School Expeditions

Are you a secondary school student or teacher looking for a challenge that will stretch and inspire you?

If you are keen to travel and change lives, become part of our unique and rewarding adventures.

Take learning beyond the classroom and spend 2 incredible weeks of fun in Tanzania or Peru, surrounded by fascinating history, natural beauty and incredible cultures, and supporting vulnerable communities living in poverty!

Begin your school’s Vine Trust adventure and help us to deliver significant and sustainable development to those who need it most.

Start your school's adventure today. Contact us to arrange a unique trip to Tanzania or Peru:

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Schools volunteering in Tanzania or Peru in 2019


School Volunteers will travel in 2019


School Volunteers in Total

What is a School Expedition?

Vine Trust’s School Expeditions provide an exceptional opportunity for students to engage in sustainable international development while making incredible friendships and memories.

Support the construction of orphanages and small family homes in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania, and community projects and children’s homes in Arequipa and Lima, Peru. Through Vine Trust’s hands-on projects, in partnership with local organisations, we enable students to become active global citizens through enacting and empowering vulnerable communities, leading to significant change.

Start your school’s Vine Trust adventure, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Make friends and memories which will last a lifetime.

Cultural learning

In addition to volunteering on sustainable development projects, your school will also discover more about the culture, history and nature of Tanzania or Peru. In Tanzania, students will go on an organised safari, learning about the country’s amazing geography and biodiversity, hoping to catch sight of as many of the “Big 5” as possible!

For schools visiting Peru, there is the opportunity to learn more about the history of the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu and explore the incredible geography of the country.

School Expeditions to Peru

If you’re looking for the school trip of a lifetime with added South American flare, then join us on a Vine Trust School Expedition to Peru!

Working alongside local organisations, we help to provide children and adults with access to education facilities and a safe and loving home where they can stay.

Working with Mensajeros de la Paz (Messengers of Peace) in the Lima shanty town of Chorillos, your school will help build small classroom units to enable children and parents to gain an education, improving their quality of life and teaching the community new skills.

The New Hope children’s home in Arequipa is a warm and welcoming centre for between 40 to 50 orphaned children. School Expeditions will help maintain and develop the centre through renovation, landscaping and construction, ensuring the children have the best possible start in life. You will be able to get involved with sport, crafts and game activities with local children on both projects, ensuring it is rewarding and enjoyable for everyone.

School Expeditions to Tanzania

Go on an African adventure to Tanzania and experience the vibrant life and colour this continent has to offer!

Vine Trust’s School Expeditions work in partnership with in-country organisations to build individual homes for families, and larger homes for orphaned children. These life-changing homes, built in the Kilimanjaro region, provide shelter, security and hope to some of the world’s most vulnerable families living in poverty.

You will visit children’s homes and centres for children orphaned by HIV, AIDS, TB and other, often treatable diseases. The work you undertake during your visits will help to make a significant and lasting difference to these children’s futures.

What skills will students develop?

In addition to making a significant difference to vulnerable communities, School Expeditions are an invaluable way to enhance students’ personal skills while learning about other peoples and cultures. Our volunteering programme will encourage you to recognise the diverse challenges faced by communities across our world, and ask you to consider how the actions of individuals and communities affect others.

Students will:

  • become active global citizens
  • develop leadership skills, becoming confident and responsible citizens
  • actively engage with global issues and use teamwork to discuss solutions and improvements
  • make a practical difference to the lives of marginalised children and families
  • become ambassadors for change, representing those living in poverty
  • experience another culture, and learn from collaborating with local people
  • overcome cultural and language differences to support and complete projects
  • have fun and change lives while working together as part of a team

Frequently Asked Questions

You will be involved in our home-building programme, building homes for individual families in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania, as well as supporting vulnerable children and orphans in the building of larger children’s centres. Alongside the building programme, there will be an opportunity to spend time with the children Vine Trust supports, organising games and activities for them, as well as visiting various tourist areas such as Kilimanjaro National Park.

A typical school expedition is two weeks in length.

Vine Trust’s expeditions are not holidays! You need to be physically and emotionally fit to deal with long days working in the heat and on uneven terrain. If you have any underlying health conditions, you should check with your doctor that you are fit to travel.

