If you’re thinking about volunteering with African Impact, you might be wondering what a day in the life of a volunteer looks like. The Moshi Public Health project (based near Kilimanjaro, Tanzania) is one of African Impact’s most varied and interesting projects. In a single day, you can work with people from a wide range of backgrounds, ages and needs. That’s part of what makes this project so rewarding and such a valuable experience for volunteers.
Each day begins bright and early in Moshi. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of Mt Kilimanjaro on your way to BCC Pasua, the first project of the day. At BCC, health volunteers help a small group of children with special needs to improve their literacy and numeracy skills. African Impact Moshi has been working with BCC since 2013. It doesn’t take long for volunteers to become invested in the project – there is nothing quite the same as the thrill of a student achieving something for the first time! The students at BCC have to overcome more challenges than most in their education and every minute of time and effort we can put into supporting them is valuable.
“Yesterday at BCC the kids were awesome! They all worked so hard and really seemed to understand. I am so proud.” – Beckie
After a busy morning, health volunteers return to the house to swap stories from morning project with the Moshi Education, Girl Impact and Tourism volunteers. On a Monday afternoon, health volunteers might go to the Msandaka School of the Deaf, a much-loved project of both staff and volunteers. You will be surprised at how much you can communicate with the students without speaking, and at how quickly you will pick up a few signs yourself. The students might even give you a sign name. In class, you will cover topics with the students that would not normally be taught in their normal school day – physical health, nutrition and mental health. We also try to incorporate some physical exercise into the lesson which is fun for everyone.
“Amazing day at School of the Deaf today. We had a sports’ day with them. Even with no words it was amazing fun to see them play and enjoy themselves.” – Michele
On other afternoons, you will visit the Langoni Wazee, or Old Folk’s Home. Similar to visiting your own grandparents, going to the Wazee often feels like going home. After greeting each resident and hearing their news, we have an action packed afternoon prepared for them each day. This could be playing bingo, reading the newspaper, or doing some exercise – because even in your nineties, exercise is important! The companionship that these afternoons provide for the Wazee is so important and you will feel like you have 13 new grandparents before long.
"I am so happy with everything. I am always happy to see their faces and hear their voices as they try to communicate with us in Swahili. They really care for us and are like our family.” – Langoni Wazee resident Mr. Michaels
All in a day’s work for a Moshi Health Project Volunteer!
“What makes this project so wonderful is the diversity each day, and that we reach out to the most vulnerable members of the community, from children with special needs, elderly people, a women’s group, and children at the school for the deaf. Volunteers love how unique this programme is and that every day is so different and rewarding working with these members of the community” – Dee Dee Health Project Coordinator.