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December 2013

Happy Teeth Day!   (published in Tanzania)

December 18, 2013 by   Comments(0)

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Medical Volunteers partcipated in a Medical Outreach to Good Hope Oprhanage where the children received medical check ups and an orientation to dental hygiene and hand sanitation.

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Happy Teeth Day!https://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/tanzania-social-manager/read/320175/happy-teeth-day
Happy Teeth Day!
 

Presence is a Gift to Children   (published in Tanzania)

December 12, 2013 by   Comments(1)

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``I wanted to see what other parts of the world were like,`` says Emily Hassinger (20) about her decision to volunteer abroad in Tanzania. ``I spent much of my life volunteering in small ways so I was ready for something different.``

 

Emily is currently working on her bachelor`s degree in hospitality management with a minor in dance at East Strousburg University. She arrived in Arusha, Tanzania in mid-August to begin a three month care placement at an orphanage coordinated by Projects Abroad, a global volunteering organization with various projects all over the world.

``With approximately 60 children directly under the orphanage`s care, there are always jobs that volunteers can help with ranging from childcare, small teaching projects and building projects and just general upkeep of the orphanage. There is always something to do.``

Monday through Friday from 8am to 1pm, Emily taught math and English and helped with tasks such as sorting and taking inventory, escorting the children to doctor and dental appointments, helping with homework and preparing them for bed. She lived in a volunteer house across the street from the orphanage with other volunteers.

Emily was able to incorporate her dance minor into the project by leading dance classes once a week, a feat that proved to be a challenge (due to language barriers) but rewarding in the end.

``From my classes alone, the two girls I taught improved tremendously over three months. As for the other kids, I just always had the opportunity to help them when they needed it and even though small, I feel like I made a difference.``

Emily plans to fundraise money at home on behalf of the orphanage and hopefully return to Tanzania in the Spring of 2015 to see the children again.

`` I learned the importance of my presence to the kids. I also learned a lot about being the `parent` the kids needed along with being a `friend’. The hard part was being able to find the balance. What I’m studying doesn’t have anything to do with my work in Tanzania, but I can see it helping when I decide to have a family of my own.

 

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Presence is a Gift to Childrenhttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/tanzania-social-manager/read/319174/presence-is-a-gift-to-children
Presence is a Gift to Children
 

I'm Proud of the Microfinance Project   (published in Tanzania)

December 11, 2013 by   Comments(0)

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After six years in a successul career in investment banking, Felix Wickenkamp (31), was searching for a new challenge.

 

“I had a fascination with Africa for a long time and I heard a lot of good things about Tanzania,” says Felix. “I also think volunteering is a great way to learn about the country, the culture and the people. Plus, I’m really interested in microfinance.”

Felix received a master’s degree in international business studies in 2006 from Maastricht University, making his academic and professional experience highly valuable to an underdeveloped country. He departed Germany in October for a one month microfinance volunteer placement in Arusha, Tanzania.

The microfinance project assists local women’s groups who are single or widowed and have individual and collective businesses. Projects Abroad provides the women with business, marketing and bookkeeping training in addition to an interest-free loan to start or improve a business idea.

“The level of responsiblity is pretty high because it’s more or less run by the volunteers. At the moment we are a team of five along with the project coordinator. Our responsiblities are really doing administrative work and implementing new initiatives and training.”

Felix says that the volunteers spend half their time in the office doing administrative work such as writing reports, reviewing loan documents, feeding the cashflow sheet and preparing trainings. The other half of their time is spent in the field visiting the women’s groups to collect money from loans, conduct feasibility studies or provide additional training.

“I tried to make an impact by proposing new administrative ideas. I also developed a training that we will launch next week. I believe the volunteers make a difference and I’m proud of the project at the moment.”

Upon leaving Tanzania, Felix plans to return to Germany for a few weeks before starting an MBA program at INSEAD Singapore in January.

