Volunteering can be tough; a significant amount of time spent far away from home and loved ones. Immersing in a different environment, relinquishing the things we hold dear and are accustomed to. Purposely stepping out of our comfort zones based purely on belief and desire to make an impact, on a global level and seeing beyond our own back yards while reaching into the unknown and embracing adventure. I won’t hold back in saying that Tanzania could not have been a better place for volunteers to take this leap. The culture is vibrant, the people are welcoming, and the projects are inspiring. In Tanzania, it is easy to find a home. The villages are charming, surrounded by natural beauty and full of happy people that always make time for a conversation or just a simple hello. In the absence of material wealth, it became clear that human relationships become the priority, a stirring realisation which creates a profound impact.
A testament to this impact comes from the voices of our volunteers:
“Tanzanian people are really willing to make changes and as soon as they will have the right resources they will change and make a difference and I fell in love with trek” – Matthijs.
“It takes a lot of energy to be a volunteer, and it is contagious: when we were enthusiastic about our work as volunteers, people from the village also came to help on the construction site as volunteers” – Willeke.
“It’s the best experience I ever had and it has made me learn a lot and make a change to the community. The goals set by Raleigh are guidelines to help volunteers make their goals and stretch themselves to achieve those goals” – Abu.
As the sun sets on our time in Tanzania, we thank everyone for the energy, dedication and belief they have given to Raleigh’s vision, from volunteers and volunteer managers, to field base and permanent country staff. The projects will continue as a new cycle will begin in the new year. Until then, we wish everyone the very best of luck! And as we go back to our different corners of the world, we will keep sharing the stories we were lucky enough to be a part of.
Words by Miguel. Images by Paul.