
16. Library facilities at the project, and if available, how
well used they are and the sort of books available (e.g.
fiction, magazines, textbooks, newspapers, references):
There are book shops in town that sell textbooks in English, as
well as a rather random collection of literature. English-
speaking newspapers are available from the newspaper
stands. There are plenty of environment
booklets/magazines/activity packs in the office to help you plan
environmental activities or lessons.
17. Equipment available to help with your work (e.g.
radio/record player/slide projector/duplicator/typewriter):
See 16. Computer available at the volunteer house in the office,
with internet access. Printers and photocopiers available at
internet cafes in town.
18. Special equipment which is in short supply and which
you could usefully bring from the UK:
Blue Tac - lots and
lots! Magazines. Pictures of friends and family and your life in
the West. Students love pictures. It would be a good idea to
bring some of your own currency or stamps as prizes in games.
Premier league football is huge here, with most people claiming
an affiliation with one of the top few teams, so football
programmes etc. would be well received.
19. Normal hours of work each day:
The nursery is open
from 8am to 11am. Secondary school hours are 8am to
2.30pm, then extra curricular activities are after. You may
spend up to 4 or 5 hours a day at school but only teach for 2
hours. Nothing happens in a hurry here!
20. Saturday/Sunday work:
Occasionally activities or trips
with the Environmental Club.
21. Additional activities to those given in 10 and 11 (e.g.
spare time activities, private coaching, handicrafts):
or arts and crafts, really whatever interests you. There is
endless amounts of possibility here, if you use your
imagination. If you have any particular interests or skills, inform
somebody at the project and they will do their best to
accommodate you. Most art supplies or sports equipment can
be bought somewhere in town.
Lessons finish at 2.30pm at secondary school and earlier at the orphanage. The students would normally just go home or hang around so anything you ant to do can be organised as long as you can take charge of organising it! The students are very interested in getting involved with anything you arrange.
22. Special skills (e.g. driving licence, riding, typing, first
aid, languages) which are useful:
Good linguist and big
eater. Also useful to develop artistic skills which I discovered after having my drawings ridiculed in class!
23. The best way of keeping money, and other valuables,
Locked at home. The house is very secure with a gate at
the front, and each room has a lock on the door. When in town,
especially after dark, keep your valuables close to you, either in
a money belt or in a bag on your front. Pickpockets are
common and foreigners get targeted as they are seen as being
24. Things on which you will spend this money:
such as chocolate or alcohol. Bars or clubs in the evening. Any
supplies for school or to help out with your activities. All food is
included in the project.
25. Religious connections with the project:
26. Term/fixed holiday dates for the following year:
week for Easter beginning of April. 4 weeks in June. 1 week in
September and 5 weeks through December for Christmas. Also
one week each term when students have mid-term exams, plus
a few days here and there for public holidays. Don’t expect to
be told until just before the holiday what the dates are!
27. Other comments about your project:
All the projects
(school, nursery and orphanage) are not at all organised by
western standards! Be prepared to have to initiate most things
yourself. You need to very motivated to get things done. But
persevere, when things work out its incredibly rewarding, and it
makes a lot of difference to the kids.
28. Amount of time off you can expect:
Sundays, evenings, public holidays and the main holidays.
29. Things to do during your time off on working days:
Learn Swahili, African dancing, read, go into town, play sports
and relax. Watch TV (we have cable TV which is not great but
you do pick up CNN and BBC news, as well as some sports
and occasionally American television programmes). There is a
DVD and video player but the movies you can buy or rent often
don’t work so it may be a good idea to bring some from home to
avoid immense frustration! (I’m speaking from experience!)
There is a swimming pool at Hotel Tilapia and another at the
New Mwanza Hotel, which can both, be used for a fee (5000
TSH at Tilapia, not sure about the New Mwanza) and if you can
arrange transport, Tunza Lodge is about the only recreational
beach in the area, with a volleyball net and a well-stocked bar.
However it is not recommended that you swim in the lake, as
water born infections such as bilharzias are rife, as are
30. Where to go for weekends and longer periods:
Serengeti is the main attraction and highly recommended.
Otherwise, Saanane Island makes an interesting day trip, and
Rubondo Island National Park is a beautiful place with many
interesting animals, though transport there and back can be a
bit of a nightmare! Somebody at the project can help you to
organise all these.
31. Other comments about your project:
Evenings can be
very quiet so make sure you bring entertainment with you.
Books, cards, games, music and DVDs/videos are a good idea.
32. Type of accommodation:
House with 3 bedrooms, 1
ensuite with western toilet, shared toilet/shower with squatter
toilet, kitchen, living room, courtyard and office. Bedrooms and
living room all have fans. Showers have no hot water. TV, CD
player, DVD and video.
33. Whether shared, and if so, with whom:
Yes, with other
volunteers and/or Danny, Jeff or Mutani depending.
34. Distance from your workplace:
About a ½ hour walk to
Nyamanoro (public transport isn’t really available), similar to the
nursery, and a 10 minute dala dala journey to the orphanage.
