I’ve been asked by a few people to do a blog about our forthcoming volunteer trip to Tanzania. Since this is my first attempt at a blog, I can’t say how readable it will be and also how often I’ll be able to update it when I’m in Tanzania.
Basically myself and Florence decided a year ago that we wanted to go and do some volunteer work abroad in a devoloping country. Its something that I personally have always wanted to do and Florence feels the same. So we set about planning our trip just over 8 months ago way back in April.
We both agreed from the start that if we are going to do this, then two conditions must be met;
1. It would have to be a period of time in which would allow us to actually make a difference to the lifes of those in which we’ll be helping. Therefore we decided on 3 months been sufficient!
2. We would pay for the cost of the trip ourselves, therefore not going through any organisation as such.
We are raising funds though so that when we arrive, we can donate them directly to the orphanage. We hope to raise €1500. Been able to donate this sum of money to the orphanage will mean alot not only to us, but also to the orphanage itself. They don’t expect us to arrive with a donation, so this will be a great addition to them we hope.
The first fundraising project is a raffle in which you can buy a line for €5 or five lines for €20! 1st prize: €400, 2nd prize: €100, 3rd prize: Digital photo frame, and 4th prize: Mp3 player. The draw will take place on Monday 22nd Dec at the Boyle Chamber of Commerce lotto draw!
All proceeds will be donated to the Hope for Children orphanage.
The Second Fundraiser is a poker one(Surprise!). It will take place on Tuesday 6th Jan(holy day) in the Moylurg Inn, Boyle at 7pm sharp!. Entry fee is €30 and there will be €10 rebuys for 90 mins. I’m guaranteeing €1,000 for 1st place. 30% of the prizepool will be withheld and donated to the other orphanages that we’ll be working in. I’m hoping to raise a minimum of €700 on this night so please come and support. And don’t worry if you don’t know how to play Texas Hold’em poker, its very easy to learn…I’ll teach you in 5 mins 🙂
Volunteer Abroad for Free
Although most volunteers go through organisations, we feel that going independently will give us the freedom to move around different towns/villages volunteering. It also means that a huge chunk of the money that “needs” to be raised in order to go with one of these organisations will not be lost to the middle man in the equation. We’ve strong opinions when it comes to having to pay someone to volunteer abroad. There are many short term volunteer opportunities available so you don’t need to pay a four figure sum of money if you don’t want to!
What’s our Plan?
So what exactly will we be doing out there? Well, first off we both wanted to work in orphanages. We’ll be looking after and caring for kids between the ages 3 – 14, who have lost their parents through AIDS and other common diseases that are prevalent in Africa. In alot of cases the orphans will themselves have the AIDS virus and therefore we were told to make sure we get the Rabies vaccine along with all the other required vaccinations before we go(which we’ve started getting today).
We will try and help the children develop intellectually and creatively as best we can, as well as care for their daily needs as required, such as washing, cooking and feeding etc..
For the first month we will be working in a small orphanage outside Arusha called “Hope for Children”. This is a relatively small orphanage with about 12 kids. Its located about a 45 min bus ride away from the hostel where we’ll be staying….which is abit of a nuance, but can’t be helped.
For the second month we aim to move to Moshi which is a small little city at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro and work in another orphanage there. We got these work placements through local hostels who run projects for orphanages and in return you stay in the hostel for the duration of your placement.
The third month has no set itinery yet, but as soon as we get out there and get settled we’ll sort out the details.
The road ahead will be a very tough challenge both mentally and physically for us and I hope that by the end, I’ll have come home with an unforgetable experience and the knowledge that one person can really make a difference to the quality of life of those who are less fortunate in life than us.
I will also be uploading photo’s of the trip both here and on my flickr account(hope that I can get a decent internet connection) which can be found here.
Feel free to post your comments both here and on my flickr site.
Anyways, thats just the bare bones of the trip. I’ll be updating this as the days come closer to departure.