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Make sure to check out our Frequently Asked Questions below. If they don’t answer your questions send us a message, we are happy to answer them.
Address: 1775 W. State Street #329 Boise, Idaho 83702
Address: P.O. Box 6663 Moshi, Tanzania, Africa
Phone: +255 787550857
Frequently Asked Questions
+ Tanzania FAQ's
Is Make A Difference, Inc. a registered organization?
Make A Difference is a registered organization in the USA, Tanzanian and India. We are recognized as a 501c3.
Tell me more about Tanzania.
Tanzania is in East Africa. Dodoma is the capital. We have an office in the town of Moshi and help mainly in the village of Himo, near the gates of Kilimanjaro, where the orphanage is located. The languages spoken in Tanzania are English, Kiswahili and numerous indigenous languages. The currency is Tanzanian shillings.
How is the climate in Tanzania? There are two rainy seasons; the long rains in April and May and the short rains in November and December. The hottest periods are from January to March and August to November. The coldest months are in July and the beginning of August.
Which city/airport do I need to arrive at? You will fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). You will be met on arrival. The airport is around one hour from Moshi. If you want some cash upon arrival, banking services, automatic teller machines (ATMs) and 24hr foreign exchange (forex) bureaus are available at the airport.
When are schools closed in Tanzania? The schools in Tanzania operate on a trimester basis. Classes start in January to March with April being a school holiday month. Schools open again in May to July with August off and then September to November. December is a school holiday month. Our volunteers and interns who are in Tanzania during the school holidays will spend more time at the orphanage with the children.
What vaccinations/immunizations are required? Several vaccinations are highly recommended, they include: Yellow Fever Typhoid Hepatitis A & B Polio Diphtheria Tetanus Rabies Meningitis Cholera TuberculosisContact your doctor several weeks before you travel and seek advice regarding the vaccinations to take.
What about malaria in Tanzania? Make sure your doctor knows you are traveling to Tanzania (don't just say Africa) so she can prescribe the right anti-malarial medication. Malaria prevention medication should be taken according to your doctor’s instructions before, during and after a visit to affected areas. If you are joining us on one of our fundraiser climbs or bike rides, we suggest taking anti-malarial medication. You can easily be prescribed anti-malarial pills at your local travel clinic. There are a variety of choices, so be sure to do a bit of research and select ones that have the least amount of side affects that fit your desired needs. For long-term volunteers or interns, many doctors don’t advice taking anti-malaria pills as they can be bad for your liver. They are also pricey long-term.
Malaria is a serious tropical disease, which is spread by night-biting mosquitoes, which transmit a parasite. Long sleeved shirts and trousers should be worn in the evenings and insect repellent can be used in areas with mosquitoes. If the area you are volunteering has mosquitoes, use a mosquito net at night. The most effective are those treated with an insect repellent.
It is important to treat malaria as soon as symptoms arise. Its symptoms include chills, fevers, headache, nausea and vomiting. If you suspect you have malaria, see a doctor as soon as possible even if you have the treatment for malaria with you so that a correct diagnosis can be made.
How close is the nearest hospital? Moshi has several modern clinics available. It is also home to KCMC hospital one of the largest in the country. Our guesthouse, hostiles and host families are located in Moshi for your convenience. All are only minutes from medical care and air transport.
What if I get sick while volunteering in Tanzania? We recommend that you be adequately insured both with medical and traveler’s insurance. Flying Doctors Service is available to provide medical evacuation from remote areas to Nairobi hospitals in cases of emergency. Please let us know if you would like us help.
Is it safe to volunteer in Tanzania? Any volunteer abroad safety tips? Tanzania is one of the safest countries in Africa. We ensure you are placed in safe environment and you will be very well looked after while volunteering. The Tanzanian people are very warm and friendly towards foreigners. However, it is essential to take simple precautions and other volunteer abroad safety tips. There is poverty in Tanzania. You are likely to be viewed as very rich. You will attract people who want you to purchase items off the street as well as street children and beggars in smaller towns. Be sure to take some precautions such as: Leave your passport, credit cards and debit cards in the room provided by your home stay host. Only carry a copy of your passport and little cash when going about your duties. Do not walk on your own at night. Do not wear expensive jewelry. Do not carry a lot of camera equipment. Wear a money belt that fits under your clothes. Always avoid alleys/back streets. Avoid using your tech gadgets except in your room, at the restaurants or at the project during your break. An ipod in the streets may attract undue attention. You need to be aware of your surroundings at all times when walking, using public transport etc. Avoid talking and walking with strangers. More safety issues will be discussed at your orientation.
