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Teaching and Community Development in Zanzibar

Work with community members of all ages, as you teach, as well as contribute to practical initiatives promoting economic development in Zanzibar.

Program Code: TZZB0847P

Program Information

Gain practical teaching skills as you work with community members in various stages of their lives, with the intention to improve the quality of education in the region. Based in Jambiani on Zanzibar Island, this program provides an opportunity to explore what can best be described as a fascinating archipelago, just off the coast of Tanzania.

United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals

Remote-Working Friendly
Reliable WIFI
Part-Time Options


A typical day on the program may involve a variety of activities, from teaching in a nursery school, working at the community education centre, doing a presentation on local charities that are in support of the projects in the region, teaching English to young adults, or even taking part in a games evening arranged by your fellow volunteers. Lesson plans are tailored in such a way that they provide for creative freedom and input from volunteers. These lessons may include elements of teaching children basic motor skills, arts & crafts, English and more.

Community involvement also forms a big part of this project, so you may be involved with more hands on work, related to the improvement of educational facilities, repairs and general maintenance required at schools and project locations.

You will also have the opportunity to connect with the community on environmental issues. You will play an active role in sustainable development initiatives, which could include beach cleanups, running health awareness workshops, building eco-bricks (in contribution of a larger initiative creating an Educational Centre in the village), planting trees, or even assisting with community gardening. The learning opportunities presented by this program are vast and will make for great additions to your CV when you return home.


  • Teach health classes and run workshops in the local region;

  • Immerse yourself in a completely different culture, in a remote location that hosts a variety of historical and cultural gems for you to learn about.

  • Get involved with local sustainable development initiatives, promoting greater environmental accountability by the local community;

  • On your free time, enjoy sunsets and BBQ’s on the base, which is located on the beach;

  • Get the opportunity to plan a Safari Blue Island Tour, snorkel and tuck into a picnic lunch with your fellow volunteers;

  • Make a contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to make an impactful contribution to the world by 2030.

Program Details

Change your location and dates free of charge.
Payment Plans
Flexible payment plans available.
Cancellation Waiver
Cancel anytime and receive a full refund minus your deposit.

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Life On Base

Zanzibar is a world renowned destination spanning across a series of islands on the Indian Ocean. It boasts some of the most extraordinary beach landscapes in the world. The marine dolphin research program, in particular, is based in the fishing village of Kizimkazi, where you will spend most of your days. The community hosts a diverse range of cultures, and in Zanzibar you are exposed to quite a difference experience in comparison to mainland Tanzania. Jambiani is a stunning, safe beach location where you will have the opportunity to explore village life. While on a stroll around Jambiani, you will constantly hear the phrase Karibu (‘you are welcome’), which sums-up the island way of living in a nutshell.


Base Tour


COVID-19 Safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place. Learn more.

Covid-19 Response

Health and Hygiene

For over 20 years, GVI has prioritised the health and safety of our staff, participants, partners and local community members. In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, GVI has created the GVI health and hygiene team to put in place new standards of cleanliness, norms and behaviours that meet or exceed international recommendations to ensure the ongoing safety of GVI’s participants, staff and communities around the world. Internationally recommended practices, such as advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the governments Australia, UK and US, continue to be monitored and the standards are likely to change if and when international advice changes.

The work GVI is contributing to across the globe remains important and the following measures allow our participants to continue to join GVI’s programs and continue impacting positively on their world and the communities we work with. The following changes to our existing protocols have been made by the GVI health and hygiene team to strengthen our health and hygiene protocols and ensure that international standard safeguards are in place to protect our participants, staff and host communities.


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Your Impact

All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or UN SDGs. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualise their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

The programs in Zanzibar are a mix of community development and marine conservation. Working with the community and in partnership with established organisations, each program has its own goals in relation to the needs of the community at any given time.  

