Alumni Spotlight: Stephanie Huybrechts

Stephanie Huybrechts went to Zanzibar from the March 5 until April 16, 2012. She is from Belgium, nineteen years old, and works in a garden center.

Why did you decide to volunteer with African Impact in Tanzania?

Stephanie: I decided to volunteer abroad because I had a hard time here in Belgium, things were not going to well, I had problems with myself, my future, everything around me actually.

I thought going to Africa would help me, make things more clear to me and of course it is a chance to help others who really need it (and are thankfull) and to see another part of the world.

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

Stephanie: Everyday was almost the same routine. In the morning we taught English to adults (age 16-...) and after that we taught basic English to kids from nursery school.

Our afternoon was community project on Mondays and Tuesdays and on Wednesdays and Thursdays we did lessonpreparation for the next week. Friday afternoon was the start of the weekend. In the evening from 5 pm until 6 pm we did kidslub on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (doing educative and fun things with the kids).

Volunteer in a classroom full of kids in Tanzania

The first two weeks I was very homesick, I really wanted to go home. The third and fourth week it started to change and the two last weeks I didn't wanted to go home anymore. It felt like home there... I love the African culture and way of live... Here everything is about money and work. Everybody has stress for a lot of reasons...In Africa everything is more lay back. Even the people there don't have much, they seem to be happy. And thats is what I love, that is what I want as well.

How has this experience helped you grow personally and professionally?

Stephanie: At the moment I am taking TEFL courses, because I would love to go to Africa for a couple of years and live there. If you have your TEFL you can teach abroad. So I am looking for a job now and hoping it will work. Cross your fingers for me!