Do I need a visa to enter Tanzania? Yes. The cost of volunteers visas range from $120 to $500 USD depending on immigration and the country you are coming from. It is $100 USD for a tourist visa, but if you are caught volunteering on a tourist visa you can be fined up to $500 USD. We can help you apply for your visa, just contact us.
How much money should I bring? Your program fees cover your housing, transport, and most meals. Additional expenses will be for your personal shopping, meals out, trips and any other individual needs, so the amount you spend will be your choice. There are several ATMS available in Moshi that take major credit cards. There are also multiple money exchanging facilities for you to utilize.
Are credit cards accepted in Tanzania? Only at ATM’s. It is advisable to carry US Dollars for exchange and an ATM card with you. Bills such as $100 and $50 USD get the best exchange rate.
Should I bring any special clothing? Bring along some comfortable, semi-casual clothing: jeans, skirts and any other clothing that you would ordinarily wear. Include warm clothing for nights, especially if you volunteer in July and August. Avoid flashy items. It’s a good idea to bring clothing that will help protect you from the sun yet keep you cool. You may also want to consider what kinds of projects you will be working on when packing. If you are working on construction or painting, bring clothing you don’t mind getting dirty. Also remember that you will be working with children so you can expect to get dirty during the day! On weekends people like to dress up in Tanzania. Many wear nice dresses, slacks and dress shoes. We encourage you to bring a few nice outfits you feel good in for going out to dinner or if you are so inclined, to church.
*A special note for our female guests. You will be expected to respect the local culture by being conservative in your dress. Women should wear skirts or long shorts or pants that cover your knees. You should also avoid overly provocative tops or any clothing that will bring undue attention to yourself.
How will I get from the airport to the guesthouse in Moshi? Transportation will be provided from the airport to your residence in Moshi. A driver will be waiting for you there, just look for a sign with your name or the Make a Difference sign and a smiling face.
What do the kids need and what should I bring? We are always in need of new resources and the children love receiving gifts! It is however very important to practice mindful giving when coming to a developing nation. While it may feel good to bring the children items like candy or video games, ask yourself, “Is this sustainable?”
Many of the items that MAD and the children truly need, (like laundry and body soap, food, socks etc) can be purchased in Tanzania. Buying locally is also a great way to support the economy and save space in your suitcase. This being said, there are items and gifts that we do truly appreciate people bringing from home such as:
Black pens Notebooks (spiral school notebooks) Sports shoes for the kids (from size 4 to size 9).
What kinds of food will I be eating? Tanzania is home to some of the most delicious tropical fruits and fresh vegetables. Moshi boasts an impressive local market where you can find fresh organic produce, beans, grains, fish and fresh cut meats. Many local dishes consist of simple foods like rice and beans or vegetables, and the national dish Ugali which is like polenta served with a relish and to be eaten your hands. Fried chicken and chips (French fries), sandwiches etc are available in restaurants and hotels. Breakfast usually consists of bread, eggs, porridge and fruits. Goat is served at most wedding ceremonies. Tanzania-grown coffee and tea are common beverages. Dessert is generally not served. You will get the chance to have homemade local and western style meals prepared daily by our cook or host families. You also have free reign of the kitchen to prepare whatever you would like.
Is this program Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly? Yes! Many Tanzanian meals are vegetarian friendly by nature as meat and dairy are luxury items. Fresh local organic produce is readily available and meals prepared by our cook or host families can be adapted to fit your dietary needs. For our vegan guests and guests with other dietary restrictions we ask that you be prepared to help with preparing food as well have a flexible approach to meals that may be served. Our staff will do its best to accommodate you but keep in mind you are in a developing nation and strict dietary limitations are a rarity. Please pack any specialty foods from home that you will make meeting your dietary needs easier.
