Beyond Child Smile Teaching Project
1. Short description
Teaching children age 3-14 in public and private school, as well as in the library. Depending on your skillset, subjects can vary: English, Mathematics, Science,...
2. Our program
Our volunteer/intern program aims to give the children in the surrounding villages a more sustaintable education. The schools are not as organised as western schools and with our program we want to try to close the gap. Private schools have 50-100 students with classes ranging from 5-30 pupils, whereas public schools can have up to 1500 students with classes of 50-80 pupils. When the number of pupils in a class becomes too high, the schools can't always afford to split the class because they don't have enough teachers. This is where you come in. After an introducton period alongside a professional teacher, when you feel comfortable, you will be able to teach a class by yourself.
3. What you can expect
Books are scarce. Usually there are 1 or 2 books per subject per class. Students will copy from the blackboard but they don't all have the same pace. Individual attention is required sometimes but the teachers lack the time between writing on the blackboard, making corrections, and going around the classroom to check for themselves. With the help of the volunteer/intern, we can avoid having some of the students just sitting in class when they're finished writing, and more importantly, we can get those students that need individual attentention up to speed with the rest of the class. We embrace all the ideas coming from volunteer/interns to improve the schools, teaching methods, etc... We welcome all input and this has shown to be very useful in the past. Teachers gladly adapt to improved structures and processes, even after the volunteer/intern has left. Together with professional teachers, the role of the volunteer/intern and the aim of our program is to make sure that the time in school is spent as efficient and effective as possible, so that the students can get the maximum out of their education and have more opportunities in their future.
There also is an after school library where volunteer/interns can teach. Students from all over the villages come here to study more and improve their skills, so as you can tell, they are very eager to learn. Since these children are all in different classes, volunteer/intern help is definitely welcomed: giving exercises, making corrections, explaining different subjects,... The library has plenty of teaching material and exercises. It also has a small playground with a basketball hoop right outside where volunteer/interns can play educational games with the smaller children or organise P.E. classes.
4. The location
The schools are all walking distance from the host families. They have a sufficient number of classrooms, with a playground and a teachers room. The playgrounds of the smaller schools can have swings, seesaws, climbing jungles; and public schools playgrounds can have a soccer field or basketball court as well; so volunteer/interns will definitely not get bored during breaktime. Tea and cake is also provided during breaktime at the school, which volunteer/intern can enjoy together with other teacher and volunteer/interns. The host families are located in the nearby villages, in a quiet and peacefull surrounding, but still walkable distance to Arusha town. They are plenty of shops around in the villages, but if volunteer/interns need something specific, Arusha city is only a 20 minute walk away. The scenery here is beautiful with plenty of green and a view of Mount Meru. Even short hikes can take you to the most scenic viewpoints, that regular tourists don't get to see. Volunteer/interns will get to know and befriend people living around, and truly become a part of the tight knit community. Not a day will go by without a friendly greeting on the streets, that is guaranteed.
5. What we expect from you
Volunteer/interns don't have to bring any special equipment for the program (check the website of tour organisations if you are planning to do a tour though). If they wish to bring any material, school supplies like books (school books or reading books for the library), pens, pencils,... are always greatly appreciated; but these can also be purchased here.
The children are very eager to learn and they really look up to their teachers, so it is important that volunteer/interns are aware of that. We expect volunteer/interns to be open-minded and act with respect towards both the schools and the host family. Common courtesy is appreciated. The volunteer/interns can count on us to be around for basically any problem you are facing. We will support you and listen to what you have to say. We will take care of you in your free time and help you make arrangements for anything you need, from buying phone credit to organizing tours. You will have the local insight and knowledge that regular tourist do not have, thereby learning so much more about our culture, surroundings, traditions, and way of living.
6. Typical day
7-7.45 am: Wake up and enjoy local breakfast with your host family
7.45 - 8 am : Walk to school
8am - 12.30 pm: Teach the children at school. Subjects and age group depend on your interest. Make sure you inform us prior to your visit so that we can make arrangements. Enjoy breaktime with the students & play!
12.30-12.45 pm: Walk back from school
12.45pm-.... : Lunchtime with your lovely host family
1pm-4pm : free time to explore, go to the city, hang out with other volunteer/interns, play with the children,...
4pm-6pm: Teach at the public library
6pm- ... : Enjoy your evening, chat with other volunteer/interns, your family or us, drink local beverages,...
8pm: Dinnertime with your host family enjoying local cuisine like chapati, ugali, ndizi,...
9pm: Enjoy your evening, chat with other volunteer/interns, your family or us, drink local beverages,...
If you need more time to explore or you want to do a day time activity, just let us know in advance and we can make arrangements.
7. Details on Arrival
We can arrange an airport pickup at any time for 50 USD. Please note that English-medium schools run year-round and have holidays for the entire months of April, August and December. Government schools have holidays for the entire months of June and December. These schools also take week-long holidays during Easter and September. If your program duration crosses into the school holidays, you can take a break, travel, go on safari. As each school-type has holidays at different times, there is teaching work available for volunteer/interns throughout the year. The Public library is open all year around. Please notify us of your expected travel dates and we'll give you feedback. Usually startdates are available throughout the year.