“Women's Empowerment“

General Impression

Overall Rating:    8 / 10

I absolutely loved this experience. Love Volunteers created a safe, educational, and fun way for me to explore a new country while also helping those in need.

Country

Tanzania was incredible. It was fairly developed and had more infrastructure than I expected. The culture was fantastic, the people were kind and helpful, and the country was beautiful. While volunteering was fun, there were so many things to do there on the weekends. You could go on safari, take a trip to Zanzibar, visit the natural hot springs, climb a mountain, and much, much more! The options of what to do in your free time were endless. There were also a lot of cool restaurants and shops to visit in town, which were fun to visit after completing volunteering for the day! I loved Tanzania and plan to return sometime in the future.

Project & Staff

All the staff were amazing. The Love Volunteers staff were always emailing me to check on me and make sure I was doing well. The local team in Tanzania were incredible, and I am so happy that Love Volunteers is working with them. They always made me feel comfortable and safe, and they were ready to support me with whatever I needed. I cannot say enough good things about the local team there - they were great.

My project was not quite what I expected. Not necessarily in a bad way, it was just different. Most of the time I felt like I had plenty to do - and I mostly taught English and computer skills to women there. Some days I would help with chores, like cooking or cleaning, but I would have rather helped them more with things that they did not know how to do. I realize that part of this can be attributed to culture differences. America is built on the ideas of efficiency and productivity, while in Tanzania everything is "pole pole" or "slowly, slowly." Because of this cultural difference, it was hard to plan and be productive at times. I wanted to have a set time schedule of things to do so that we could be as productive as possible, whereas the women at the shelter wanted to take it easy and relax. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing- I am not saying the women were lazy or did not want to learn. Our cultures are just different, and I think that is a very important thing to learn how to deal with when volunteering in another country. I would recommend looking into this project and overall, my experience was incredible.

Tips

Have an open mind whenever you volunteer in a different country. There are many barriers that you may not think of beforehand, but just go with it and problem solve when you have to. Also, having money really helps. If I had raised more money before I left, I would have been able to help my project a lot more. The money that you raise doesn't necessarily have to be given directly to your project, but can instead be used for buying supplies, spending money on educational things, etc.