Volunteer in a medical project in semi-rural Tanzania

  • Work in an outpatient clinic to understand the healthcare issues endemic to the area
  • Opportunity to participate in medical caravans to villages
  • Explore Tanzania, go on safari, visit Zanzibar
  • Suitable for medical students on an elective and part/fully qualified practititoners

Project summary

This project started in 2007 offering temporary shelter and social welfare services for the most vulnerable women and their children. The need to expand the services to provide medical care became evident and the centre started providing affordable care for the people of the region.

Now the centre focuses on providing medical outpatient services to both men and women through a range of activities, while serving as a research base for the Canadian charity that manages it.

There is a modern, professional outpatient clinic that offers care to the local community. The clinic will see 15 patients a day, some of who come from the local area, while others travel from a distance having being reached through one of the outreach programmes run by the centre.

The outreach programmes perform screening and outpatient services in remote communities. These are typically day trips targeting local communities, (a Masai village for example), offering consultations, promoting public health issues and raising awareness of the clinic.

The project also organises medical caravans delivering outpatient services and screening over an extended rural area. This is a major operation happening twice a year that will have 2,000 consultations.

In addition to the clinic based services, the project provides free outpatient services to a number of orphanages.

The project is currently working on 5 research projects on behalf of multiple agencies. This work is supported by long term volunteers from Canada, but Outreach participating volunteers are invited to observe and go on field accompaniment (but not direct involvement).

Volunteers studying medicine or healthcare, students on a medical elective or part qualified healthcare professionals can all provide support to the project while gaining invaluable practical experience at the clinic. Fully qualified nurses and doctors wanting experience of volunteering abroad can provide incremental services, specialisms and capacity to the project.

Volunteer roles and responsibilities

Volunteers with medical experience are primarily required to assist in the project’s own medical clinic. Volunteers with less medical experience, including medical students on electives, will be trained on how to take basic measurements during the screening process and provide administrative support to the clinic. Nurses and doctors will participate directly in the outpatient clinic according to their capability and with the agreement of the project Director.

Under the sponsorship of project, the opportunity exists for qualified volunteers to shadow the public health services in Moshi – in the clinic, dispensary or hospital. This would provide a greater insight into local conditions and practices, with a higher incidence of chronic cases. This requires an additional permit to be purchased.

The medical outreach programmes and caravans are funded by third parties and donors who accompany the teams, so volunteers who want to accompany them can only do so by individual arrangement and by making a reasonable contribution to attend them.

How you can make a difference

Medical volunteers provide extra capacity for the clinic, enabling more patients to be seen and a higher level of interaction with each patient.

Qualified practitioners who can provide specialist knowledge and resources, potentially expanding the overall capability of the project are welcome. In this instance, Outreach International would facilitate a conversation directly with the project Director to ensure the effective use of skills, potentially in a tailored programme.

What is distinctive about this project:

The project provides a solid environment from which to experience the health issues endemic to Tanzania and east Africa, and the opportunity to contribute to outpatient services.

The reputation and partnerships facilitated by the project provides volunteers with a unique opportunity to participate in the public clinic and outreach programmes, getting a deep insight into the issues of the area.

Blue Tiger Features:

The clinic is located near to the volunteer accommodation in the Rau district of Moshi, a deceptively nice area that looks middle class at times, although poverty is clearly around every corner. Both the project clinic and the public health clinic will see cases of a higher severity with higher frequency than in more developed countries. The public clinic in particular may only be suitable for more experienced volunteers.

If you have specialist knowledge that you want to share then speak to us so we can investigate the volunteering opportunity for you.



The clinic closes for public holidays. The medical outreach programmes and caravans are infrequent and can only be confirmed locally.


English is the primary language but learning the very basics of Swahili would be an advantage.

Experience required:

Ideally volunteers will have medical and healthcare qualifications and experience, although medical students may be able to participate if they are at an appropriate stage of their studies. Given the nature of the project, your CV will have to be submitted and discussed to ensure the appropriateness of a placement for you and the clinic.

Good to know:

This is a well organised project, whose staff act as the Outreach International in-country representative. The broad base of healthcare activities and research provide a stimulating environment for those serious about expanding their knowledge and experience.

Price table

1 month6 weeks2 months10 weeks3 months4 months5 months6 months

Includes: Comprehensive travel insurance (supplements may apply to older travellers). Accommodation, food, airport transfer, travel to projects, in-country support.
Excludes: Required temporary work permit (CTA) payable locally, $250 + $50 administration charge for < 90 days. Higher rates apply for volunteers staying > 90 days
Extra: Volunteers wanting to join the medical outreach programmes, medical caravans and publicly run health services are subject to additional fees, availability and qualifications. More details available upon request.

Things to see and do

  • Go safari
  • Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Discover coffee
  • Hot springs
  • Laka Chala

Country co-ordinator

BenJee Cascio

Benjee has a first degree in Psychology and a Masters in Economics, Policy, Management and Society, specialising in Sustainable Tourism Development, from the University of Oregon, USA. He has worked on development projects in Spain, Nigeria, Jamaica and Uganda before settling in Tanzania. He now lives in Moshi, is the managing director of our medical research project and through this has close connections with our other Tanzania initiatives.

About Tanzania