As a Tanzania medical volunteer with PMGY, you will have a fantastic opportunity to gain first-hand experience and insight into Tanzanian health care. If you are thinking of a career in healthcare, or you are studying a health-related subject at university, this program will offer you essential first-hand experience to assist in your career development. As a medical volunteer, you will learn from local staff. By supporting them, you will gain exposure that you are unlikely to obtain in your home country.
MEDICAL VOLUNTEER PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS THE UN'S SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL NO.3 - HEALTH
LEARN ABOUT HEALTH CARE PROVISION ACROSS A VARIETY OF HOSPITAL DEPARTMENTS
COMMUNITY CLINIC & GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL PLACEMENTS AVAILABLE
WITNESS THE STAGGERING MOUNT KILIMANJARO
AMAZING DESTINATION FOR SAFARI NATIONAL PARKS
BACKGROUND TO THE MEDICAL PROGRAM
Like many African countries, Tanzania faces an acute shortage of healthcare workers. Low pay, poor working conditions and limited training programs contribute to the problem. The situation is further amplified by the rising burden of HIV/AIDS treatment. Unfortunately, health standards in Tanzania have declined so much that it trails most other developing nations.
The leading causes of death in Tanzania are malaria, HIV/AIDS, respiratory diseases and cardio-circulatory diseases. Many of these major causes of death and serious illness are difficult to avoid. The work of the healthcare system in Tanzania largely centres on treating immediate cases. However, it also extends to educating patients in preventative measures.
As a medical volunteer in Tanzania with PMGY, you will have a unique and exciting opportunity to experience health care in Tanzania first hand. PMGY collaborate with a government hospital and community clinic within the Arusha and Meru district of the country. PMGY’s medical program offers a fantastic opportunity for individuals to gain volunteer experience to further their career. The various departments across these settings that offer a variety of exposures to participants looking to further their medical background and experience. Additionally, the program allows individuals to explore one of the most amazing countries in the world!
MEDICAL VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES
Levolosi Hospital - We place overseas volunteers at a government hospital located in the town of Arusha. This tends to be the main placement for our Tanzania medical volunteers. The hospital currently caters to all kinds of general health matters. The hospital is a 24/7 facility, treating around 50-80 patients each day. The hospital has a strong maternity ward with an average of 500 newborns delivered each month. This, therefore, makes this is a very good placement for midwifery students.
Tengeru Hospital - We place volunteer overseas at a government hospital located in the town of Tengeru, a neighbouring town of Arusha. This tends to be the main placement for our medical volunteers. Having started originally as a women’s health centre, the hospital currently caters to all kinds of general health matters.
The hospital is a 24/7 facility, treating around 50-80 patients each day. The hospital has a strong maternity ward with an average of 500 newborns delivered each month. This, therefore, makes this is a very good placement for midwifery students. There is also a recently opened Dental Ward, ideal for dentistry students who wish to promote dental hygiene education.
Often, we are able to place medical volunteers in Tanzania at the following departments: Dental, Diabetes Clinic, General Medical Consultation, Laboratory, HIV Awareness and Testing, Midwifery & Labour Ward, Newborn Care and Immunisations, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Optical, Paediatrics, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy (part-time), Prenatal Care & Antenatal Care, Radiology Surgery (Minor and Major) & Tuberculosis Wing. Any preferences can be noted within your application, however, please note that these can never be guaranteed.
Volunteers will be working alongside qualified local staff during the time spent in each department. On your first day, you will receive a full introduction from the matron. The matron will discuss with you what departments you’re interested in and devise a work schedule for you. You can choose to spend your time within a number of different departments or focus on one or two. We typically recommend volunteers to spend a minimum of one week within a department.
During your time, you will likely witness a range of cases you may never come across back home. This could include Typhoid and TB. There will also be the chance to learn about tropical diseases such as Malaria, Yellow Fever and Dengue. Working in a government hospital will come with its own set of challenges. You should be prepared to experience some strong emotions with the standards of the facilities and limited equipment available.
