African Volunteers

Jerome Yin Tanzania

Names of staff involved in your programme:

Willhard Mbogela, Bernadetta

What members of staff do you remember the most?
Co-ordinators (Willhard and Bernadetta) What were your impressions of the accommodation? It’s much better than I could ever expect. I lived in the town house, whilst the other one is a little far away. Mine is generally decorated well, and the location is quite convenient.

Why did you want to volunteer?
Volunteer projects provide great opportunities to build wider knowledge, make new friends, and enhance team-working skills at the same time. It not only does good for myself, but also enables me to make an effort to contribute to the society. In particular, to be in Africa has always been a dream since I was still a little child.

Do you feel you made a difference, how?
Yes. I taught English and Maths at a local primary school where I took care of the kids, gave them presents, and played games with them. I’m happy that the kids liked me, and I’ve also introduced some new teaching methods to cheer them up and make them feel more interested in their studies.

What did you do for fun?
I went to the safari in Ruaha National Park with many other volunteers. I took lots of fantastic photos and made many new friends, too.

When was your most enjoyable experience, do you have an interesting story?
I really enjoyed my teaching experience at Star International School. The kids there are just cute and smart, and the teachers are friendly as well. I felt especially touched when my students said “Thank you and welcome back again” on my last day there. It was a truly nice feeling that I will never forget in my whole life.

Who did you make friends with and for what reasons?
Karen, Conniba, Derry, Sam, Robyn, Anna, John, Chris, Abbi, Jeff, Hannah, Georgie, Zoe, James, Stephen, Anil, Kelly, Kirsty, Emma, Alice, Sita, and many other volunteers and local people. The reason is simple – they are the nicest guys I’ve ever met.

What were the names of the best places to hang out and socialise, why was this?
I would recommend Neema’s Crafts Cafe, Shooter’s Pub ’n’ Cuisine, and Jewellery Store. They are the best restaurant, bar, and handcraft store in town, respectively. Shooter’s, in particular, has been a great place to watch football that we went there almost every night and had a nice time watching EURO 2012.

Would you considering going again or perhaps to another project with Original Volunteers?
Please explain why. May well. I appreciate the cultural diversity and want to travel around the world. OV is reliable and has a good reputation in its industry. Next time maybe Southeast Asia.

What would you say/recommend to a friend who was interested in volunteering?
You can give a shot with Original Volunteers who’s professional and has been run for years. As far as I know, its projects in Africa are not bad and some are free of charge (exc. registration fees).

Could you offer any tips to future volunteers?
If you would like to give any gifts to the local kids, try not to buy them in your home country but in your destination. This not only makes your luggage less (and hopefully spending as well), but also does better for the local economy.