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General FAQ

We would be happy to assist you in earning internship credit for your participation in our program. If you are required to intern for a minimum number of weeks, we can put you to work prior to the trip and help you gain experience in several areas of expertise. Simply indicate on your application that you will be seeking school credit and we will help you through the process.

Our chef is very good at catering to your dietary needs. After you have applied to the program, let your program director know what dietary restrictions you have. We will make sure that you are taken care of.

Absolutely. If you are interested in attending multiple sessions, contact us and we will let you know details on how to do that.

You are welcome to bring a camera if you would like. Each session has a professional photographer who will take plenty of pictures of the work we do and capture the experience for each volunteer for after they return home. So if you don’t want to worry about a camera, no problem!

Marafiki Africa is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based out of Utah.

In order to gain a truly authentic experience and begin to glimpse into the simple lives many East African people live, we have found that sleeping in tents (tents, pads, blankets, and pillows are provided) for the majority of the two weeks is an incredibly valuable part of the trip. This also allows us to keep program costs to a minimum and to use a greater portion of the funds to help fund our volunteer efforts in country.

We understand that some people are more private and the idea of living with a group of volunteers night and day for two weeks, although exciting, might also be a little daunting. Our main goal is to provide a rich and memorable experience for each volunteer: we make it a priority to be sensitive to each person’s individual needs, be it physical or emotional.

Currently we only host sessions in East Africa. But we are always looking for opportunities to expand our reach and give volunteers more options.

There is no specific language requirement in order to attend one of our sessions. And short of basic phrases and words, we don’t focus much on developing Swahili (the predominate language of both Tanzania and Kenya). But, there is something powerful that occurs when you can communicate with the locals that you meet, even at a rudimentary level. In short, if you feel so inclined, there are a myriad of free resources available to help you begin learning Swahili.

Feel free to contact one of our session representatives either by phone or by email. Just head over to our contact page.

Our volunteers range from about 18-30, but most are from 21-26.

That is completely fine. As you’ve likely realized, many of our volunteers are students and choose to come on our program because they find a particular session that directly applies to their current major or potential career. But, we know that this experience is just as valuable to those who have already completed some schooling or are not currently enrolled in an institution. We welcome anyone to join us who has a desire to volunteer, learn about the world, and experience an entirely new culture.

Emergency international health insurance is included with the program. This covers major injuries and emergency evacuation costs. If you would like more comprehensive health insurance, first check with your provider to see what they cover. If you decide that the coverage provided by Marafiki Africa or your personal health insurance company is insufficient, there are a number of international health plans available on the internet.

This is an important question that many of our volunteers have asked or thought about. The short answer is, yes. Both Tanzania and Kenya are safe to travel to.

Tanzania is one of the safest countries in east Africa. In fact, average crime per capita in Tanzania is only 6% higher than in the United States. We will be traveling to areas where crime and security concerns are very low, and we will be taking every security precaution to ensure that the trip is successful without incident. Kenya is a little more dangerous than Tanzania because it borders Somalia. However, we will be spending our time on the opposite side of the country from Somalia (we’ll be on the side bordering Tanzania), and again we make sure to take every security precaution we can to keep our volunteers safe.

Two weeks may seem like a long time, but it will fly by quickly. Since we will be doing laundry by hand (laundry detergent will be provided) a few times throughout the trip, we encourage you to resist the urge to bring lots of clothing. Not only does it take up valuable room in your travel bag, but you’ll realize more and more that everyone else is just as dirty as you are.

You will need a travel visa to enter Tanzania. We will give specific instructions on how to apply for your visa prior to your trip.

You are welcome to arrange fun travel plans after your session ends. Once you are in Africa, flights to Europe and other parts of the world can be very affordable. Feel free to make any arrangements you would like.

The total cost of the program (including the security deposit) is $2,200.
This fee includes all of your costs once you arrive in the country (meals, transportation, a multiple-day Serengeti safari, etc…)

Costs you will be responsible for:

  • Round-trip flight
  • Visa
  • Immunizations
  • International health insurance

Your program cost is all-inclusive.

On our last day in the country we will have the option to go souvenir shopping in the markets. This will be the only time that you will need personal money. You can access money via debit card (recommended), or by exchanging cash (not recommended). Most banks charge around $5 to withdraw money abroad. You will need to contact your bank and let them know that you will be using your card abroad, and ask what fees they charge for international use.

While not required to travel to East Africa, the CDC recommends that you receive the following from your local health center prior to your trip:

Routine vaccines
Hepatitis A
Typhoid

We will also provide anti-malaria medicine for you when you arrive.

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/tanzania

There are several ways for volunteers to decrease the cost of their program.

1. For every friend you refer, you and your friend get $100 off your program cost.
2. Pay half of your program cost early and you receive an additional $100 off.

Upon acceptance into the program you will also be sent a fundraising packet so that you can easily identify ways to raise the money for your trip. We’ll help you along the way!