Things tend to be a lot more laid-back in Tanzania. This lack of urgency can be frustrating, as well as the impersonal way many of the Tanzanian medical staff treat their patients. Please, therefore, be prepared for some eye-opening experiences, which may be difficult to cope with at times. However, remember to throw yourself into the experience and challenge yourself to learn. Do this and you will have a really rewarding time, and assist in making a positive impact.
Community Clinic - Our second medical placement is a local community clinic. This centre offers affordable healthcare to some of the poorest people in Arusha and surrounding areas. It is the first full-service charity clinic in Arusha. The clinic sees up to 3,000 patients per month, although it is relatively small in size. At the clinic, patients are able to see a doctor. Following the consultation, if needed, patients can receive any necessary blood word or prescription treatments for a very nominal fee.
The clinic has the following departments: General Medical Consultation, Minor Surgeries (largely fractures), Laboratory, Pharmacy, X-ray, Ultrasound. Volunteer in Tanzania participants will have the chance to work in multiple departments. The head doctor and his team will mentor you throughout your time at the clinic. They will go out of their way to get you involved in as much as you can.
In the small surgery room, there may be opportunities to learn and assist as procedures. This could include circumcision, abscess/cyst/growth removal and drainage and stitching. Within the pharmacy, you will learn about the different medication prescribed - mainly antibiotics, anti-worm, or antimalarial treatments. This placement is open to people of all medical backgrounds, including school leavers and university students. You will get to witness a range of cases, largely malaria and typhoid. Other frequent cases tend to be in the area of obstetrics, basic dentistry and the urinary system.
YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY
As a medical volunteer in Tanzania, you will have the opportunity to learn and work alongside qualified staff. Those with little or no medical experience will assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a medically related degree, then you may get the opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement, at your discretion. However, the opportunity for this is dependent on a volunteer’s relationship with the doctors/nurses you work alongside and permission of patients.
In general, during time as a medical volunteer in Tanzania, your role should predominately be seen as an opportunity to learn about a healthcare system in a developing country. It is a chance for you to learn about differences in practice compared to those you would find in your home country. You will have the opportunity to learn about common health problems within a third world country and understand how these are dealt with. International volunteers can expect to be on the project for 3-5 hours per day. Typical working hours are 8:30am-1pm or 11am-4pm, Monday to Friday. Volunteers are usually welcome to stay at the project for longer if they wish.
Transport to the medical volunteer in Tanzania project is not included in the Program Fee. You will usually be required to take a Dala Dala (local bus) to placement. It can take up to 45 minutes to travel to your volunteer work in Tanzania. Our local team will guide you through the local transport methods during your in-country orientation. You can also always ask them if you are unsure of how much you should be paying for a journey.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER AS A MEDICAL VOLUNTEER IN TANZANIA
Hands-On Involvement - Your level of involvement at the medical volunteer projects is dictated by a range of factors. First of all your medical experience, but also the duration of program and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision. Ultimately, it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures.
Previous PMGY medical volunteer in Tanzania participants have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc. However, please note we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement regardless of medical experience or background.
Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a medically related degree, then you should have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on. Such a decision ultimately lies with the medical staff.
Trained Professionals - Please note this program is not suitable for trained professionals who are looking to practise overseas. This opportunity is only suitable for students or people looking to go into the medical or nursing field and wish to learn about a healthcare system overseas.
Multiple Projects - Please note you can only be placed at one medical facility during your time with us. In some circumstances, it may be possible to combine medical facilities across your time. However, note that this will incur an additional 150 USD local payment. This is a medical donation to the new facility you are transferring over to.
Community Volunteering - There may be the possibility to get involved in our community volunteer opportunities in Tanzania, alongside the medical volunteer program. However, this cannot be guaranteed. If this is something you are interested in, please highlight these volunteer programs in Tanzania on your application under ‘special requirements’.
Important Visa Information - On-arrival into Tanzania you will need to obtain a Tourist Visa. This costs 50 USD (100 USD for US Citizens). You do not need to worry about this in advance since this can be purchased at the airport on arrival. Please bring US Dollars that have been issued from 2006 onwards to pay. Card payments will not be accepted.
