PO Box 10802
Eugene, OR 97440
United States

Volunteer in Tanzania

Volunteer in Tanzania » Summer Newsletter

Summer Newsletter

Adventure Aid Staff
Date Published:
August 11, 2008


Welcome to the first issue of the Adventure Aid [AA] newsletter. We will keep you updates about new happenings with AA in the future with quarterly newsletters. We thank you for your continued interests in the development and growth of AA.

A lot of people have helped get the AA programs up and running, both in the states and in Tanzania.

In the United States

We have a lot of behind-the-scenes work happening in the states and many people helping us. Special thanks go to the following people:

  • Ben Mosley, of DanceNotions, helped set up the web site. It has been very hectic since we first went on line!! Thanks, Ben!!
  • Eileen Traylor’s company, “Out of the Box Marketing,” has been helpful in developing our web marketing campaign.
  • Bruce Klepinger of Ibex Expeditions, collaborating with Ezekiel Shayo of Fay Safaris, has put together a range of tourism options. Examples include climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and safaris to the world famous game parks, such as Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Olduvai Gorge, and the Serengeti. This is a wonderful opportunity for volunteers to combine vacation travel with humanitarian assistance projects.

What’s Happening in Tanzania

  • Miriam Ng’maryo is our regional coordinator in the Siha/Kilimanjaro district in Tanzania. With her guidance, we have established a multitude of volunteer programs that meet a wide range of interests and skills.

Our first volunteers are Cleven and April Mmari. Cleven was raised in Siha and now lives in Eugene, OR. We had stayed with his parents when we first went to Siha to set up the programs. Cleven is a computer specialist and he volunteered to design and launch the web site for Faraja School for Disabled Children. If you think it is difficult for people with physical disabilities in America with its ADA laws, then think about what it would be like managing to get around on crutches or a wheel chair in Africa! April is a teacher and she has started to help establish a teachers training center where they can improve their English language teaching skills.

Aimee Fagent is a teacher from San Diego. She will continue the work of April. She is also a soccer player and has brought soccer balls and will coach both the boys and girls [this is a radical concept] while she is there.

I will be going to Siha in mid August for 3 weeks to work with and train the doctors and clinicians at the local hospital and conduct seminars for HIV/AIDS prevention. I will also observe the work that Miriam is doing with her 10 women’s groups and their enterprises and microfinance programs. Edith Banzi is another person in the Siha community who is involved with reforestation programs. We hope to bring volunteers to work with her in the future.

Peter Jones is a British paleo-anthropologist who worked with Mary Leakey when they discovered the Laetoli footprints of the early hominids. Now, he has an 11,000 acre private reserve, Ndarakwai, in which he has worked to restore the grass savannah and the return of the big animals, which depend on it. I will explore volunteer programs assisting with his projects. Ndarakwai also offers a unique tourism option for volunteers.

Katie James will be the next volunteer in September and October. An accountant by training, her passion is African Dancing. In Eugene she knows a person who specializes in developing dancing programs for people who have physical disabilities. She will bring these skills to teach African dancing to the children at Faraja School. Her other work will be to help with micro finance and economic development programs.
During the Christmas Holidays Lisa Durante will be in Siha. Her background is in publishing and writing. She is British and lives in Dubai. She is now corresponding with Miriam and other volunteers to set up her program.

What we are seeing is that the volunteers, by communicating with Miriam and prior volunteers, are designing their own programs that suit their personal interests and time lines and also build on the work that already has been done in the community. This synergism of ideas is more that I had hoped for when the concept of AA was first developed.

The Future

What does the future hold? As the saying goes, “Be careful what you wish for, it may happen.” I would like to see AA grow while improving our programs and not losing the personalize touch that makes each volunteer’s program unique, rewarding and beneficial to the community.

  • We have several people who have expressed interest in going to Siha in summer 09, and we hope the current volunteers will be leaders for future groups. Please contact us if you know of people who would like to volunteer with AA. We would love to talk to them about their interests and dreams. No matter what a person’s skills and interests are, we can develop a volunteer experience for you. What are most important are an open mind, energy and a desire to be of assistance. We would also like to encourage families go as a group. What a wonderful experience it would be for children to see life in a developing country and understand how privileged their own lives are.
  • We are also talking to managers in university travel programs to develop the concept of “voluntourism” and expand the pool of potential volunteers.
  • As AA grows, we will hire a person to coordinate and develop the volunteer programs and manage the “business” of running a nonprofit organization.
  • We are looking for corporate sponsorships to support and expand our current programs and to help potential volunteers who lack the resources to pay for the AA programs. If you know of potential volunteers or sponsors of AA programs, please contact us. We are always looking for and are interested in talking about mutually beneficial opportunities.
  • We will set up a Donation Fund in which people can donate pre-tax money for specific programs.

For me, personally, it has been a wonderful process to meet and communicate with people who want to give of themselves and who wish to make the world a little better. When people-to-people connections are made, solutions are found and good things happen.

See you in the fall……

Jonathan Levy, MD
President, Adventure Aid

P.S. In our fall newsletter, we will have pictures and stories of our volunteers to share with you.