“It was a good decision to come to Tanzania to volunteer. I learned a lot about the myself, the culture and the way people do business here. It’s a good experience and I’m glad I came.”

 

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I'm Proud of the Microfinance Projecthttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/tanzania-social-manager/read/319085/im-proud-of-the-microfinance-project
I'm Proud of the Microfinance Project
 

Hakuna Matata is not just a song, its a way of life   (published in Tanzania)

December 11, 2013 by   Comments(0)

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“I’m thinking of becoming a doctor so I wanted to see what it would be like,” explains 19 year old Peder Kjeldsen about his decision to volunteer abroad.

 

Peder and his bestfriend Frederik Kristensen set out on a three month medical volunteer placement in Arusha, Tanzania.

As part of the experience, Peder and Frederik lived with a local Tanzanian family allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the cultural cuisine, lifestyle and language. Peder reports to work at a local government hospital five days a week observing and assisting the medical staff.

“Projects Abroad helps the hospital get more staff, which makes the nurses less stressed because they have many patients. Typically there should be 4 patients per nurse, but in Tanzania there are 8-10 patients per nurse. On a normal day I work in the medical ward. I follow the doctor around or escort patients to the x-ray room, take blood pressure or the temperature of the patient. When the doctor is done, I follow the nurse around and help her to get the medicine for the patients.”

Thus far, the experience has been very educational for Peder. He’s been able to learn how to give injections and take blood pressure for the first time, as well as participate in a medical outreach in a rural community.

“It makes me happy that I’m here at a hospital out in the country and not in Arusha. Its very poor and dry, but that’s not what makes me happy. We are helping people who are sick and not feeling well and we do it without people having to pay anything.”

Pedae found that there were many differences between his home and Tanzania in terms of culture and medicine.

“There are many diseases in Tanzania that we don’t have in Denmark. And we don’t have many poor people, which is very common here. The weather is also very different. It’s only 0 or 5 degrees celsius at home right now and almost 30 degrees here.”

Pedar says he will return to boarding school when he goes back home and use his volunteer experience to help get into a university. He advises future volunteers to “Take it easy, because here there is much hakuna matata or no worries about anything. The pace is very slow. I woud advise them to have great patience because things are coming even though it doesn’t seem that it is.”

 

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Hakuna Matata is not just a song, its a way of lifehttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/tanzania-social-manager/read/319081/hakuna-matata-is-not-just-a-song-its-a-way-of-life
Hakuna Matata is not just a song, its a way of life
 

Be Open Minded and Willing to Learn   (published in Tanzania)

December 11, 2013 by   Comments(0)

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Tanzania was at the top of Genna Verbeek’s (23) list when she began searching for a place to complete her medical internship.

“I’m in my sixth year of medical studies in Australia and as part of our course we do a 6 week elective. We can do it any where in the world, but I had a friend who recently came to Tanzania and said it was an amazing experience.”

Genna signed up with a medical placement offered by Projects Abroad. She lived with a Tanzanian host family and volunteered full time at a government hospital. She spent 3 weeks in the pediatric ward and 3 weeks in anestetics.

“I get a fair bit of responsibility. I think it depends on how much you like to take initiative. They’ve been great in supporting me in what I’d like to learn and what I’d like to have more experience in. The other day I did and anastetic all by myself. The anestetician was in and out just checking on me.”

Genna says on a typical day she reports to the hospital in the monring where she “uses very limited Swahili” to examine the patients, take blood, and help administer anesthesia to patients preparing to deliver babies or who require surgery in the lower abdomen.

When asked if she’s been able to make a difference at the hospital, Genna says “I think it works the other way around. Its been more of a learning experience for me than me helping the staff. It’s been great meeting people who are medical students and  junior and senior doctors. I’ve been able to put into context some of the medical issues that are specific to Tanzania that we don’t see at home. Rather than me giving, I think I’ve received more.”