Tanzanian law stipulates that all volunteers must also have a Volunteer Visa. If you’re joining PMGY in Tanzania for less than 90 days, this will cost 200 USD. Your volunteer coordinator will process this on your behalf during your orientation after arriving in Arusha, Tanzania. For the Volunteer Visa, please make sure you have 200 USD in cash (issued from 2006 onwards). Our local team will process this for you within the first couple of days of your arrival. They will then return your passport to you with the visa inside it. You, therefore, do not need to obtain this Volunteer Visa prior to arriving in Tanzania. If you are volunteering for more than 90 days, the local team will instead help arrange a Residency Permit. This permit costs 550 USD.
For those engaging in volunteer work in Tanzania for 90 days or less, the total visa fee is 250 USD . The cost is 300 USD for US citizens. You should bring this amount with you on your volunteer trip to Tanzania in cash (US dollars, issued from 2006 onwards). The cost would be 600 USD (650 for US citizens) for volunteers joining us in Tanzania for more than 90 days.
Yellow Fever - Recently, the Tanzania Embassy have changed legal requirements for the Yellow Fever Vaccination. The government now states that this must now only legally be obtained by:
• Individuals who are travelling from a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission
• Individuals who are transiting through one of these at-risk countries for 12 hours or more
However, some participants outside of these parameters have still been asked to show evidence of the vaccination upon arrival into Tanzania. You may, therefore, wish to still obtain this vaccination to avoid any confusion or difficulties upon arrival into the country. To obtain this vaccination, you must ensure you allow yourself plenty of time to arrange this before you go.
There has been a lot of debate on this issue. However, from the PMGY team’s experience, we have always been asked to show proof of our Yellow Fever Vaccination. We therefore strongly advise all our volunteers to do so as well to avoid any complications on-arrival.
Weekends - Your project work in Tanzania runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Tanzania Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Tanzania. We offer the Wildlife Safari Trip along with the Zanzibar Chill Out Trip with opportunities running every month.
CHOOSING A VOLUNTEER TRIP
Can people from outside of the UK or USA volunteer with PMGY?
Of course! Although PMGY was founded in the UK, with offices now extending between the UK and US, we welcome participants of all nationalities onto our programs. Within the last decade, we have hosted tens of thousands of volunteers from across the globe. From France to Italy, Mexico to India, Namibia to Russia and Ireland to China – these are only a handful of the countries volunteers have joined us from! We want everyone from across the world to have an equal opportunity at experiencing a different perspective on life, and make friends across the world.
Why are PMGY’s fees so much more affordable than other organisations?
The PMGY International Team works hard to ensure that our fees are kept as low as possible. Consequently, this makes our experiences affordable and accessible without sacrificing the safety and quality of the overall experience.
Registration Fees to join our programs are assigned to the high levels of comprehensive support that we are renowned for. This includes telephone and online support staff available 24 hours each day, as well as detailed hand-guides and interactive webinars. Therefore, the remaining Program Fees to join the program go directly to our in-country teams, covering everything for your time volunteering. In general, these fees are reflected in your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, in-country support and project upkeep during your time abroad. Furthermore, we make sure our fees are transparent, which is something our volunteers really appreciate.
Similar organisations offer fancy brochures, run large high-street offices and are usually owned by larger travel organisations with many shareholders. As a result, participants are charged an extremely high price to cover all of these overheads. Therefore, at PMGY, we have embraced the online age by focusing everything around an online presence. We have done away with out-dated brochures, an unnecessary high street presence and we are an independent organisation without any outside financial interests.
What are the requirements to volunteer in Tanzania?
PMGY welcomes medical volunteers in Tanzania of all nationalities, religions and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the program is 17 and there is no upper age limit. Furthermore, all volunteers need to have a good level of English, although it does not need to be your first language. Of course, you do not need to speak Swahili. However, you will find that learning a few words in your days with us in Tanzania will go a long way.
All medical volunteers in Tanzania must be able to provide a clean criminal background check in advance of volunteering with us abroad. Thus, we are unable to accept anyone who has any previous criminal convictions. In general, no formal experience or qualifications are required for the projects, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation! However, medical and healthcare projects usually require additional documentation before participation begins in-country.
