Tanzania Volunteer Manager

The Role

This is an exciting time for the READ International Team in Tanzania. Having recently secured funding from a new corporate partner for our own dedicated office space in Dar es Salaam and small local team to support our 2012 distribution programme. This year we are looking to make a number of changes of our programme to ensure the long term sustainability of the use of our donated books in schools. We will focus on providing better volunteer training and support to do this. We are able to offer the opportunity for a six month contract in Tanzania. The salary and living allowance are based on a local teaching wage to cover your expenses. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to work with a grass roots charity committed to delivering vital educational resources to schools across Tanzania.

In August and September 2012, approximately 80 volunteers from 20 UK universities, will spend 6 weeks distributing hundreds of thousands of textbooks to secondary schools in up to 15 regions across Tanzania.

Your role as Volunteer Manager will be to support the Country Director in the preparation and delivery of our volunteer programme. This will include: staff and volunteer in-country training, preparation of volunteer, and evaluation resources.

You will provide day to day support to the team of 4 Regional Project Coordinators, who in turn support teams of volunteers. Our Regional Project Coordinators are intern staff that have worked for READ International in the UK between October 2011 – June 2012 to manage the UK Book Projects. They have all previously been a READ International volunteer in Tanzania.

You will be a key part of the team working to ensure the health and safety of READ volunteers whilst they are in-country delivering our logistics operation, and to ensure a smooth and efficient distribution of books and oversee our library refurbishments.

You will provide READ International with high-quality work relating to project management/volunteer management in Tanzania, as well as ensuring we are on course to meet our vision, mission and aims relating to resource distribution in Tanzania.

You will be based in Dar es Salaam and report directly to the Country Director. You will be required to travel unaccompanied on public transport to the regions.

Key Deliverables:

Volunteer management

  • Carrying out preparation for the arrival of Regional Project Coordinators (RPC) and volunteers including accommodation arrangements
  • Supporting the delivery of Regional Project Coordinator training
  • Providing day to day support and acting as the main point of contact for RPCs
  • Supporting Country Director and RPCs in volunteer training including delivery and logistics
  • Supporting Country Director and RPCs in volunteer debrief of including delivery and logistics
  • Recording feedback on volunteer activity received from RPCs
  • Ensuring all health and safety guidelines are adhered to by volunteers and RPCs
  • Recording all minor incidents and feeding back all information to Country Director (N.B. the Country Director will manage any major health and safety incidents).
  • Supporting RPCS to gather and record all feedback from volunteers following debrief
  • You may be required to make visits to regions of Tanzania to support volunteer teams.

All major incidents will be managed by the Country Director. However, there will be an on call rotation system between yourself and the Country Director (as first point of call for major incidents involving volunteers) over weekends for the duration of the time volunteers are in country.

When not on call you are not expected to remain in Dar es Salaam but you will be expected to be contactable at in the event of a major incident as you may be required to provide input if necessary to deal with said incident.

General office support:

  • Gathering any remaining lists of schools and relevant school information not already supplied by the Tanzania Ministry of Education. This will involve liaising with local supporters and will require travel to regions of Tanzania.
  • Developing the relationship that READ has with regional and district officials. A key priority will be guaranteeing the use of vehicles and storage at a regional/district level to ensure an efficient distribution.
  • Writing articles for the website and publications about your/our work in Tanzania
  • Helping organise, prepare and run events, including our annual READ International showcase in Dar es Salaam
  • Create an end of summer report using feedback from evaluations and volunteer debrief, including feedback from your own placement
  • Maintain good relationships with stakeholders in Tanzania.

What will you gain?

  • A worthwhile work placement with an innovative student-led charity.
  • The opportunity to travel across Tanzania, visiting amazing places many tourists never see.
  • Experience in the development sector at the action end. A must for anyone interested in a career in development.
  • Comprehensive overseas volunteer experience including ability to run volunteer training and debrief
  • People management skills. Managing interns and volunteers on a daily basis in a challenging environment
  • Personal management skills. Learn and improve how to self-motivate yourself as you are given the responsibility and independence to manage your own working day.
  • A greater understanding of the challenges facing the education system in a developing country.
  • Most importantly- the knowledge that the work you do really will make a difference in the daily education of thousands of Tanzanian schoolchildren!

Please note –READ International cannot commit to extending the contract beyond the six month contract. Our staffing needs and levels are determined by funding commitments. We would be happy to discuss and update this throughout the placement but cannot commit to extending this opportunity.

Candidate Profile

  • You must have experience working, volunteering or travelling independently in East Africa
  • You must have experience of volunteering and volunteer management
  • You must be willing to commit 5 days a week for 6 months. This will involve some evenings and weekend work.
  • You must be willing and comfortable to work and travel alone, managing your own time and priorities. You will be travelling unaccompanied at some time during the internship.
  • You must be hard-working, committed and self motivated.
  • You should have an understanding of the difficulties and frustrations of operating and travelling in Tanzania.
  • You must be aware of the need for educational resources and be able to identify how and where READ International can improve its resource distribution operations in Tanzania.
  • You should be interested in development, global citizenship and the power of education.

Personal attributes

  • Passionate about developing and growing READ International
  • A dynamic and creative thinker
  • Someone who influences and can leave a lasting impression on all our stakeholders
  • A positive and effective communicator
  • Self-assured, determined and reliable
  • Patient and prepared to deal with unexpected events and changes of plan

More / LessHow to apply

Please send your CV and a covering letter expressing your reasons for applying and suitability for the position to Rose Blackie – Country Director at rose.blackie@readinternational.org.uk

Closing date for Applications - 20th February 2012 at 9am

Applicants must be available for interview w/c 27th February 2012


  • You must be able to attend week long training in London from 26th March 2012.
  • You will depart for Tanzania on approximately 2nd April.
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