SIC: Help Run an AIDS Awareness Camp in Tanzania
98% Rating
(9 Reviews)

SIC: Help Run an AIDS Awareness Camp in Tanzania

Join Support for International Change as an HIV/AIDS educator in Tanzania! As a volunteer, your primary responsibility will be to run an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign in your assigned partner community. During orientation, you will be divided into teams of 3 or 4 volunteers with 2 Tanzanian counterparts. With your team, you will be responsible for teaching HIV/AIDS educational seminars and training peer educators and community leaders within your village. Each team will work with several school and village groups.

SIC actively recruits volunteers from a network of well-known universities in the U.S. and U.K. but students from all universities are welcome to apply. Volunteers will live with home stay families in the villages in which they teach, allowing them to really experience the culture and customs of rural Tanzania. Volunteers will also have the opportunity for vacation travel on their off time. Volunteers in the past have enjoyed activities such as climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
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Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

based on 9 reviews
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.8
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 9 of 9
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The best experience, i ever had!!

This is the most powerful experience i have ever had. It has completely changed my perception about many things, including what is means to be happy and to have a problem. I have also met amazing people.

Yes, I recommend
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The Power of Education

I volunteered with SIC in the summer of 2005 and it changed my life. Teaching about HIV and AIDS in Tanzania opened my eyes to the power of education. Educators have the ability to uplift and improve the lives of their students, their communities and the world we live in. Because of my experiences in Tanzania, I chose to become a teacher and will be an life-long educator.

Yes, I recommend
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Incredible, unique program that provides the opportunity for collaboration across cultures and personal development

I spent the summer working with American and British volunteers in addition to Tanzanian college students who served as translators during our teachings. After undergoing and intensive orientation, I was placed in a group with 3 other volunteers and 2 Tanzanian. I lived in a homestay with another volunteer. Our host family was very welcoming and we became very close to them over the course of the summer. We taught in primary and secondary schools, at churches, at village meetings, and to the local soccer team. We also held testing days where community members could find out their HIV status. Additionally, we created a peer education club made up of students who were willing to continue teaching about HIV/AIDS after our volunteer group left the village. I would highly recommend SIC to anyone who is interested in HIV/AIDS, international health, learning swahili, or just being submerged in Tanzanian culture.

Yes, I recommend
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SIC is a good choice

I whole heartedly recommend this program to anyone who is thinking about going into any sort of international health or development field. You will not only gain valuable experience and insight into how public health programs are implemented in low-resource settings, but you will also establish a network with your fellow volunteers and SIC's staff that may prove invaluable in your career.

SIC's volunteer program is expensive relative to some other programs in the region. HOWEVER, the organization is a not-for-profit and about half of the volunteer program fee goes to fund the organization's programs including year-round community health worker programs, mobile HIV care and treatment programs, secondary school peer educator programs and others. This means that SIC has established relationships with the villages where it places volunteers and that after volunteers leave SIC staff continue their work through year-round programs. Without these programs the volunteer experience would be quite hollow (as I suspect is the case with many other pay-to-volunteer opportunities). Furthermore, for the two month program there is a ten day intensive orientation led by a professor from a US university to prepare volunteers and introduce them to international public health issues.

SIC's volunteers certainly have a good time, but expect to spend 90-95% of your time in a village where drinking is discouraged (possibly even forbidden?). If that's your main interest this probably isn't the program for you. In terms of safety and staff responsiveness I think that SIC outshines many other programs. For each group of volunteers SIC has three program coordinators in the field and a program manager. These staff are accessible by phone 24/7 to both volunteers and parents (volunteers are provided cell phones). The one time I got sick the program manager picked me up that same day and took me to the clinic in town.

Four years later I'm working in the field and I still find my contacts from SIC very useful.

Yes, I recommend
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Looking back - the best thing I have ever done

I have never travelled before, and surprised everyone when I applied for the SIC programme in 2008 (myself most of all!) What I enjoyed most about volunteering with SIC was how closely integrated to the communities you are. I had alot of friends who had done development work with larger companies, and had been put up in nice volunteer hotels. Nice, but a little detached in my opinion. Living with a Tanzanian family and working with the University teaching partners was a truly unique way to get to know the community and the people of Tanzania - who are probably some of the most kind and welcoming people in the world. You can see the changes you are making with your own eyes. I never felt worried the whole time I was there, as the SIC staff were always on hand to help you out if you were physically sick, or just homesick - the only time I ever felt unsafe was riding on an overcrowded bus (which the staff recommended we shouldn't do anyway!!)
Its quite a bit cost (I think more so now than when I did it) but you can fundraise your fees, and Id really recommend (if you can) making some savings to do other things whilst you're there. You get free weekends, and there is plenty to do and see!
Its often hard, its often dirty, its sometimes frustrating. I got a few tummy bugs, I sometimes cried and wanted to properly wash my feet! But it is 100% unique as an experience, and has really helped me with my teaching and research in International Health and Development. I wish I had made more of my once-in-a-lifetime trip, and I also wish Id taken a pair of jeans and a hoodie out with my - sometimes Africa is COLD! and sometimes you dont want to go socialising in your pyjama trousers. 3 years later and I still miss my SIC friends, my Tanzanian hosts, and even rice and beans. If you said I could go back tomorrow, I would.

