Mambo Veiw Point Accommodation and Projects
MamboViewPoint is owned by social entrepreneurs Marion Neidt and Herman Erdtsieck. After years of travelling throughout the developing world and working with various development agencies and projects, they felt unhappy with the often very poor or even counterproductive results of many aid projects and associated wastage, with monies going towards expensive overheads, offices and 4x4 cars. The vision for MamboViewPoint was born from their disillusionment with these experiences.
The basic idea was to create a permanent socio-economic base in a poor area from which to begin regional development. Rather than unconditional aid, their model is based on empowering people, building capacities, sharing knowledge & expertise and giving support in obtaining tools and resources. Marion and Herman feel that oftentimes only a little push is needed to enable people to pull themselves out of poverty.
Three important features of their model are
- A holistic approach is needed (eg the community will not develop if the children are educated and then move away to find work. All actors must be taken into account)
- The skills of the community should be harnessed and value should be added to materials already being created in the community through manufacturing on-site
- Living in the community is essential for understanding failures and helping to make the right adjustments to their processes.
Current projects/volunteer opportunities: In the words of MamboVeiwPoint: “Basically we do everything you can think of as everything is interlinked".
Current opportunities include:
- Education- opportunities in three areas 1. working with secondary school students and teachers, 2. computer training 3. design course for adult education.
- Business start-up and advice- potential/existing businesses include beekeeping, butterfly farm, chicken farms, jam making, cheese making.
Other opportunities with projects in varies stages of development include:
- Engineering- improving bridges and road access
- Construction- library, clinic
- Development of a rock climbing route for adventure tourism
- Healthcare seminars and training for carers of the disabled
- Conservation and tree planting
Volunteer requirements for each position: “We expect volunteers to have skills and to be prepared to transfer their knowledge to us and our villagers. There is less need to do the work yourself like building or teaching, but more to teach local people how to build/ teach/etc. In many fields support is needed.”
Accommodation: Volunteers stay at MVP lodge, a genuine Eco Lodge which is situated on the northern edge of the Usambara Mountains (Lushoto) Tanzania, close to the village of Mambo. The lodge is perched on a cliff top and (according to one reveiwer) "The scenery in this region is absolutely breathtaking, and the position of the lodge takes full advantage of this". For those just visiting, all manner of accommodation is available, from camping to honeymoon cottages, and with hikes, biking tracks and bird vewing on your dorrstep, theres plenty to keep you amused during a short break.
Costs: Volunteer stay in the shared rooms set aside for those working with the community. Rates are 25 usd per night which includes all facilities listed below. Ethical Volunteer Members receive the usual 50 Euro discounts on their first months stay and 10% thereafter.
For other rooms/camping, rates vary from 10 usd to >100 usd per night and can be found in detail on their website.
Facilities: costs are inclusive of
- Communal meals
Getting There: Flying into Dar es Salaam or Kilimanjaro airports, its going to take you the full day to reach MVP. You need to get an early morning bus to the town of Mambo at the base of the Usambaran mountains and then switch to a local bus to take you to Lushoto. From there a representative of MVP will collect you for the final part of your journey to the northern edge of the Usambarans.
Getting Around: Most of the work of the volunteer is done on the site of the lodge. If field work is needed, most sites will be within walking distance and if not, MVP will provide transport. Translators/assistants are available.
Activities: Lushoto is one of the lesser known highlights of Tanzania. It is a slice of tropical rainforest in an otherwise dry and dusty land. One to three day hikes are available (and advisable!!) in the Usambarans and other activities include mountain biking, rock climbing, camping and bird watching.
phone number: +255 078 52 72 150 or +255 769 522 420
whatsapp +255 769 522 420