Alumni Spotlight: Laura Doughty

Why did you decide to volunteer with Projects Abroad in Tanzania?

Laura: I volunteered with projects abroad in Tanzania because I wanted to do something rememberable on my gap year and at the same time helping others, so I decided I would volunteer somewhere overseas. I've always wanted to go to Africa ever since I was little, but I wasn't sure where, and then my friend travelled with projects abroad over to Ghana and she said she loved it, so I'd thought I'd check them out. I went on the website and talked with some of the staff at the Canadian office and realized they were the best choice for me because it was my first time travelling alone so I wanted to feel a bit secure in where ever I went, and the staff reassured that. I picked Tanzania because at that time it was one of their newest locations and I really didn't know much about the country and wanted to learn more about it, and I loved it!

Laura volunteering in Tanzania

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

Laura: While volunteering at the orphanage, I kind of fell into a routine. everyday I'd wake up at around 6:15, get dressed, have breakfast and a cup of tea, fill up my water bottle and be out the door. Part of my journey to the orphanage I took the dala dala (look transport) and the other part I walked on a quiet road, it took me about an hour to get there everyday. Once there me and the other volunteer would gather up the children not in school and have lessons from 9-11am. After that we walked to the soccer field nearby and play fun activities like soccer, running races, card games and sing songs. After that it was lunch and we ate the local dish of ugali everyday. We then would play with kids all afternoon and did things like coloring, crafts and usually walk down to the nearby stream and gather water or do laundry. By 4pm it was time took go home and I took the same hour journey to get back. Once home I'd wash up, write in my journal and greet my host family from when they got home from work. We would then eat dinner, talk about each others days and then after the long day, it crashed in bed.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Laura: This experience has taught me a lot. I have learned how to emerge myself and except new cultures and traditions. I have also learned a lot about teaching and how different children with many different backgrounds learn in their own way. This experience has just given me a new perspective on the world and how different cultures can work together to create something beautiful.