Tanzania Volunteering in Action
People who know me know I am dedicated to traveling with intention and trying to find ways to give back more than we take during our adventures with Wanderful Tanzania. It doesn’t take much to make an impact. Think about what happens when you drop a pebble into a pond. It makes a little splash, but the magic is in the concentric circles that start to move outward from the point of impact for quite some time. I believe it is the perfect analogy for spreading love, compassion, and goodness.
Sue Wittoroff is a real-world example of this analogy. She is one good person who was so impacted by her Wanderful Tanzania safari that she leaned in, got out of her comfort zone, and has been volunteering in Africa.
Adventure to volunteering
During my first trip to Tanzania in 2018, I met so many people who took great care of me that I did whatever I could to return the favor. Over the next two years, I helped put nine young people through various schools. One of those young men was Goodluck who trained to be a safari guide.
COVID greatly impacted the tourism industry, but Goodluck has ingenuity and determination. He needed to find a way to help himself and his family survive, so he approached me to help him buy used milling equipment. He built a place to house the machines, ran electrical to the building, and started a milling business.
During a safari in November 2022, Sue Wittoroff and her partner arrived a couple of days before the rest of the group and Goodluck came to surprise us. He and Sue instantly formed a bond and have been in touch with one another ever since. Two weeks after the safari, Sue decided to return to Tanzania and spend six weeks volunteering, helping schools, and educating the kids.
Goodluck showed me the corn grinding operation he started when COVID shut down the tourism business.
The sign above the door says Grain Milling and Threshing Machine.
This machine takes the hulls off the corn so that it can be ground. The grinding machine turns it into corn flour.
Goodluck also has a small store where he sells ground corn, flour, and other staples. When people come to buy corn flour, they can also buy something else. He employs several people to help him with his business, and his sister has a dressmaking shop next to his shop.
Then Goodluck took me to meet his son, mother, and father. I was thrilled to be able to meet them. There are several buildings and places for volunteers to stay. I am the only volunteer staying here at this time. The host family is very nice, and I feel incredibly comfortable and welcome.
In the afternoon, we went to Golden Aya school to teach. It is an after-school enhancement program that begins at about 3 p.m. Suitcases of supplies I brought from the U.S. were transported on a motorcycle over to the school because they were too heavy to carry. We walked on local paths to the school, about 3/4 of a mile from where I was staying.
All of the supplies are kept in a locked cabinet, and an inventory was created.
I taught English comprehension and science at the Golden Aya school. We did a project where the kids learned about the scientific method and tested their theories about eggs and whether they will float in freshwater or saltwater.
The math topic was the elements and importance of a Business Plan. It seemed like a complex subject to teach 8 to 10-year-olds at first, but I used Goodluck’s corn grinding operation as an example, and they seemed to grasp the basic concepts.
Want to be a pebble?
Wanderful Tanzania takes small groups on incredible East African safaris several times each year. Perhaps you’ve always wondered about doing something to help others. Our safaris introduce travelers to the people of Tanzania in the way other safaris don’t. What you experience may inspire you to travel with intention and possibly volunteer. Contact us to get more information today.