Volunteer Work in Tanzania with HELP International

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HELP International is looking for volunteers to join them in Tanzania and take part in a number of important community development projects. This is HELP's newest volunteer project and we're excited about the work we're doing to help those in need. Tanzania suffers from widespread poverty and volunteers closely work with local communities to empower them through education and technical assistance. Projects include: micro-enterprise, health education, agri-business, and orphanage work. HELP volunteers are pioneering and have an entrepreneurial spirit. Please visit our website for more info.

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Yes, I recommend this program

HELP International - Tanzania

Though I have served abroad, this was my first experience going with an organization. I was in Tanzania from the beginning of May through mid-July and I fell in love with the people there!
We had people in our group from a large variety of backgrounds so we were able to all learn from each other and work on some really cool projects. I'm a public health major, but I got the chance to help teach business classes, do construction work, network in the community, meet with professionals and members of the government, teach girls how to write job resumes...it was awesome to see that I had more to offer than just health information.
The people there are so wonderful and I loved having such rigid standards through the group because it meant that we were really focusing on developmental work. Some of other volunteers that we met from other organizations spent their time dating locals instead of focusing on their work.
Of course, it wasn't all work. The location that was chosen was outside of the city. We were surrounded by a beautiful, jungle-like environment close to the base of Mt. Meru. The neighbors were all very welcoming and we had a great time getting to know them.
We were also able to take some fun trips - Arusha is just a bus ride away from the Serengeti and the Indian Ocean so we all used our vacation days to visit those places.
Since it was HELP's first year in Tanzania, I feel like there were some problems that would be worked out by next year. When we first got there, we didn't have very many contacts to work with (while more established HELP sites arrive with initial projects and partners in mind). We also didn't speak any Swahili. We expected the local population to know more English, but we had to use a translator for many of our projects. However, the people were very open to our work there and have think highly of HELP. I'm sure that in the years to come, projects will be easier to get started and more successful in the long-run.
If there's anything I wish someone had told me before I got there, it would be to do as much research as you can before arriving. There were some days when there was no electricity and it was really frustrating being stuck without easy access to resources. I think that hindered our projects more than anything. So if you're thinking of going next summer, try to make contact with some local organizations online and see what kind of work they're doing what they think the biggest community needs are. You won't regret it!
I love the people of Tanzania so much. I know that HELP International isn't a perfect organization, and there were times when I was frustrated with our projects, but it was definitely worth it in the end. I'm so grateful for the experiences I had and the people I was able to meet through it and I wish I could go back next year.

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