Volunteering overseas can be both physically and mentally challenging. Therefore, all participants must be fit in both areas. Consequently, if you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas, then these must be declared to us during your online application. If you have any queries regarding your suitability to participate, we recommend that you contact us before committing to the program.
What date should I arrive and leave the Tanzania volunteer program?
For your volunteer trip to Tanzania, you should book your flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport in Kilimanjaro on the Sunday start date. The airport code is JRO. You will be met at the airport by a member of the local team or an appointed driver, who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.
The program ends on the Sunday of your final week. Therefore, you must depart the accommodation on this day.
When is the best time of year to volunteer in Tanzania?
Feedback from previous medical volunteers in Tanzania often suggests that it is best to join a PMGY project outside the European summer months. This is since June-August tends to be when we have peak numbers at each of our projects and volunteer accommodations. Conversely, outside of these months, there is typically the greatest opportunity to become fully immersed in the project and within the local community.
Are there any age restrictions to be a volunteer in Tanzania?
In order to join as a medical volunteer in Tanzania, you need to be at least 17 on the program start date. Generally, the average age range of volunteers is 18-25.
There is no upper age limit to our programs, and in the past, we have hosted participants up to the age of 70-years old. Whilst we have found that our more mature participants get a lot from the experience, at times individuals have found it more challenging to integrate with a younger crowd. Furthermore, some participants have perhaps expected a higher level of accommodation, the structure within the local community, and general overall communication at the project setup. Consequently, whilst we welcome volunteers of all ages, we stress that all participants should remain open-minded and flexible. Additionally, participants must appreciate that the majority of our participants are across the 18-25 age range.
When should I apply to be a volunteer in Tanzania?
For the majority of our programs, you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the program. This is since some of our programs only have limited capacity, meaning that spaces get filled very quickly. Therefore, it is particularly important that you apply in good time if you’re looking to travel between our peak period of June and August. This is because spaces can fill up very quickly during this period. Furthermore, please only apply if you are 100% committed to joining the program. You need to apply online by locating the “Apply Now” button on the individual project page. This will guide you through our online Application Process.
Indeed, once you have applied and confirmed your place on the program, it may be possible to change your start dates and this will not incur a fee. However, please note that this will be subject to availability and any changes should be made at least 45 days prior to your start date.
What duration would you recommend to volunteering for?
Based on feedback from previous volunteers in Tanzania, we believe that 4-6 weeks is the ideal amount of time to volunteer in Tanzania. Consequently, this means you have enough time to integrate into the local community and really get involved in a project. For one thing, you will be able to make a positive impact on community development. Additionally, you will have a greater opportunity to explore during your weekends. Volunteers in Tanzania who join us for 2 weeks frequently tell us that this was long enough and wish they had stayed for longer!
For those looking to potentially join us for a longer period, we recommend checking out our Encounter Programs that offer a 2-4 week stay across 3-10 destinations.
Can I volunteer abroad with my friend/parent/boyfriend/girlfriend?
You’re more than welcome to travel and volunteer with friends, family members or with a boyfriend/girlfriend. If required, we can make sure that you stay in the same accommodation and volunteer for the same project. However, please note the majority of our volunteer accommodation is on a single-sex basis. Consequently, we cannot guarantee that you would be able to be placed in the same room.
Please outline in the ‘Special Requirements’ box of your online application if you’d like to make sure you’re placed alongside another applicant/s.
Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?
Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we work hard to ensure that our host locations are safe. Firstly, volunteer safety in each of our destinations is monitored regularly. Each of our volunteer programs has been inspected by a member of the PMGY International Team. Additionally, PMGY closely follows advice published by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Alongside the frequent contact we have with our local teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable or unsafe regions.
The PMGY International Team have visited and participated in every program we offer. Thus, we have carefully inspected every little detail of our set-up, from the living conditions to local neighbourhoods and even the food you’ll be eating. Through these checks, we are able to ensure that all of our projects are up to scratch. Furthermore, all of our local teams are experienced development professionals, with years of experience hosting international volunteers. They are PMGY’s representatives on the ground and assist volunteers 24/7 throughout their stay. Our teams are therefore always on-hand to assist in any emergencies that may occur. Additionally, our 24 hour international emergency telephone line is always accessible. PMGY’s in-country staff also have access to local medical professionals should these be required during a participant’s time with us.
