What is BOEC ?
For history and background of BOEC, please click here. In summary, BOEC is a registered NGO (Non-Government Organisation) in Tanzania and includes an orphanage which accommodates and feeds over one hundred twenty five orphaned girls.This organization also established secondary school called ‘Bethsaida Girls Secondary School which provide free secondary education to orphaned girls across Tanzania.’
Location of BOEC
BOEC is located in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. It is located in the district of Mbezi, which is approximately aone and a half-hour drive west of central Dar es Salaam.
Travel to and from Tanzania
Travel arrangements and cost of travel from the volunteer’s home country to Dar Es Salaam, is the responsibility of the volunteer. The cost of the flight varies significantly according to home countries. However, to provide an approximation, flights may be found as low as $1900 CAD for a return flight from Canada. Flights are more expensive during the summer holiday seasons. Why doesn’t BOEC pay for the flights of volunteers? Unfortunately funds are very limited and BOEC cannot afford to pay transport costs.
Travel from Dar Es Salaam to Bethsaida
A member of BOEC will meet you in Dar Es Salaam upon your arrive (airport, bus station, train station, etc.), and bring you to the orphanage. The cost of this travel is 35$.
Responsibilities and tasks of the volunteer
Volunteering at BOEC involves helping teach classes (if you have a teaching certificate), tutoring in the evenings organising and participating in activities, and having fun with the girls. They will be very interested in your culture and if you would like to go the extra step, they would very much appreciate if you provided them with an added experience, such as: Bring them music (should be appropriate for adolescents).Show them pictures of your home town, your country, your family and friends, Teach them a dance (they love to dance) Teach them an activity (bring supplies if required) Volunteers should expect to contribute approximately 4 hours of their time every day; the remainder of the volunteer’s time is up to his or her discretion. Volunteer may leave Bethsaida at any time, either for a day, weekend, or longer, but appropriate notice and consultation should be provided prior to departure.
Volunteers are housed in a newly constructed building, including individual volunteer bedrooms, a lounge area with a computer, kitchen and eating area. Volunteers are provided with a private bedroom with an adjoining private bathroom. A foam mattress, pillow, bedding (sheets, etc), and a mosquito net are provided by BOEC. The volunteers’ building is situated on the same grounds as the orphanage and secondary school, and therefore travel is not required each day.
When to volunteer
Volunteers are welcome anytime of the year. However, plan in advance if you wish to volunteer during busy times such as Christmas and university holidays. Reserving a place at BOEC can only be done by submitting payment. If you are volunteering on a weekly basis, then a 1-week payment of $150USD is required to reserve a place and if you are volunteering on a monthly basis, then a 1-month payment of $350USD is required to reserve a place. You may volunteer without making a reservation and simply pay upon arrival, however, you risk the possibility of not having a room available, and you may have to choose between sleeping in a make-shift room and returning to volunteer at another time.
Length of stay
Volunteers are welcome for any duration. Some volunteers stay for as little as a few days while others stay for as long as a year. The minimum payment for volunteering is $150 USD, even if it is only for a few days.
The cost to live and volunteer at Bethsaida is $150 per week and $350 per month. Why does it cost money to volunteer? Most social organizations in Africa can barely afford to maintain daily operations – to expect them to house and feed volunteers would take away from an already desparate situation. The money you pay goes towards your housing and three meals per day; what’s left over goes towards providing food, shelter, medicine, etc. for the orphans.
References and recognition of volunteer work completed
All volunteers are provided with a certificate stating their volunteer duration at BOEC. References and other forms of recognition can also be provided upon request. BOEC is a registered NGO in Tanzania and therefore this volunteering contribution is well respected among admission committees of medical schools and other programs which commend volunteer work.
Other volunteers at BOEC
During the last few years BOEC has had volunteers from many different countries such as the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Great Britain, Germany, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Australia, Spain and New Zealand. Up to nine volunteers can be housed in the volunteers’ building at one time.Other housing arrangements can be made for larger groups.
If you would like to organise a group of volunteers and raise funds for a specific project, please contact our chairman, Mr. Michael Machary. Some groups in the past have completed ambitious projects such as the construction of a classroom. Prior to traveling to Tanzania, they held fundraising events and planned the logistics of their project. Upon their arrival, they bought the necessary supplies, hired local workers and together completed their project. BOEC is grateful for such contributions and would be willing to discuss the details of your ambitions and help make arrangements.
Most volunteers stay at the BOEC orphanage during the weekends; however, you are free to leave. Some volunteers travel by bus into the city center for shopping, travel to a local beach resorts, or visit some of the nationalparks.
Please visit a travel clinic to be advised regarding vaccinations, medications, and other health related issuesregarding travel to Tanzania. There is an international hospital located in Dar Es Salaam that has internationally trained nurses and doctors who provide excellent health care services. Malaria does exist in Tanzania and volunteers are encouraged to take anti-malarial drugs. Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes which bite at night if mosquito repellent is applied before sunset to exposed skin and a mosquito net (supplied by BOEC) is used while sleeping, the risk on contracting malaria is low.
Tanzania is one of the safest and most politically stable countries in Africa. However, precautions should still be taken. Avoid traveling at night and keep an eye on your possessions to avoid nuisances.
Attractions in Tanzania
The big three attractions in Tanzania include the Serengeti National Park, Kilimanjaro, and Zanzibar.
• The Serengeti National Park is one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles, with the greatest animal concentration being between December and June. Outside of these dates, many of the animals migrate north to the Masai Mara in Kenya, however, the park is amazing to see year-round and all animals can be spotted anytime of year. Note that during the low season when there is a lower concentration of animals, there are also less tourists, which makes for a more relaxed and enjoyable adventure.
• Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain and is not an easy hike. Climbing skills are not required; however some people succumb to altitude sickness and don’t make it to the top. Appropriate gear should be brought with you if you plan on climbing Kilimanjaro.
• Zanzibar is part of an archipelago with beautiful pristine white sandy beaches. It has historical significance related to the spice trade. This is a popular tourist location and a great place to meet other volunteers, travelers, and backpackers.
Please notice that BOEC is not earning any money by offering you the safari options (green font in the document). All these charges are paid to the tour operators, BOEC only helps to organise your safari for you.
Visa and entry into The United Republic of Tanzania
Check with the Tanzanian government’s immigration guide for up-to-date entry information
Weather and Climate
Please click here to see Tanzania Tourist Board weather and climate for details about weather and climate in Tanzania.