Building volunteers can work in a variety of destinations contributing to all types of sustainable projects. Whether you want to experience rural life in Arusha, Tanzania or in Ghana or a big city in South Africa, there are different options for you to get the most out of your building work.
Some of the most important work that needs to be done in developing communities is setting up basic infrastructure. Helping communities through building lays a foundation that will allow locals to continue with your efforts even after your volunteer work abroad has ended.
Volunteering on a Building Project Overseas
You can do volunteer building whether you’re 16 or 60! These projects are for volunteers who are on summer holidays, a gap year from your education, or taking a career break and they run all year round. You don’t need any previous building experience, though you should be physically fit and willing to work hard in order to partake on these projects.
Our building projects really allow volunteers to be immersed in the host community. Volunteers work with locals to make sure these projects get completed and match the needs of the people they’re benefitting.
You may find that the way you’re used to working on building projects back home can be very different from this experience; the materials used are often more simple and there can be limited tools for construction. Additionally, work schedules may vary due to a hot or rainy climate, so a flexible attitude and a willingness to get involved when needed is essential.
Voluntary Building Project in Tanzania with us
Volunteers work alongside a local builder, who will teach you all the necessary building and construction skills to enable you to take part fully in the construction process, assisting with all levels of building. The buildings are made using traditional methods and locally sourced materials. The construction techniques are also simple to master and are ideal for sites with limited facilities. No electricity is required at the site – everything is done by hand!
We are currently working with local Maasai communities outside the town of Arusha. The primary focus is the Maasai village of Meserani, where Projects Abroad runs a nursery school. The nursery school is currently run in an old church building, there are no windows and four classes are all taught in one room. Therefore, our next project is to build a proper building for the nursery school close to this site that will enable children from Meserani and the surrounding communities to get nursery education otherwise unavailable to them. The new building will provide volunteers with a space where they can work in a professional and well structured environment.
This is a long term project (6 months to 1 year) that will be built, and then staffed and run, solely by Projects Abroad volunteers. We have already received a wonderful welcome from this community, who really see the value of having the volunteers here. This is undoubtedly our most exciting building project yet!
Volunteering on the Community Building Project in Tanzania
The work of the volunteers is varied but may include digging foundations, mixing cement, building walls, constructing a roof, plastering or putting the finishing coat of paint on the completed house.
The building work takes place early in the morning and late in the afternoon so you'll have plenty of time to get involved in township life. Each site is overseen by a qualified builder from the community who will help volunteers with the construction process.
You do not need previous building experience to take part in this project; although anyone who does have any relevant skills will be very welcome and will be able to take on a more specialized role. All volunteers should, however, be reasonably fit and physically active, and be prepared for working outdoors in a variety of weather conditions. Volunteers live with local families in the area.
You can join the Building project in Tanzania for two or three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period and may not see the completion of some of the building work.