When you join as a medical volunteer in Tanzania, we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visas and dress codes. For any unanswered or specific questions, PMGY offers a comprehensive support network, with online and telephone support staff available 24 hours each day. Our advisers welcome participants to ask as many questions as needed for them to effectively prepare for their trip overseas. On a monthly basis, our International Team also hosts both an Introductory Webinar and Safety Webinar. These are interactive opportunities for international volunteers to learn more about our projects and managing their safety overseas.
When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive introduction to the general volunteer program and your specific project. During this session, our team will also cover important safety advice specific to your country. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM-card. This is something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. In like manner, we will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.
Although we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble-free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each program is as safe as possible.
When do I pay for my volunteer program? Can I pay in instalments?
In order to confirm your place on the volunteer with children in Tanzania program, you need to pay a deposit of 249 USD. The remaining fee is then due no less than 45 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge. If you’re applying within 45 days of your program start date then you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. Likewise, in the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your payment will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying.
Payments made in advance of the 45 day window can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 5% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur. Bank transfers can be accepted by UK participants only.
Can I use program as part of a university or college placement?
It is certainly possible to be a volunteer in Tanzania as part of your university or college placement. However, PMGY is unable to guarantee that your role as a medical volunteer in Tanzania will fulfil the requirements of your establishment. Therefore, participants are encouraged to speak to a member of the International Team to establish whether the required parameters can be met. This should be done in advance of applying to the program. When appropriate, school/college/university representatives are welcome to contact PMGY to discuss further the suitability of the program in meeting the participant’s requirements.
First of all, the PMGY International Team are able to complete paperwork after you have confirmed your place as a volunteer in Tanzania. Additionally, project staff in Tanzania can also sign-off any paperwork that is required by your course tutors. However, while our team will do their best to complete any paperwork, we are unable to guarantee that we will be able to comply with every learning objective and requirement or your university/college. PMGY regularly receives medical, nursing, childcare and psychology placement students on our projects globally, with ties with some leading universities.
If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programs could meet the placement requirements for your course, please contact us directly to schedule a meeting.
BEFORE YOU DEPART
Can I fundraise for my volunteer trip?
With PMGY, the money our volunteers pay goes towards the structure you receive on the Tanzania volunteer program. The fundamentals of this cover aspects such as accommodation, airport pick-ups, around the clock support from our international and in-country teams, pre-departure training as well as the implementation and monitoring of the projects.
We do our best to keep our program costs as low and affordable as possible, without sacrificing quality and safety. However, with flights, travel insurance and spending money to factor into your overall budget, you may find you need a little bit of help with the finances. Consequently, a large number of PMGY volunteers decide to fundraise for their trip. In these instances, we recommend that volunteers in Tanzania set up an online fundraising page to notify friends and family of your trip.
PMGY have partnered with the online crowdfunding website GoGetFunding for volunteers to create a personalised fundraising page for their trip. This professional online fundraising service allows you to set financial goals and get the message across about what you’re doing. You can also share your PMGY fundraising page across various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.
Can I raise money for the projects?
The PMGY Foundation is a UK registered charity (1169415). This charity has been created to help provide financial aid and assistance to projects we work with on an ongoing basis. Importantly, the objective of the PMGY Foundation is the prevention or relief of poverty for people living in the communities we support. This is achieved by providing or assisting the provision of education, training, healthcare and general living support. Therefore together, we hope that the support offered by the PMGY Foundation helps to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient. Consequently, donations made to the PMGY Foundation will be directed to the projects most in need. This is determined by the trustees of the charity during our International Team overseas visits.
If you are looking to help raise money directly for the PMGY Foundation, you can do so via our Virgin Money Giving fundraising page. 100% of all money raised will be donated directly to the projects we support around the world. However, please note that participants are unable to raise money through the PMGY Foundation to help finance the cost of their trip overseas. For volunteers in Tanzania looking for further information on how to raise money for their trip abroad, please visit our fundraising page.
