[January 23, 2016]
The last two weeks I’ve been living in Haria Hotel, on Mawenzi Road in the centre of Moshi town. When I look up from the roof top terrace, I get a glance of the Kilimanjaro summit, covered with snow. A spectacular view. Haria Hotel, run by the Team Vista NGO, is my basis during my stay in Moshi, for the purpose of finding out how the volunteering ‘business’ runs over here. Every evening this terrace is crowded by lots of young volunteers from Europe and America. Haria itself spends all its profits on improving the lives of those less fortunate and their environment.
The company’s currect project seeks to transform the lives of children and the broader community in a suburb within Moshi, Tanzania. The suburb is called Kaloleni and it is a very poor area on the fringe of Moshi town centre, and built around the town dump.
Kaloleni Nursery school was purchased in March 2010 by Team Vista, an NGO originally started by Australians. It was renamed the ‘Kilimanjaro Kids with Future Education Centre’. This small school had approximately 200 students crammed into a room of 15m2. Resources were completely insufficient and students were re-writing over pages of scrappy books. Team Vista built a second classroom, garden, added a water tank, power and had the sewerage line connected and built two new toilets. This building will now be used by the community for projects and as meeting rooms.
Team Vista Nursery School
Team Vista has now relocated the school to a cleaner area of Kaloleni with one classroom and four teachers. Because of volunteers and donors Team Vista has the funds to feed all students a mixture of beans and rice for lunch everyday; for some this is the only food they receive on a daily basis. To date, Team Vista has sponsored 312 children from the Kaloleni community, helping them to attend nursery, primary and secondary school. Team Vista now has 4 secondary students continuing with tyertiary studies!
Also 5 boys are sponsored who were found abandoned in the community. They now attend boarding school. The new school compound also contains ‘Team Vista Home’. One of the teachers, Zahoro, lives there and looks after the boys when they come home for holidays.
Adult Entrepreneurship Class
Team Vista has started adult education classes in business studies. This is a 4 month business course teaching adults how to write a business plan and basic accountancy. They are then offered a small interest free loan to help establish their business. Team Vista are also starting an earth brickmaking operation – a small business to help employ youth form the streets of Kaloleni.
Recently Team Vista purchased 2 acres of land for the community to begin their own small vegetable gardens. The future idea is to build a workshop on the land for training in plumbing, carpentry and brickmaking. Team Vista also works together with both the local council, Kaloleni Primary and Secondary school, helping to provide additional support and infrastructure.
Upendo Women’s Group
In September 2010 Team Vista started a Women’s Group. The group assists nine women in the Kaloleni community, some of whom are mothers of children from the schools. These women used to scavenge through the rubbish dump daily, trying to find things to sell to support their families. Team Vista has purchased sewing machines for the group and built them a shelter to protect them from the harsh weather of Moshi.
Just last year Team Vista took a 3 year lease on Haria Hotel, the place that is beginning to feel like home for me. It’s a cheap and cheery backpackers in the heart of Moshi. They have given it a spring clean with new linen, mattresses and ceiling fans. It has a wonderful roof top bar and restaurant with the views to Mount Kilimanjaro. All of the profits from Haria Hotel go to Team Vista’s projects in Kaloleni.
Team Vista is always looking for volunteers and sponsors for the projects, although there were no volunteers working in Kaloleni during my stay. Ally, the Haria Hotel manager showed me around all the projects. He himself, the staff at Haria’s and also the teachers in Kaloleni are very dedicated tot the Team Vista goals. The Australian owners of this NGO spend a couple of months every year in Moshi, but live in Australia. To find out more about Haria Hotel and the Team Vista projects, take a look at the websites.
[October 15, 2014]
K21 Adventure, founded by two adventurous mountaineers, offers a combination of 1, 4 or 7 days of safari and 8, 5, or 2 days community service. The community service will be done at a blind school in Moshi (Kilimanjaro). They advertise themselves with words such as: "In addition to seeing the world, K2 Adventure Travel is your connection to doing a world of good".
This week will cost you €3000 when you choose the option of a one-day safari and 8 days as a volunteer. Do you prefer a safari of 7 days, it will be around €5000.
The organization's leader has even climbed the Mount Everest, and his wife climbed the Kilimanjaro with a group of blind people. Adventure!! (Website K2 Adventures)
[September 22, 2014]
"Hostel Hoff is a small organisation run by an Australian woman and her Tanzanian husband. We focus on independent volunteering within and on the outskirts of Moshi town, Tanzania. Hostel Hoff started very small, back in 2006 with the hope of helping volunteers side step international profit orientated “organisations". It is our belief that you should not have to pay to volunteer, therefore prices cover your accommodation and the volunteering experience is free.
In truth, we never hoped to achieve as much as we have. Our view seems to be shared with many of you out there and this has allowed us to give real, substantial and continuous help to a number of projects that we are privileged to support." (Website Hostel Hoff)