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Community Based Organization

Organization Location: 
  • Arusha, Tanzania
English, Swahili
Organization Description
Jifundishe, means "teach yourself!" in Swahili. This grass roots, non-governmental organization was founded by an American woman who first traveled to Tanzania in 2001. Debra Kelly and her Tanzanian friends identified deep structural challenges within the Tanzanian school system - including high tuition costs, a shortage of textbooks, and a complete language shift from Swahili to English after primary school. These obstacles, as well as the poverty and desperation faced by many in this area of Sub-Saharan Africa, force children to drop out of school each day. However daunting the task, the Jifundishe team realizes that educational access is the key to addressing many of the inherent challenges faced by this population - disease, unemployment, family planning, and much more - and have set out to foster a free means of attainment.

Since 2001, Deb has lived in Tanzania collaborating with locals to form an NGO dedicated to maximizing educational opportunities. The impressive organization has a majority local board, which strengthens Jifundishe's ability to maintain a clear understanding of the community's needs and then implement the necessary steps from the bottom-up. During the Path Less Traveled meeting at Jifundishe, Deb's deep concern regarding the demise of the education system in Tanzania and her commitment to providing the basic right to learn left lasting impressions. In 2005, Jifundishe opened a free community library in a rural village outside of Arusha. A fully stocked library is a powerful tool with enormous returns in a country where many students go through their entire education without ever seeing a textbook. The library was so successful that it outgrew the original small structure and a new, larger library opened in 2009. The new library is comprised of 4,000 books, laptop computers, and children's art supplies. Located on the border of the Arusha National Park, the library makes for an aesthetic place to learn and volunteer.

Jifundishe's programs are outlined in detail at, and include an impressive and effective array of community health initiatives and educational projects. Jifundishe places a special emphasis on creating opportunities for women and girls, as well as creating programs with a sustainable and empowering community plan.

Requirements: Must be at least 18 years old to apply
Education, Health / Medical, Women
Skills Needed
Accommodation Provided - Minimum Stay: 1 week
Average Cost per Week ($USD)
$125 per week
Estimate only - contact this Organization for actual costs to Volunteer
  • Volunteer Hostel

Costs do not include Flights, Visas, Vaccinations, Insurance, Spending Money, Pre-Departure-Orientation, 3-Meals-per-Day, 2-Meals-per-Day, 1-Meal-per-Day, Homestay, Local-Transport, Airport-Pickup-and-Drop-Off, Internet
Christina Sudler
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