How do I register for your online webinars?
Every Tuesday at 4pm (London time), the PMGY International Team hosts one of four pre-departure webinars. These last approximately 45 minutes each and importantly provide volunteers in Tanzania with invaluable advice on their upcoming trip. The webinars are hosted by a member of our International Team, who all have extensive knowledge of our projects around the globe. You can attend (and even ask questions) from anywhere in the world, simply by logging in through your own computer. All you need is a computer, a good internet connection and a pair of headphones. In addition to this, if any family or friends would like to attend the session as well, they are more than welcome to do so.
For individuals who have not yet signed up to one of our programs, but would like to learn more about us, we encourage you to join our Introductory Webinar. Across 45 minutes, a member of the International team will introduce you to the concept of volunteering abroad, our destinations and both social and safety aspects of our programs.
For medical volunteers in Tanzania who have already confirmed their volunteering role on the program, there are three for you to choose from. Please note that you need to sign up for the webinar a few days in advance.
Travel Essentials Pre-Departure Webinar – covers all the basics.
Program Preparation Webinar – covers specifically childcare and teaching community work programs.
Safety & Wellbeing Overseas Webinar – covers the risks associated with overseas travel and how you can keep as safe as possible.
Will I require vaccinations and malaria tablets for my volunteer work?
It is possible that as a volunteer in Tanzania, you may require a course of vaccinations in preparation for your volunteer work in Tanzania. However, unfortunately, PMGY is unable to legally advise on these matters, since we are not medical experts. Therefore, it is vital that you contact your local doctor or travel clinic a few months in advance of your intended travel. Your local doctor/nurse will be able to advise you on vaccinations and malaria prevention you may need for entry into your volunteer destination. Additional information can be found on the NHS Fit For Travel website.
How do I arrange my flights to volunteer in Tanzania?
When you apply to be a medical volunteer in Tanzania, we cannot guarantee your place on the program immediately. Indeed, on receiving an application, we have to liaise with our local team to ensure there is space available on the program and to assess your suitability for the specific project. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not make any flight and/or travel arrangements until your program has been confirmed by us in writing. Of course, once your place on the volunteer with children in Tanzania project has been confirmed, you are then free to book your flights either with PMGY or through a third-party travel agent.
After confirming your place on a PMGY volunteer program, we strongly advise that you book your flights as early as possible. This is since it will help ensure that you get the lowest airfare. You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you with arranging them. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries. Therefore, we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use. Therefore, if you would like any assistance booking your flight, you can request an optional flight quote during your online application. Alternatively, feel free to contact us on the phone or by email.
Do you offer travel insurance?
Importantly, having an appropriate travel insurance policy during your time abroad is essential. Therefore, it is mandatory for all of our international volunteers to be appropriately covered across all of their trip dates. This includes your travel to and from the host country, as well as any onward travel. Although PMGY does everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong. Therefore, having a travel insurance policy in place helps you effectively deal with any problems you may encounter during your time away.
We have partnered up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive optional policy. This has been designed with our international volunteers in mind, to cover our participants for all of their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone across the globe, up to the age of 65 years. The document will cover you for your time on any PMGY destination and any onward travel (excluding the US and Canada). You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.
How do I obtain a background check?
To become a medical volunteer, you’ll need to provide us with a clean DBS or Police Check before you travel. This is a check that must be issued by an official Governmental or Police Body. PMGY have a commitment to the projects we support to ensure the volunteers we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character. Consequently, we are unable to accept participants who have had any previous criminal convictions.
If you hold a current DBS or Police Check, then we can accept this, providing it is clear and issued no more than 18 months prior to your program start date. You will need to upload a copy of this to your online portal after confirming your place on the program. Furthermore, the DBS or Police Check must be submitted to us no less than 21 days prior to your program start date.
If you don’t have a valid DBS check, then you will need to apply for one. UK volunteers need to apply for a “Basic Disclosure” through Gov.uk (which serves all people in the UK). This costs 23 GBP and takes around 15 working days to process. Full information on how to obtain a DBS check through Gov.uk is outlined in the Volunteer Handbook, received once you have confirmed your place as a volunteer in Tanzania.
