Tanzania - Kitete

Population facets: 

Partner Organization:  Congregation of the Holy Cross in Kitete, Tanzania

Location:  Kitete, Tanzania

Number of Students:  2 students

Dates:  Site determines dates. Anticipated departure is the week following the end of Notre Dame spring semester final exams to coincide with the Audrey Veldman Trade and Vocational School calendar.

In person opportunities summer 2022: Yes

Virtual opportunities summer 2022: No

Additional Information:

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, if we are unable to deploy students in person, students will not be obligated to complete the ISSLP and may withdraw without penalty. For students wishing to continue with the ISSLP in virtual mode, ISSLP staff will work with them to be placed with a virtual international service option.

Participation Requirements:

  • Language & Proficiency Requirement:  Students will be expected to  learn basic Kiswahili before arriving  and take initiative to learn Kiswahili on site. An openness and desire to learning Kiswahili goes a long way.  While English is the medium of instruction (specifically in universities and high courts), many villagers do not speak English.  Secondary school students may be conversational in English but young children and the elderly struggle with basic English.
  • Gender Requirement:  None
  • Required Experience:  Experience teaching or tutoring and working with youth.
  • Major Requirement:  None
  • Student Minimum Age:  Recommended for students between soph-junior or junior – senior years
  • Special Requirements: This site was developed in collaboration with Keough Hall. With special funding available, Keough Hall applicants may receive priority preference (based on qualification) for one of the two positions. This site welcomes applications from across the student body and should not deter others from applying. This site requires students who are open to rural life, can take initiative, and are highly motivated, adaptable and flexible. 
  • Other:  This site is best for those interested in the study of rural poverty, small-scale markets, and education.  It is strongly recommended that participants have already taken or plan to take an African related course prior to summer.  Since students live with Holy Cross priests, this site is also suitable for any males considering a religious vocation.  Students are expected to participate fully in the community and faith life of the Congregation of Holy Cross. 

Special Training Required Prior to Summer Deployment:  

Students attend once a week introductory Kiswahili sessions with past participants and regular weekly meeting, days and times to be determined at the start of the spring semester coordinating schedules with accepted students and past participants.

(The following sessions and workshops will be organized and provided by the ISSLP during the spring semester. Additional training sessions may be added as needed.)

  • Teaching/Working with Children Workshop
  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Training
  • Congregation of Holy Cross Orientation
  • Self Defense Session
  • World Religions

Site Description:  

See the Congregation of the Holy Cross website: http://www.holycrosscongregation.org/

View a website constructed by ISSLP 2016/17 participants: http://stbrendanskitete.wixsite.com/parish

The preeminent ministry of the Congregation of Holy Cross is service to the people of God and lives out this desire in three main apostolates:  Education, Parish Work, and Missions.  The Holy Cross vision for ministry through education is holistic with the goal of preparing “useful citizens for society” as well as “citizens for heaven.”  Holy Cross parishes across the United States and around the world are places of service, education and instruction, family spirit and community, and collaboration in the life journeys of individuals and groups toward God.  Holy Cross’ outreach to other countries has been an integral part of their zeal to make God known, loved, and served, and to boldly address the world’s needs for justice and charity.  Holy Cross has communities of ministry in Africa, Bangladesh, Canada, Latin America, Europe, and the U.S. 

The Congregation’s mottos are Ave Crux, Spes Unica, “Hail the Cross, Our Only Hope.” It is in this spirit of bringing hope that lay men and women are invited to collaborate and participate in the ministry and missions of Holy Cross around the world. 

The Congregation of the Holy Cross priests and brothers run St. Brendan’s Parish, the Audrey Veldman Trade and Vocational School and a nursery school in Kitete, Tanzania. Kitete is a very rural village situated on hills which front on the Ngorongoro Forest on the west edge of the great East Africa Rift Valley and overlooks Lake Manyara Plains 1000 feet below. The parish is off the main road to the Ngorongoro Crater. The population is made up of two ethnic groups - Wairaqw and Masai. 

Scope of Work & Responsibilities:

Notice: Scope of work may have some changes based on the needs of the partner organizations at the time of student arrival/engagement.

This site will be in person for summer 2022.

This section reflects the most recent scope of work for students who deployed in the last few years to Kitete, Tanzania. This scope of work may change based on the needs of the organization at the time of student arrival and/or due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The ISSLP students have a twofold role at the site. The primary responsibility is to assist in teaching subjects (English language, computers, and math) that complement the Audrey Veldman vocational curricula. This involves preparing material for the classes, helping students with their work, and preparing, proctoring, and grading exams.  Students typically assist in teaching in the morning and are welcome to observe the trade classes in the afternoon with the possibility of playing netball, volleyball or soccer once the school day ends. Students are also encouraged to participate in afterschool programs. There are many opportunities for students to help, supplement, and develop new programs at the schools. For example, 2019 ISSLP students initiated a robotics class. 2018 ISSLP students started an English club.

Audrey Veldman Vocational Trade School is a technical school for students who either cannot afford secondary school or did not receive high enough grades to attend.  At the Veldman School, students may select among carpentry, electricity, masonry, tailoring, sewing, and knitting.  The school mainly serves the youth of Kitete, although there are students from as far away as Moshi who attend. 

Beyond assisting with teaching, site participants have the opportunity to be involved in the lively community of Christian-Catholics through various ministries spanning 200 small Christian communities of the surround villages that St. Brendan’s serves. These ministries reach all age groups and include family ministries, prayer and faith sharing groups, youth worship meetings, events for children, sacramental preparation and faith education, counseling, accompanying priests to outstation masses, going on home visits, and visiting the sick. Students can take initiative in whichever ministries interest them most!

Other activities include helping the priests with secretarial, technological, and accounting work, assisting parish workers to prepare meals, cleaning the parish house, and performing odd jobs around the parish farm. Students have many opportunities to become immersed into rural village life through playing with the children, visiting the markets, going to daily mass, and just walking around the village area, filled with friendly and welcoming people. Also, students experience firsthand the pastoral care of many, small Christian communities united in the parish.

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner in and out of the classroom given their roles in the community as teachers.  Students are expected to participate in the prayer life of the Holy Cross Community attending daily mass and at morning and evening prayer.

Housing & Lodging Information:

Students stay in the parish guesthouse with three separate bedrooms and a shared bathroom near the Holy Cross Priests and Brothers.  Meals are provided by the parish and prepared by the parish cook. The food consists mostly of rice and meat, and there were also beans, fruit, chapatti, and pancakes. A student who liked to cook and bake was a light and humorous anomaly one year and the priests and staff enjoyed that he would share his baking talents with them. There is running water and electricity in the parish guest house which is rare in many rural places in Tanzania. 

Students live in community which includes sharing meals, prayer, and Mass together. While the priests are very hospitality oriented and welcoming, it is important for students to remember that they are guests in the priests’ home and should be respectful and helpful with household chores.  

For More Information:

Visit the Congregation of Holy Cross websites: http://www.holycrosscongregation.org/
View a website created for the sister parish relationship with St. Brendan, Kitete, Tanzania and St. Gabriel, Milford, CT:  http://www.kiteteparish.org/
View a website created by past ISSLP Tanzania Kitete participants: http://stbrendanskitete.wixsite.com/parish

Former ISSLP Participants:

*Did not deploy due to COVID-19 pandemic

Notice: Certain sites may be canceled and other sites added at any point during the selection and orientation process.


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