Above all we welcome people who will uncomplainingly, joyfully and respectfully HELP.
We work together with:
hat do volunteers do?
Volunteers usually help out at the Green Door Home (playing with the children, tutoring etc) and help with outreach projects sponsored by the Boona Baana (e.g. Painting Parties, Play Days, etc). Above all we need volunteers who will selflessly give their time to helping. Sometimes, capable and mature volunteers may be asked to take the place of the houseparents for a day or even for a few days so that the houseparents can have some time off.
Where do volunteers stay? Volunteers may choose to stay at the Boona Baana volunteer dormitories which cost anywhere between $6 and $12 a night depending on the room and the duration of stay. These rooms are available on a first come, first serve basis and we do not take reservations or guarantee availability. We can also assist you in finding other accommodation suitable for your budget.
What about traveling?
Tanzania is a beautiful country and we encourage our volunteers to spend some of their time traveling the country as well. For those volunteers who are staying one month or more, we encourage you to learn some Swahili and we can introduce a local Swahili teacher to you.
How much does it cost?
Unlike many volunteer organisations, we do not require volunteers to pay for the “privilege” of doing volunteer work with us nor do we ask for any money to cover administrative costs. However we do ask volunteers to be self supporting and to contribute towards expenses such as gas (petrol) for transport assistance (such as collecting you at the airport and taking you around town). We are always grateful however for volunteers who conduct a fundraising activity --- no matter how small --- for the Boona Baana Center prior to their departure from their home country.
At the end of the Volunteer Period, volunteers are welcome to make a monetary contribution in an amount of their own choice or they may choose to donate certain items which the Green Door Home needs.
Volunteers are expected to be fully self supporting. Accommodation expenses usually range from US$6 to US$12 a night. A frugal and simple volunteer can live off of a budget of as little as $10-$15 a day (if they eat local food and take public transport) but most of our volunteers have reported that they have spent twice as much as they planned or budgetted to spend so be realistic about your budget.
What are the requirements for volunteering?
We welcome mature, pro-active, self-supporting, adventurous and independent volunteers of all backgrounds, nationalities and faiths.
We are a very small and informal organisation so volunteers MUST meet the following requirements:
Jump in and organize an activity such as a soccer match, a fashion, show, a dance marathon or some arts & crafts. Or teach some games from your home-country such as tic-tac-toe, hopscotch or paper scissors stone. Or organise a “Green Door Home Olympics” and have each child represent a different country. They can learn about their new “country”, paint a flag have an opening ceremony, and compete against one another. We rely on our volunteers to bring new ideas and creative play into our life.
Be patient, Things move slowly in Africa (and indeed even at the Boona Baana and the Green Door Home). Relax and enjoy the slow pace. Remember that life here is not as organized and predictable as life in the Americas or Europe.
We try to be flexible and we are always happy to accommodate changes in plan. We do not require specific time commitments from our volunteers but we do hope that you will be committed enough to contribute as much as you can in the way of time and energy. We also do not ask for volunteers to pay us for administrative costs so please appreciate that all of the information and assistance that we provide to you is done free of charge and as such we do not have the high degree of resources that you may be used to.
We have very few rules and restrictions for our volunteer program. We accept volunteers of all nationalities, faiths, ages, backgrounds and skill sets. However, we do ask that you respect the few rules that we do have. We can not allow any alcohol at the Green Door Home or the Boona Baana. We are a children’s organization and are subject to the rules of the Tanzanian Social Welfare Department who may come to inspect us at anytime.
The staff, management and volunteers of the Boona Baana and the Green Door Home work either for no salary at all or for a very small salary. They do this work because they believe in it. There are times when you may not agree with or understand our decisions or direction. Although your suggestions are always welcome, your faith, respect and consideration for our long term work and commitment will be warmly appreciated.
Tanzanians are warm and friendly people. Don’t be afraid to make friends and learn some Swahili --- you may learn more about Tanzanian life and culture than you ever thought possible.
The food, the culture, the smells and the sounds will be unfamiliar and foreign to you at first. But we recommend that you dive in and experience Tanzanian life head-on. You will be surprised at how quickly you will adapt.
SENSE OF HUMOR- The electricity WILL go out. The water supply WILL cut off and the restaurant service WILL be slow. Keep your cool and use your sense of humor while still being respectful. The Swahili word to describe people who handle difficult situations with patience, tolerance and a smile is MVUMILIVU.