For volunteers in Tanzania from the US, you can apply for a background check through US Criminal Checks. It costs 17.95 USD and is usually processed immediately. Alternatively, you are welcome to arrange your own background check through your local Sheriff’s Office or governmental body.
For all other international participants, we recommend you obtain a Police/Criminal Background Check through your local police station or official governmental body.
When will I receive my Volunteer Handbook?
All volunteers in Tanzania will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the program. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbook. Please note that we do not send a hard copy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.
This Handbook contains everything you need to know to prepare as a medical volunteer in Tanzania. Ranging from what to pack to how to obtain a visa, we do our best to ensure you are ready to hit the ground running. Therefore, it is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbook carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you find any of your questions unanswered after reading through this, then our team are always on hand to assist you. You can contact us via email, telephone, Zoom, Facebook, online chat…whatever works best for you!
ON YOUR TRIP
Can I arrange a private room?
All of our accommodation options on the Tanzania volunteer program involve sharing a room with other participants (usually same-sex). Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange private room options for our volunteers.
Can you cater for my dietary requirements?
Our teams will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed as a volunteer in Tanzania. Consequently, there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.
Are there any public holidays that affect project availability?
We aim to communicate as clearly and accurately as possible all holidays that impact project availability. This information can be found via our Holiday Dates page and in the Volunteer Handbook. However, due to the nature of developing countries, holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change. In turn, these can unexpectedly affect project availability. Therefore in such instances, we ask our volunteers to be flexible and appreciative of this. These periods often provide volunteers in Tanzania with a unique experience to enjoy the festivities and holidays themselves. However, our local teams will always do their best to find alternative project work if applicable/possible.
What is the dress code at the projects?
Dress code varies from country-to-country and sometimes from project-to-project. Importantly, we ask that our volunteers adopt a smart and responsible image during their time in the communities. Of course, we will outline the specific dress code requirements in your Volunteer Handbook so you know exactly what to pack. In addition to this, our local team will also brief you during your in-country orientation on arrival in Tanzania.
The general rule of thumb for girls is to cover shoulders, chest, stomach and thighs. In a like matter, for men, shorts should not lie above the knee and shirts should cover shoulders. Whilst we do not wish to impose strict regulations on our volunteers, we do ask that you respect the local culture during your travels. Moreover, dressing appropriately will earn you the respect of the people you’ll be working with. Therefore, our Volunteer Handbooks, outline preferred dress-codes in detail.
Additionally, it’s also a good idea to take some nicer clothes for the weekends and special occasions. However, please avoid tight and very short clothing. You should also avoid clothing that may have potentially offensive slogans on it. Tattoos and piercings should be covered where possible whilst you’re at your placement, particularly if you’re working with children.
How much spending money will I need?
The amount of extra spending money you should take with you as a medical volunteer in Tanzania can depend on a multitude of factors. Considerations include what you undertake during your free time and how many souvenirs you purchase! Therefore, if you plan to go for a safari in Tanzania or perhaps go trekking in South Africa, you will need to budget accordingly. However, for general expenses and some independent travel, you should find 100-150 USD per week a suitable amount.
Will I be able to travel whilst on the program?
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to travel during your time with PMGY. In fact, we encourage you to travel during your free time! Most of our programs have been designed so that you have weekends off. Therefore, this gives you the opportunity to explore the local area or even travel further afield within your host country. Our local coordinators will provide you with all the weekend opportunities and travel tips you need to help you plan any independent adventures. During your time as a volunteer in Tanzania, you are sure to make some travel buddies along the way!
Before booking your flights, we recommend that you look into travel opportunities across dates on either side of your volunteering placement. It is always great to spend some time travelling and seeing more of the country you wish to volunteer in. However, if you plan to travel extensively, please factor this into your flight itinerary. This is since we only encourage travel during weekends while you’re volunteering, as you have made a commitment as a medical volunteer in Tanzania.