Programs are coordinated keeping the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in mind, and the programs in Kilimanjaro promote a variety of these, including #4 (Quality Education), #13 (Climate Action) and #14 (Life Below Water).

Project Objectives


Zanzibar’s Long-term Objectives:

1. Enhance the landscape for educational support within the community, to help improve the learning environment for the children in the village;

2. Empower the local women of Jambiani by working together on education, health and income generating projects;

3. Monitor dolphin behavior for research purposes and to protect the species;

4. Survey the impact of tourism on dolphin behaviour that helps to promote eco-tourism around Zanzibar;

5. Run workshops with local boat and tour operators educating them on ethical dolphin tourism.

Our Ethics

Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.


We want to constantly develop our own understanding of ethical best practice. In so doing, we aim to provide an exemplary industry standard for other education institutions, international development organisations, and social enterprises. Our Badge of Ethics stands for the drive to always do good, better. Find out more, click on the Badge below.


Our 10 Ethical Commitments


Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects

We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.


Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes

We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.


Impact Reporting

We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.


Working Against Dependency

We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.


Responsible Exit Strategies

For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.


Clear Roles & Specialized Training

We aim to ensure that ever participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.


Respect for all

In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.


Local Ownership

We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conducted, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.


Transitioning from the Orphanage Model

We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.


Child and Vulnerable adult policies

We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.

Continual Development

As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics. GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.

However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.

Program Ethics



We don’t support or allow participants to work in institutional residential care facilities, also known as orphanages. We partner with ReThink Orphanages and Freedom United.


Our Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy requires all our staff and participants to complete a criminal background check and to learn why you shouldn’t reveal a child’s identifying factors in photographs. We support the ChildSafe Movement.


We don’t offer any programs where our participants engage in medical treatment. This is because our participants aren’t typically qualified to do this work and would therefore not be able to do this work in their home country. Our participants only assist with public health programs.


We don’t offer any programs where our participants work directly with people with disabilities. This is because our participants aren’t typically qualified to do this work and would therefore not be able to do this work in their home country.


Each one of our initiatives is aligned to objectives set by a local organisation or professional. Our staff and participants work to support these local actors in achieving their specific goals.


Our participants don’t replace the staff employed by local organisations. Rather, they support currently employed staff with achieving their objectives. Our goal is always to increase local capacity to address local problems.


Participants require training and support to ensure that they carry out tasks correctly. Our staff provide this training and support so that local staff can focus on what is truly important to their organisation at the time.

Free time

Joining a program not only allows participants to collaborate with communities or work toward preserving unique ecosystems but it also offers plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding area or travel further to see what other parts of the region have to offer.

Long term field staff are a great source of advice, and have helped us put together the following information on local travel options. Many decide to travel before or after their experience (subject to immigration restrictions), solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program. Please note that the below suggestions are not included in the program fee, and are for the individual to organise at their own expense.

Weekend Trips

Full Moon Party

This once in a lifetime experience happens in Kendwa Rocks.

City Tour

UNESCO is best known for acknowledging cultural and natural sites that show "outstanding universal value". Stone Town has been awarded this status, and is a must see on your travels outside of your program.

Safari Blue Island Tour

The are multiple opportunities to snorkel and enjoy a picnic lunch after.

Zala Park Conservation Area

Get to know the local wildlife on an excursion with your fellow project participants.

Local travel

Go snorkeling and scuba diving off’ Zanzibar’s coastline. Also explore the rich heritage of Zanzibar by enjoying the famous Spice & Stone Town tour.

Further Travels

South Africa

Table Mountain in Cape Town is a world landmark for a reason. Take a day trip up in a cable car, or alternatively, plan a hike with a group of fellow travellers.


Famous for the quality of its fresh seafood, a Portuguese influence can be felt in dishes such as prawns and chicken.


A nation which is well-known for its smiling, friendly people. Most importantly, it is known for its extraordinary freshwater lake, Lake Malawi, attracting thousands of tourists each year.


