I'm an 18-year-old girl who is currently taking a "Service Gap Year," volunteering in impoverished countries around the world between high school and college. My first experience was six weeks in Tanzania with Global Volunteers (I combined two three-week sessions). It was beyond incredible. I taught English and chemistry classes at the Secondary School, helped to repair the secondary school library, tutored chemistry, English, geography, math, and history. All the classes at the secondary school are taught in English, so many of the students want to practice their conversational English with the volunteers!
I also worked at the village clinic, attended mass, went on a short hike to the stream and waterfall in the village, and much much more! It's a great community to be a part of, and I always felt safe.
I would definitely recommend this service experience to anyone looking to experience the "real" Africa and to make a difference. It's not a luxurious experience, but the volunteer accommodations are incredible and Mama Toni's food is fantastic. Edward, Mohammed, and Mama Toni take wonderful care of all of the volunteers, and provide a great connection between the volunteers and community members.
I was so inspired by my experience in Pommern that I launched a project to send solar lights to the students at Pommern Secondary School. If you are interested in the project, you can visit my page at igg.me/at/lightsforlearning
I highly recommend this program, and am already looking at planning the next time I will volunteer!