35. Eating arrangements:
There will be a cook at the house
who will prepare all your meals. Food here isn’t terribly varied
but its OK. Some western food is available in town but is quite
36. Electricity supply:
220v, 3 pin (same as UK).
37. Water supply:
You will drink bottled water here, including
for brushing teeth etc.
38. Other comments about accommodation. In particular,
whether a mosquito net is required and if so whether one
is available or should be obtained before leaving the UK:
Mosquito nets are required but are provided at the house. Its
possible you may need one when travelling, although most
places you will stay in should have them. Lake Victoria has a
high risk of malaria so its better safe than sorry. An iron and
ironing board is provided, as are towels and bedding. There is
no hair dryer.
39. Correct working clothes (including skirt length):
Anything neat and tidy. Girls, don’t wear anything low cut or
tight - it is just not done. Skirts or trousers for teaching - not too
smart or tatty. DM's and sandals fine. Thick-shouldered
sleeveless tops can be acceptable. Girls shouldn’t expose
40. Off duty clothes:
Anything in flat but outside not too
revealing. You get stared at enough as it is and if you are
wearing unsuitable clothes you are more likely to feel self-
conscious. Bring a jumper or two if you plan to go on safari and
depending on the time of year. If coming in the rainy season, a
lightweight raincoat is extremely useful.
41. Respectable clothes:
Nice to have just in case, doesn’t
need to be over the top.
42. Clothes you can obtain overseas:
If you like African
fabrics/colours, clothes can be tailor-made for you cheaply and
easily. Also makes good presents.
43. Advice on footwear:
Bring shoes and good quality
sandals, you will wear these a lot. Flip flops are cheap and
easily obtainable (although they may fall apart!). Personally I
feel that Birkenstocks are invaluable.
45. A suggested clothes list:
Bring whatever you are
comfortable in. Make sure you have some light things as it is
hot most of the year. Skirts or shorts (longish), jeans or
trousers, something long-sleeved for the evenings to keep the
mosquitoes away, presentable conservative clothes for
teaching, something to wear if going out in the evening,
underwear, t-shirts and maybe some clothes for sports as there
is a lot of opportunity for that. Mosquitoes are attracted to
bright colours. You should have khaki coloured clothing if you
plan to go on safari.
46. Nearest medical services for minor ailments:
pharmacies in town and Kilimahewa dispense western
medicine. The landlord of the house owns a pharmacy in town.
If you need to see a doctor, most westerners seem to go to
Bugando Hospital just outside the city centre.
47. Nearest medical services for major problems (distance
48. Whether any medical supplies are necessary:
comprehensive first aid kit is useful, including antiseptic cream,
paracetamol, Imodium essential on occasions and of course
anti-malarials and insect repellent.
49. Medical supplies obtainable locally:
style medicines, though not necessarily brands that you
50. Other comments:
You can buy shampoo, conditioner,
toothpaste etc easily and locally. Some recognisable brands
are available but don’t assume. If you have a particular brand
loyalty, best to bring it from home. Hair styling products are a bit
difficult to come by.
51. Name, and address and distance of nearest bank:
banks are all in the city centre. For exchanging travellers
cheques, the Serengeti Service Tours (opposite Mwanza Post
Office) has the best rates; banks charge extremely high
commission. The ATM machines in town are a bit
temperamental. Be careful of using the machine at KCB, it has
been known to dispense Kenyan currency for some reason. We
found the best ATM is CRDB on the Hanging Tree roundabout
as you enter town. All banks will exchange currency – dollars or
pounds are best.
52. Useful contacts previously made:
Friendly staff at the
school and orphanage. Useful telephone numbers are in the
office. There are a few local characters that have been friendly
with other volunteers and will no doubt contact you in due
course! Tanzanians are renowned for their hospitality and friendliness so you will have no problem making friends.
53. Things exceptionally expensive locally:
western goods. Drinks at clubs. Western food. Electronic
equipment e.g. cameras
54. Things exceptionally cheap locally:
Food, drink, and
most other basic goods.
55. Additional things your predecessors would have taken
in the light of experience, and things they found
Big visual aids/pictures for teaching are
good. A decent torch is crucial as power cuts are common and
there are no street lights in Kilimahewa.
56. Special points not covered elsewhere:
A mobile phone
is useful here so bring a handset and you can buy a sim card
here very cheaply.
57. Local language:
Swahili. Each tribe also has its own
local language. It is a good idea to learn a few words in Swahili,
especially greetings, as the locals will appreciate it and respect
you for it. All subjects at secondary school are taught in English
and many people in town and in shops can speak a little bit of
English. Swahili lessons will be offered to you (if not offered
58. Titles, publishers etc of books and other sources of
information your predecessors found particularly valuable:
A decent guidebook is useful, especially if you plan on travelling. The two I know of are Lonely Planet and Cadogan Guides, both of which are good.
A phrase book (Lonely Planet publish a Swahili phrase book I believe) may help you out when travelling or struggling to be understood.
For help with teaching ideas and lesson plans, searching TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) on google will come up will tons of websites that are really useful.
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