You do not need any prior experience in building work in order to join one of our teams. You will be working alongside local builders who will carry out all technical work. However, you will need to be a good team-player and bring plenty of enthusiasm with you!

Although no specific skills or training are required to be part of a Vine Trust team, all participants are asked to attend at least one pre-trip orientation session in order to cover important cultural, health and safety issues, as well as to set out expectations, what the expedition will entail and to meet other members of the team.

All the building work takes place using a bucket, spade and plenty of hard work! Because of the location of the homes and the kind of buildings being constructed, no machines are used. All necessary tools will be provided in-country. However, participants are expected to bring their own personal protective equipment (PPE) in line with the kit list recommendations. This includes sturdy boots with ankle support, dust masks, work gloves and eye protection, as well as culturally appropriate clothing (no knees, midriff, shoulders or cleavage on show)

Contact us for the latest information about costs.  Please note that all costs include a minimum £370 contribution towards construction materials and local labour.

We will be happy to put you in touch with previous participants. You can also read more about what happens on a home-building expedition by visiting our blog

You will be based in the town of Moshi which is the tourist capital for those climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. You will stay in basic hostel or college accommodation. All rooms have mosquito nets.

Tanzania is a very peaceful country and you will receive a great welcome. However, as with any journey, there are risks involved and the health and safety of all participants is of the utmost priority to Vine Trust. Particular safety issues to be aware of include work site hazards and petty theft. Participants are encouraged to leave all valuables at home. Roads and vehicles may vary in standard and participants should take care when crossing roads. Vine Trust follows a driving policy regarding expectations from drivers and vehicle maintenance. There is also a risk of malaria in Tanzania and so anti-bite precautions and anti-malarial medication must be followed. All health and safety issues are covered in the pre-trip and in-country orientation, as well as being highlighted in the pre-tip literature.

The only heavy packs you will have will be your own luggage. However, on the work site, you may be required to lift bricks and stones. All participants will be reminded of good lifting techniques and will only be asked to move what they can and to always work in teams.

You will not go hungry whilst in Tanzania! However, be prepared to eat lots of the same kind of food, such as rice, chips and chicken. If you have any dietary requirements such as being vegetarian or nut/dairy/gluten free, please let us know on your initial application form so that we can make the necessary arrangements.

All ventures are led by experienced UK Vine Trust leaders. These may be Vine Trust members of staff or Vine Trust volunteers who have been involved in the Trust’s work for many years and have experience of being part of numerous home-building expeditions in the past. All volunteers go through a leadership training programme and are all first-aid trained. In addition, we have our Tanzanian team of ‘Expedition and Planning Coordinators’ who work closely with the UK leaders during the venture.

For terms and conditions, please see the back of the expedition handbook and also refer to the school contract document.

If you withdraw from the expedition, you will lose your £250 deposit. You will also be required to cover any outlays which have already been paid on your behalf such as flight costs. 

An initial handbook is available at the time of booking which provides all key information about the venture. A final preparation pack is then sent to all participants 4-6 weeks before departure which provides emergency contact numbers and reminders of key areas covered in the pre-trip orientation. Participants are kept fully informed about the venture through emails and pre-trip orientation sessions in the lead-up to the departure date.

Vine Trust staff are always on hand to answer any questions or concerns which participants may have in the lead-up to the venture.  This will normally be the coordinator of your expedition. If there are any concerns during the expedition, in the first instance, please speak to your Vine Trust leader to try to resolve the situation. If resolution is not possible, then the concern will be passed to senior management.

A copy of Vine Trust’s complaints procedure is available on request.

Vine Trust has a 24 hour emergency phone which should be contacted in the case of an emergency. All emergency contact details and procedures will be shared with participants as part of the final preparation pack.

As part of the application procedure, all participants are required to declare any medical conditions and medications they are taking, as well as provide next of kin contact details in case of an emergency. This information will be available to all Vine Trust leaders on the expedition, as well as at Vine Trust’s head office in Edinburgh. In keeping with data protection laws, all personal details are stored confidentially and never shared with third parties.