She further explains that she’s been able to improve on her nonverbal communication skills by reading body language because of the language barrier. In addition, she noticed that the medical staff examen the patients more by listening to medical concerns, whereas in Australia the focus is more on testing.

One of her most memorable experiences occurred when she met a pedeatric patient. “We had one little girl from a Maasai village from very far away and she had diabetes. I was able to buy her a glucose monitor, otherwise her family wouldn’t have been able to afford it. Being able to help people financially and being able to work with the doctors and share experiences from back home has been very rewarding.”

Upon returning to Melbourne, Genna says she will start her first year as a doctor, but she would love to return to Tanzania in the near future.

“My advice to potential volunteers is to come with a really open mind and come ready to learn. If you come thinking that you are going to teach, you are coming with the wrong perspective. I think its more that you are coming to learn and experience something very different.”

Before leaving Tanzania, Genna donated an electric suction appartus to the hosptial where she worked.

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Be Open Minded and Willing to Learnhttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/tanzania-social-manager/read/319068/be-open-minded-and-willing-to-learn
Be Open Minded and Willing to Learn
 

Accounting Pro shares expertise with Microfinance Project   (published in Tanzania)

December 11, 2013 by   Comments(0)

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“I’ve been working for the last 3 years and I wanted a break,” says Kodikara Saliyah (24) about his decision to volunteer abroad in Tanzania. “I just finished one of my qualifications for accounting so I wanted to take some time off and do something outside of my comfort zone.”

Saliyah believed he could use his degree in commerce and economics to help the microfinance project offered in Tanzania.

During his six week stay in Arusha, Saliyah says he had significant responsibility on the project. As a volunteer he was involved in preparing bookkeeping training, collecting money and writing a monthly report which goes to the head office in the UK.

Projects Abroad supports several groups of women in the Arusha area who are mainly single or widowed. The women have both an individual and collective business within the group. The volunteers provide business and marketing training, assessments and monitoring, and interest-free loans to the women.

“Projects Abroad makes a big difference. A lot of the women don’t have specific guidelines or capital to run their businesses so Projects Abroad provides those things so the women can invest and grow their business.”

Saliyah divided his time between working on administrative tasks on his laptop at the Projects Abroad office and in the field visiting the women.

“I hope I’ve made a difference and that my training and advice has had an impact. It’s quite different from the work that I do at home, but I’m able to have different perspectives now.”

The cultural experience was new for Saliyah who is planning to continue his career in Bali after the project.  “The way people live is very different. People are closer to each other in terms of relationships and what they consider to be important is also very different.”

While in Tanzania, Saliyah took advantage of a four day safari as well as a trip to the island of Zanzibar. He advises volunteers thinking about volunteering with the microfinance project to “Be open and be yourself. Go for things and take the opportunity to show the most you can instead of holding back.”

 

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Accounting Pro shares expertise with Microfinance Projecthttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/tanzania-social-manager/read/319055/accounting-pro-shares-expertise-with-microfinance-project
Accounting Pro shares expertise with Microfinance Project
 

Let There Be Light   (published in Tanzania)

December 11, 2013 by   Comments(0)

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Matthew Sekuloff (23) Australia

My professional background is an electrician and I have been working as one since 2007. This is the first time I have done volunteer work, but I do electrical work in mining, commercial and housing at home. I did 3 years at technical college (only 8 weeks a year) I chose to volunteer to try something different. I only decided to do two weeks as I was unsure if volunteering was something I would like. But now I wish I stayed for longer. During the two weeks of work at Engikaret I repaired many faults on the lighting fed from the generator. I also helped install a solar panel, digging trenches for building footings, and mixing cement for the laboratory floor. I donated a large solar panel at about 600,000 Tanzanian Shillings. And it was a personal donation. The most challenging part of the project was adapting to work without the use of electricity. At home I am so used to having power tools for every type of job, but at Engikaret everything was done by hand which made it extremely hard work in the heat. The best part was working with the locals and learning how to work without the use of modern technology. Living with the other volunteers was great and Father Renatus is a very funny person who treats us very well. The landscape was very dry, windy and dusty but something that you can easily get used to. Advice for other volunteers is to be prepared for very physical and hard work. After my two weeks work I traveled to Zanzibar, Tukuyu, Mbeya and Sumbawanga. The most memorable experience was traveling south west Tanzania. Everything about it was great! The people were friendly and helpful, there were no worries with anything and the scenery was incredible.