Is it safe to travel to Tanzania if I have Diabetes? Yes. We have the following suggestions for travelers with diabetes:
Be prepared- Dont Assume you can get what you need at your destination. Take what you need and pack options. Research your area. Time zone changes may require you to adjust the times in which you take insulin See your doctor before leaving to inquire about any changes to your program they may suggest. Also have your doctor provide you with at note allowing you to carry all diabetes supplies at all time for travel Check on your international health care coverage Keep insulin and snacks on you at all time Attempt to eat and sleep as regularly as possible. Wear your Medic Alert Bracelet or have your health info handy everyday
Is Moshi Safe? Moshi is a small safe city but as when traveling anywhere, we do ask international travelers to be cautious and smart. Never go out after dark by yourself. Always take care of your valuables, as pick pocketing does sometimes occur.
Do not give out your personal information to people you do not know. Basically use common since and you will be fine!
Will I have access to Internet? Yes. Moshi has many Internet cafes where, for a small price, you can use computers and Internet. We also have an office equipped with Wi-fi Internet that you will have access to if you bring your laptop. You will not have the ability to use the Internet everyday as we experience frequent power outages. It is important to inform your friends and family that you will not have the ability to communicate with them everyday so that they do not worry. Also keep in mind, you will be in a developing nation so the internet connection can be spotty and slow, please be patient.
You will also have access to our volunteer phone. Your family can call the phone anytime and you may also use it to call out anytime. We don’t pay for your calls, unless there is an emergency, but phone credit can be bought easily nearby the house.
How many other people will I be working with? The number of people you will work with will vary depending on when you come and what projects you are working on. You could be working independently with your volunteer coordinator or you could be working as a team with a large group.
Will I have access to clean drinking water? Yes. The MAD guesthouse is equipped with running water. As a precaution before we consume water we make sure that it is boiled and put in a container for drinking. You will also have access to clean bottled water but we ask that each volunteer bring a refillable water bottle to use throughout the day to reduce our consumption of plastic. Bottles with filtration systems are the best option to keep you safe.
Do the kids at the orphanage speak English? Yes. All of the children are attending English speaking schools. They are all fluent in English and love having the opportunity to practice with native speakers. Of course, they also know Swahili, so you are welcome to practice a few phrases you learn out on them after your Swahili courses.
How will I get around town? Make a Difference has a private vehicle that can be used for transport in the beginning of your trip. As you become more comfortable in Moshi you will take advantage of the “daladala”, the local public transportation. The ‘daladala’ is a bus, which is cheap, effective, and a great way to experience Tanzanian culture.
What will my sleeping arrangements be like? You will be provided with a bunk-bed, bedding, mosquito net, and pillow. According to how many people we are hosting at the time, you will either have a bedroom to your self or you could be sharing with up to three other guests. We suggest that you utilize your mosquito net every night.
Should I bring towels and bedding? The guesthouse has towels and bedding available for you to use. However, we appreciate you bringing a towel and a set of twin bed sheets to leave at the guesthouse after you depart, as quality towels and bedding can be hard to find locally.
What is there to do in Moshi in my free time? On days off we suggest that you get out and explore Moshi and the local area. In town there are several nice restaurants for you to enjoy as well as some of the best coffee and coffee houses you can find. The surrounding area is full of places for you to bike or hike or just enjoy a day relaxing in the sun or reading.
+ Can I bring gifts for the kids?
Yes. Please make sure to never bring anything with tags or in packaging or it will be taxed. If you are unsure if you should bring something send us a message. Keep in mind purchasing gifts within the country not only helps the children but also the local economy.
+ Do I need to bring extra spending money?
Please reference our MAD Tanzania Guidebook
+ Do I need a travel adapter?
It is up to you but if you have anything you would like to charge during your trip then yes. You can pick them up almost anywhere like Target or Walmart, here are a few examples from Amazon.