Travel Programs

Volunteer Trip

Creating Connections, Transforming Lives

Do you have specialized training or education? Access to higher education and specialized training is very limited in Tanzania and your expertise is quite valuable. Medicine and nursing, education, horticulture, and engineering are just a few fields in which your knowledge can provide meaningful benefit to developing communities.

On odd-numbered years, TDS leads volunteers to Tanzania to join NIU’s Tanzania Study Abroad students to contribute to construction projects that help support development in Tanzanian communities. TDS volunteers can also attend seminars with local NGOs working on various aspects of community development. These seminars are led by TDS President Kurt Thurmaier, NIU Professor of Public Administration, and volunteers will receive an optional reading list as background for meeting the Tanzanian NGO leaders in these seminars.

In 2009 and 2011, TDS volunteers worked on a new girls’ dormitory at Nyegina Secondary School near Musoma. TDS volunteers connected with Nyegina students and faculty, as well as UMABU board members and other community members, as we passed bricks, painted walls, and hauled away debris. In the process, we have been transformed into an intercontinental community with a shared purpose. The dorm was completed in the spring of 2012 and girls have begun to enjoy living in this new facility.

The 2013 work-study group will help the Nyegina Community construct its first library and community resource center, which will serve primary and secondary students and surrounding communities. During the middle weekend of the 2 week program, the group will take an overnight safari in the Serengeti National Park during the Great Wildebeest Migration.

The 2013 Work-Study Program will depart the US on July 4th, and return from Tanzania into US airports on Saturday, July 20. All participants must arrive in Kilimanjaro by Friday evening, July 5th, if they are not traveling with the group travel leader (TDS board member, Tricia DeBoo). The cost of the TDS work study program is $1,500 + an additional fundraiser challenge (see 2013 program description). The $1500 fee includes the safari trip, meals, lodging and in-country transportation. The cost of the international air ticket is not included in the TDS program fee. For more information, check out the 2013 program description.

If you can join us for the 2013 program, fill out an application form and send it along with a signed waiver form to Tanzania Development Support, 201 Thornbrook Rd, DeKalb IL 60115. The waiver form must accompany your application to be considered for the work study trip. Volunteers must be at least 13 years old and minors (under 18) must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. If you have any questions, please email Brandi Smith at or call 773.678.1983.