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Let There Be Lighthttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/tanzania-social-manager/read/319052/let-there-be-light
Let There Be Light
 

The Beauty of Africa by Hand   (published in Tanzania)

December 11, 2013 by   Comments(0)

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Sem Brys (24) of Belgium spent 1 month volunteering with the Building Project in Tanzania in October. During his time in Tanzania, he had the opporutnity to go on safari but while all the other volunteers were busy snapping photos with their digital cameras and i-phones, Sem used the opportunity to capture the beauty of Africa by hand with the amazing pencil drawings you see below.

To see more of Sem's artwork visit his personal blog at http://sembrys.blogspot.be/

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The Beauty of Africa by Handhttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/tanzania-social-manager/read/319037/the-beauty-of-africa-by-hand
The Beauty of Africa by Hand
 

Tanzania Celebrates International Volunteer Day   (published in Tanzania)

December 10, 2013 by   Comments(0)

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Projects Abroad Tanzania celebrated Internationl Volunteer Day on Thursday, December 5, 2013. IVD 2013 is a global celebration of young people acting as agents of change in their communities.

Volunteers in Dar Es Salaam spent the day cleaning at a local government hospital while volunteers in Arusha cleaned the streets at the Central Bus Station and Market.

The campaign was started by the United Nations. to learn more visit http://www.volunteeractioncounts.org/en

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Tanzania Celebrates International Volunteer Dayhttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/tanzania-social-manager/read/318856/tanzania-celebrates-international-volunteer-day
Tanzania Celebrates International Volunteer Day
 

TANZANIA: 52 Years and Going Strong   (published in Tanzania)

December 10, 2013 by   Comments(0)

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TANZANIA DAILY NEWS ~ ALLAFRICA.COM

At the stroke of midnight on the date, time and venue mentioned above 52 years ago on December 9, 1961, the independent nation of Tanganyika, was born.

It was a really proud moment for the newly-independent African nation to the east of Africa and its people who had waged a glorious struggle to free itself from years of colonial domination that ended with the decision at Lancaster House in the British capital, London, to accord Tanganyika its independence.

Thousands of Dar es Salaam residents and hundreds more from the regions, then known as provinces, literary descended on the newly-gazetted city ready for the big celebrations.

They had every reason to be happy. Our claim for the right to greater emancipation and the right to self-rule granted, the stage had been set for the serious nation-building task ahead of everyone.

But first and foremost, the founders of this nation laid firm foundations for unity and extolled the virtues of peace and hard work as the way forward.

The colonialists left behind an under-developed country in which high school leavers and degree and diploma leaders could be easily spotted among the street passersby as they were very few. People had to trek long distances to reach the 'nearest' dispensary or maternity clinic.

Expectant mothers had to be rushed to 'that far-away clinic,' while boys and girls as young as five years had to also walk long distances to get to their 'nearest' primary schools, come rain, come sun. Against this poor background, the state of communications was poor to say the least.

Most roads were impassable. Poverty and ignorance had at independence time reached abominable proportions. No wonder the first independence government immediately took steps to remedy the situation.

This proud nation can only look back with much pride at the level of development reached as it marks its 52nd birthday today. Have a happy Uhuru Day.

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TANZANIA: 52 Years and Going Stronghttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/tanzania-social-manager/read/318742/tanzania-52-years-and-going-strong
TANZANIA: 52 Years and Going Strong