Flag of Tanzania
Secure livelihoodsEducation iconHIV and AIDS icon

VSO Tanzania volunteers work on both the mainland and the island of Zanzibar, which is a semi-autonomous part of the United Republic of Tanzania and has its own constitution and a separate parliament. VSO’s work in Tanzania is focused on education, secure livelihoods and HIV and AIDS.

46 000 000
Capital city
GDP per capita
US$1 426
HDI ranking
152 out of 187
Life expectancy
58 years


The abolishing of school fees, compulsory enrolment measures and the recruitment of additional teachers saw primary school registration in Tanzania increase from 59% in 1990 to 80% in 2002. However, despite increasing enrolment rates the quality of education remains weak; repetition by students is high, retention is poor and the pass rate for the primary learning exam is less than half.

Many teachers have minimal support and their salary is often insufficient and that affects their morale. Other issues include public expenditure constraints; slowness of educational reform; lack of skills needed for effective management and planning; poverty and lack of parental involvement in the education process. Volunteers working as teacher trainers, school development advisers and educational resource mangers, are working to improve quality of education children receive by improving teaching methodology and resources, school governance and planning systems and the professional support teacher receive.


HIV and AIDS prevalence is currently estimated to be 7% of the population, approximately 1.1 million Tanzanians. In response the Ministry of Health has launched an ambitious Care and Treatment Plan, which aims to provide quality care and treatment to at least 400,000 people before the close of the decade, with over US$500 million are committed to its implementation.

VSO Tanzania supports this plan by placing doctors, nurses, nurse trainers, counsellors and pharmacists in regional and district hospitals. Additionally, volunteers with management, fundraising or advocacy skills are working with local non-governmental organisations and local government authorities that are raising awareness of HIV and AIDS within local communities and supporting activities such as home-based care and local support groups.

Secure livelihoods

Many disadvantaged groups in Tanzania are prevented from earning a living because of issues such as limited employment options, poor environment for enterprise, little understanding of basic business development skills, and lack of specialist and technical skills in areas such as agriculture.

To ensure secure livelihoods for vulnerable groups, VSO volunteers are involved in:

  • the promotion of small to medium business enterprise

  • supporting vocational training and skills development in local trades

  • strengthening structures and networks of community-based organisations that are involved in economic development.

Find out about the Commerical Agriculture for Smallholder Farmers in Horticulture (CASH) project

Youth volunteering in Tanzania

People aged 18-25 can apply to do fully-funded placements lasting three months in a number of developing countries, including Tanzania, through the International Citizen Service (ICS) programme.

We have ICS projects in Lindi, Mtwara and Zanzibar. On the island of Zanzibar, volunteers from Tanzaia and the UK work with horticultural farmers as well as young entrepreneurs to help improve their prosperity and develop their livelihoods. In Lindi and Mtwara the VSO ICS project focuses on youth employability, so volunteers support vocational education through peer to peer training amongst many other activities.

Find out about International Citizen Service.

Contact us

Get in touch with VSO Tanzania at:
PO Box 6297, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Find out about volunteering

By volunteering abroad with VSO you get to put your skills, energy and personal qualities to work helping people break out of poverty. Interested in volunteering abroad?