During your time on the Tanzania volunteer program, you will live in our Volunteer House. Our accommodation is based within the town of Arusha, a city located at the foot of Mount Meru. Our volunteer programs are also located in this region. Our accommodation is located within a quiet neighbourhood of the city. However, there are a number of restaurants, supermarkets and ATMs only a walk or short Dala Dala journey away from the Volunteer House.
As a volunteer in Tanzania, you will be living with other international volunteers. The Volunteer House is large, basic but comfortable. Bedrooms conform to a single-sex dorm-style setup, with up to 8 people per room. Each volunteer in Tanzania is provided with a mosquito net and their own bed linen. During the winter months, participants are recommended to bring additional bedding, such as a sleeping bag. Bathrooms at the Volunteer House are communal, with a western-style toilet and shower. When possible, there is hot-water in the accommodation.
There is free Wi-Fi within the house. This can be intermittent, therefore volunteers in Tanzania are also recommended to purchase a local SIM card in-country to use with an unlocked mobile phone. The accommodation has a communal area with comfy sofas to relax in during the evening. There is also a refrigerator for volunteers to store food and drinks as they wish. There is a weekly laundry service available for a nominal fee, or volunteers in Tanzania may choose to hand wash their clothes. For extra security, a nightguard is employed on the premises. Individuals on a volunteer trip to Tanzania are recommended to bring a small padlock. Any valuables can be stored with our local team, however, volunteers are encouraged to only bring essential items during their volunteer work in Tanzania. It is recommended that volunteers pack ear-plugs if they choose to stay in the Volunteer House across the weekend. This follows events held at the restaurant across the road from the Volunteer House during this time. Please note that power cuts are fairly commonplace in Tanzania although they tend not to last more than a couple of hours.
Our in-country directors live on-site of the volunteer accommodation to ensure that everything runs smoothly. There is a great atmosphere at the accommodation and you will meet some wonderful people to share your experience with. Most of our volunteer projects in Tanzania are not within walking distance of the Volunteer House. In these cases, you will need to travel to and from the volunteer placement each day. The local team will introduce you to different options during your orientation.
During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.
Volunteers receive breakfast and dinner at the Volunteer House, which are freshly prepared on-site by our cook. Meals are a mixture of Tanzanian and western cuisine. There is a restaurant opposite the volunteer accommodation where volunteers can purchase lunch. There are also several options located close to many of the volunteer placements. Alternatively, there are western supermarkets in Arusha where you can purchase food and store it at the house if you’d like to prepare your own lunch/meals.
Breakfast and dinner are served at the Volunteer House. We have cooks at the house who will freshly prepare your meals. Generally, we have a weekly rotating menu, which offers a varied choice of meals. Dinners are usually divided into equal portions by the cooks to ensure everyone gets an equal amount. Filtered water is available at the Volunteer House at a very small cost.
* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.
* These fees apply to each individual application.
In order to apply to join PMGY you are required to make your Registration Fee payment of 249 USD. In the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your Registration Fee will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying. The remaining fee is then due no less than 45 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge.
If you’re applying within 45 days of your program start date then you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. Likewise, in the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your payment will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying.
Any remaining payments must be made no less than 45 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.
Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 5% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.
OPTIONAL TRIPLE CARBON OFFSET SCHEME - 40 USD
PMGY provide participants with the opportunity to contribute towards our Triple Carbon Offset Scheme. This not only helps eliminate your carbon footprint but helps the planet with a positive contribution every time you fly. The Triple Offset Idea for volunteers in Tanzania works as follows -
🇰🇪 Kenya - 42 mango trees are planted in Kenya. These are capable of absorbing the total carbon emissions for a volunteer trip to Tanzania and also help provide a sustainable income for local farmers.
🇮🇳 India - 80 days of access to a solar cooker are provided to a family in India. This means the family don't have to spend on firewood and thus reduce their dependence on trees.
🇺🇸 USA - 1.25kg of rescued meals are provided to the homeless in the USA. This recycles wasted food reduces methane emission from food waste which is equivalent to 1lb of CO2 emissions.
This optional add-on can be added during the online application process or can even be added on at a later date. The offset platform is provided by our charity, the PMGY Foundation and ensures that 100% of contributions are put towards high impact projects around the world.