Yes, I recommend
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SIC made a tremendous difference in my life.

SIC provides an excellent volunteering experience in the field of HIV/AIDS abroad. With this program, you work with international volunteers and Tanzanian university students to run an HIV awareness campaign in a village in rural Tanzania. The program is set up very well, with a focus on sustainability. In your village, you teach about HIV in schools, the community and any where else you have the opportunity to. You also run testing days as well as community days- days where you attempt to get entire villages to come out and get tested, learn and come together to talk about HIV/AIDS. One of the greatest aspects of this program is working with the Tanzanian teaching partners. These young Tanzanians are fluent in both English and Swahili but they are not just translators. They help you teach, enlighten you in the culture and become some of your best friends. My experience with SIC solidified my desire to go into medicine and the importance of public health and education.

Yes, I recommend
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Great first experience for students traveling to the developing world.

I really enjoyed my experience with SIC. I felt that I was able to make a difference in the community I was living and working in while learning about Tanzania culture. While the program is very supportive, SIC gives volunteers lots of autonomy to work on additional projects and freedom to be creative in their teachings. I have even continued to work with the organization after volunteering.

Yes, I recommend
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Invaluable Leadership Experience

After falling in love with everything in Tanzania, SIC also provided me with invaluable leadership experience. I feel that I am better prepared for any career path because of what I learned while working with SIC.

Yes, I recommend
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Life working with SIC in Rural Africa in thoughts as they come

SIC is a NGO that works to empower rural communities in the fight against HIV/AIDS through awareness campaigns, free HIV testing services, and by providing basic care and support to HIV positive individuals.

I decided to volunteer with Support for International Change on a whim. I'm not pre-med or public health, but I had an interest in community development and had always hoped to travel to a non-western country for my abroad experience. SIC is one of the most affordable volunteer abroad experiences and after it all, I definitely feel like every penny was worth it.

Before leaving, SIC staff both in the U.S. and in Tanzania were very helpful in guiding me through/arranging the logistics (air travel, resident permits, ground transportation, etc). Everything was already taken care of and pre-arranged prior to my landing in Tanzania, which made me feel really secure right from the start.

Once in TZ, we had a two week orientation which can feel a little long at times, but really helped us U.S. and U.K. volunteers get to know each other and our Tanzanian counterparts. This allows our whole program to get close and bond before we a split into smaller village teaching groups.

In country, staff was always really responsive to any of our concerns or needs. If we were sick--we were taken to the clinic promptly. When I dropped my cell phone (provided by SIC) down the choo, they got me a replacement as soon as possible. Anything we needed within reason while out in the field, SIC staff does their best to accommodate.

In my village, I had an amazing home stay experience and I even cried when I had to say good-bye to my host mom. Living in the village with families made me feel so connected to the community. I became close with my family and my neighbors and their children etc. And because of it we all felt more invested in teaching HIV/AIDS to them. Learn to pee/poo in full squat and practice your aim. End your teaching days with a very warm bucket shower. Enjoy a high carb, but delicious diet. It is rural life, so these are things to expect. It takes getting used to, but your host families make it incredibly easy for you to adjust. You really shouldn't bank on your host family speaking much English--but this is great as it forces you to learn more and more Swahili--which only helps when you're out teaching.

Your teaching group has a lot of independence and freedom in setting up teachings. The schools expected us, but we set up our schedules, and we sought out other community groups to arrange other teachings. This helped us feel our age as college students and our agency in doing this work. It forced us to take initiative to reach our goals.

We also had weekends off for extra travel. I was able to spend 4 days in Zanzibar and go on a safari. SIC made the arrangements for us at discounted prices. And the U.S./TZ exchange rate is VERY kind to the volunteer pocket.

All in all, I want to go back and I want to stay involved. I'm sure that says it all.

Yes, I recommend

About Support For International Change (SIC)

SIC believes that the HIV/AIDS crisis creates both an imperative to act and an opportunity to learn. We envision a world where HIV/AIDS no longer limits length or quality of life or reduces the social or economic development of communities, and where...