Victoria Falls is a tourist destination not to be missed. It is known to locals as "Mosi-oa-Tunya" ("The Smoke that Thunders") and is definitely something for your bucket list after your program.

Cultural Immersion

Engaging intimately with a new context teaches not only global awareness but adaptability and critical thinking, skills highly valued in the modern marketplace. Local and cultural immersion is encouraged on all our programs around the world, and is also one of the most enjoyable aspects of your experience. Luckily, there are many activities you can get involved with in your free time, or before and after your program. On our community programs the focus is on cultural topics, while on marine or wildlife programs the emphasis is more on the environmental element. Use your evenings and weekends to explore diverse and eclectic topics like Theravada Buddhism in Laos or how plastic pollution and climate change affects Indian Ocean coral.

Local Cuisine

Biryani is one of the most popular dishes in Zanzibar and is definitely something to experience if you are a first time traveler to the region. Zanzibar is also known for Birimbi, also know as Star Fruit, a juicy yellow fruit that, when cut, resembles a 5-pointed star.

Marine Life

Zanzibar is famous for its abundance of reef fish and large variety of small marine life. Sea creatures such as nudibranch, leaf fish, frog fish, crocodile fish, sea horse, mantis shrimp, octopus, are very common to spot in the crystal clear waters.

Historical Artefacts

Some ancient potteries have been discovered in Zanzibar, illustrating that at some point it was a major trading route for the ancient Assyrians. Explore these at local museums in the area.


Swahili is the primary language spoken in the region, though due to early colonial influence, English is spoken in the region extensively as well. Be sure to ask about the more than a hundred languages spoken in Tanzania, most of which are traditional, rural dialects.

Support & Safety

We won’t sugarcoat it — traveling abroad is usually a complex process that carries an element of risk. But this is exactly why we’re passionate about providing extensive support throughout the process as well as the highest safety standards during the in-country phase. We believe that volunteering abroad should not only be impactful, but an enjoyable experience that carries as little risk as possible. This is exactly how we’ve been able to maintain our reputation as the most highly respected volunteering organisations in the sector over the past two decades.


COVID-19 Safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures are in place throughout each GVI program. Learn more.


Once a participant books, they will be assigned a personal support coordinator who will oversee their pre-departure journey. The support coordinator helps to bridge the gap between program enrolment and arrival at one of our field bases. Your personal support coordinator will ensure that you are provided with all the necessary information required to apply for visas, background checks, and any other documentation.


Upon arrival at the airport, participants will be greeted by a GVI staff member. All GVI staff are our own and all our programs around the world are run by our staff. All GVI field staff are background checked, Emergency First Response and safety trained. The minimum staff to participant ratio on GVI’s programs is one to six, although on several bases we have a ratio of one to three. When finishing the experience, participants will provide feedback on all aspects of their program.

Health & Safety Case Studies

19 Nov


It takes courage to book a GVI program, get on a flight, and head off to somewhere new. Volunteering offers a level of cultural immersion that typical backpacking or holidays just can’t achieve. This is why thousands of people around the world participate in paid GVI programs.

1 Nov


As the saying goes: ‘Expect the best, plan for the worst’. Cliched or not, we take it to heart. This tenet is at the core of how GVI operates when it comes to promoting the health and safety of our participants, staff, and local community members at all of our 20+ bases around the world.

6 Nov


The weather isn’t just a topic for polite small-talk here at GVI. We have emergency action plans in place for all scenarios. So when the weather, or other natural forces, takes a nasty turn, we are prepared to respond to stormy situations.

5 Nov


Once GVI has matched a participant to a program that suits their passions and goals, our team aims to set the right expectations for them. In the event that false expectations around a program are created, the GVI team takes immediate action to ensure that the situation rectified.

What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Three meals a day, cooked by chefs from the local community (weekdays only)
  • Welcome meeting

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Additional meals on weekends and while not on project
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Police or background check
  • Visa costs (where necessary)