My time in Tanzania was so special. I feel incredibly lucky to have spent some time there working with an amazing organisation. African Impact have several projects around Africa, but I spent my time on their Education and Community Support project in Tanzania. I contributed to several of the programmes there, including the community English classes, nursery English, the School for the Deaf, the Wazee (a home for elderly folk without family) and Wakipa – a women’s group built to help empower women who have suffered difficult life circumstances to help further their education and to develop sustainable businesses for themselves and their families. Each project has an established curriculum developed to address the specific needs of each group.
As volunteers, we develop lesson plans and activities to support the delivery of the scheduled curriculum while we are there. There is plenty of support provided, with brilliant dedicated coordinators and helpful resource materials available. We had a thorough induction and participated in supporting talks and presentations throughout our stay, as well as engaging in continuous improvement projects, self-evaluation and aligning to global strategies. We often asked each other which was our favourite project, and my standard answer became “whichever project I am in at the time you ask me”. All of the projects were so interesting and all of the students and people we worked with were so inspirational.
In community class, we had many Maasai students, most of whom work security jobs from 10pm to 6am each night, and would still make it on time for our 9am classes every day. We got to know each of the elderly folk at the Wazee and their endearing traits while they helped us pick up the basics of Swahili.
The women’s group is currently working through a business development curriculum and in the process of growing cooking classes and a local meal as an experience for tourists and volunteers, of which we were lucky to experience as guinea pigs. The avocado and passionfruit juice is probably the most delicious thing I have ever tasted.
On a more personal note, my time in Tanzania was one of the most fulfilling experiences I have ever had.The people there altered my perspective, the environment was a constant source of inspiration and the way of life made me feel like I’d found my spiritual home. I hope to return soon ☺