Frecuently asked questions:
1.What is Born to Learn?
Born to Learn is a small NGO created in Moshi, Tanzania, in January 2010.
2.How was Born to Learn created?
A few years ago I was trying to find a place to volunteer in Africa. It was very hard to find a place where they didn´t charge to help, to be a volunteer, I couldn’t believe that I needed to pay such big amounts of money for helping people!! After a long research, I found a place inMoshi, Tanzania, and I applied. I went there, but couldn’t believe where they sent me! The kids I was helping they spoke English perfect, they were wearing nice clothes and shoes, they were studying in private schools which cost their parents over 500 euros a year, they had cable tv at home… The pastor in charge of the proyect bought a new Land Cruiser and I dind’t like how he treated us, the volunteers.
At the same time, in the same comunity, I was watching kids on the street, nothing to do, just passing time. Unwell dressed, no shoes, dirty… It was then when I realized those kids needed help and not the others… So I left that other proyect, or bussiness and together with other volunteers we decide to start doing something with those street kids that were not attending school.
In November 2010, we spoke to Pastor Emanuel. We were told he was a very nice and helpful person and we told him our idea of teaching these street kids. He helped us talking to the families, and we started with 50 kids. We set this amount because we were only four volunteers and we couldn’t speak any swahili, but everyday more kids were comming to us, they also wanted to learn, to be part of a school… We reached the amount of 70, and we had to close doors, if we wanted to do something properly, we could’t help everyone… but there are still over 150 kids in the streets, let’s hope one day we get enough resources to help them all!
Pastor Emanuel kindly let us use some classrooms and we did a 2 week test. After these 2 weeks of teaching we decide to ask parents, kids and communtity leaders wether we were accepted or not. Everybody was happy with the job we were doing so we started seriously after crhistmas holidays.
Some friends donated some money and thanks to that we could hire 2 local teachers, and a cook, because we were having some comunication problems, and most of the kids were only eating once a day. We orginized some benefit parties, raffles, etc… to make some money but after a while we needed a real bussiness to mantain the project, and that’s how Karibu Hostel started.
3. What is Karibu Hostel?
Karibu Hostel is the hostel created to sustain the proyect of which all profits go to support the Born to Learn project. With the benefits of the hostel we pay salaries of local staff, food for 86 kids, classrooms hiring, sponsorships, etc… We accomodate either volunteers who help us in the classes with the kids and travellers who visit Moshi for tourist reasons, such as, climbing mount kilimanjaro, Meru, Ol donoy Lengai or safari at the Serengeti national park, Ngorongoro crater, Tarangire, Lake Manyara…
There is always good atmosphere and things to do like playing volleyball, tennis table, watching a movie, reading, playing other games, or just relaxing with a beer in the terrace.
Karibu Hostel has a cost of 500 euro a month plus we pay salaries to our staff, 3 security guards, a cook and a cleaner. And many other costs such as electricity and water bills, the ecological garden, hens… we always try to find the harmony to make it as cheap as possible to our volunteers and guests and still make some little profits to mantain our educational project.
4. What will I do if I go and volunteer?
It is basically an educational project, so you might be teaching our kids how to read, write, count and many other skills. Also P.E lessons, art, english, music, etc… We wake up at 7 a.m and have breakfast at the hostel, then we leave together for a 30 minute trip to the community of newlands, where the proyect is settled. Classes start at 8.15am until 3pm from monday to thursday and until 1pm on fridays. With 2 breaks; uji at 10 and lunch at 12.45. There are books to follow and other older volunteers, as well as the project coordinator will orient you with the lessons, so you will feel confidential and confortable. Also you could help us in any other things you know about, for example, teaching yoga, karate, computering, massage, first aid, theatre, etc….. There is also a women asotiation where we do some cultural exchanges.We are hoping to build a medical center in the community because the closest one is far and it is expensive.
During the weekend there is no project so volunteers usually enjoy safari, trekking, etc..
5. How can I get my visa?
You can get the tourist visa (50 USD) in the airport, there is no need to get it in advance if you come from europe, but not sure about it if you come from a different place.
If you are willing to volunteer under 3 months, then you have to get the volunteer permit which costs 200 USD, and if you come to volunteer over 3 months then the cost is 500 USD which lets you stay up to 2 years in Tanzania.
6. Which costs will I have then?
The flights usually cost between 500 and 1.000 euro. The tourist visa (50 USD), the volunteer permit (200 USD), The taxi from KIA airpot to Karibu hostel (35 USD), and the price of the hostel (which includes overnight, breakfast, lunch, dinner, laundry service, transport to the project -30 min. more or less to get there- and all facilities of the hostel, like swimming pool, volley ball pitch, table tennis…
Life is cheap in Moshi, a taxi ride in the city costs 2.500 TZS, a beer 2.000 TZS, etc…
7. What about vaccines?
Yellow fever is the compulsory one, but every year they change rules, so better if you ask in your country.
8. Do you organize kilimanjaro, Mount Meru, Ol donoy Lengai climbs, safari and trips to Zanzibar?
We are not a tourist office, but we can help you arrange all these things because we have some friends who do organize them. In this way we ensure they don’t overcharge our people and Born to learn gets a small comission to sustain itself. Kili costs 1.100$ tips not included, el Meru 450$, Ol Donoy Lengai 300$, safari 4 days 660$ -165$-per day.
9. Do you arrange airport pickups?
Yes we do. You just have to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your flight details and that’s it! The cost is 35 USD, otherwise they will charge you airport fee and you will have to pay 50 USD, so it is cheaper to send our driver.
10. What can I bring from my country for the kids?
School material, shoes, football equipment, games, clothes, english books, medicine, hostel utilities, computer, scaner, bicicle, or money to pay salaries, sponshorships, classroom rental, buying books, uniforms for the kids…
11. When can I go?
You can come anytime and for as long as you can! Just check out our school calendar to try to adjust to it, in case you have flexivility on dates.
15. Is it Moshi, and Tanzania a secure place?
Yes, but we recomend not to walk alone at nights, better use a taxi to move at nights.