For many volunteer organisations, students who offer their services are simply irreplaceable; without them, programmes would have much lower numbers. One of the things that the team at Agape is always pleased to see is returning volunteers. Over the summer of 2019, we sent a group from Cardiff Uni to Tanzania after a successful trip to Kenya in 2018. There are plans to send another group to Tanzania in 2020 and in anticipation of this, an article has been published on the Cardiff University website.
Four chemistry students from Cardiff University signed up to volunteer in Africa on a teaching programme in Tanzania. They joined others who were there to teach English and mathematics in the local schools.
The students spent three weeks working and residing in Arusha and the communities that make up this part of Tanzania. The student volunteers were found that they gained practical classroom experience through the teaching opportunity while accompanying local staff in the education of disadvantaged children. Students are always a welcome addition for the understaffed and underfunded schools and this experience was just the same.
One of the volunteers, Samantha, commented on her time with Agape in Tanzania: “My trip was as fun as it was enlightening. Being immersed in their way of life, from the huts and cold showers to the public transport (sometimes shared with chickens or goats), gave me an insight into some of the major differences in our cultures.”
As with all volunteers on our programmes, there is plenty of opportunity for off-time adventures and the Cardiff students had the chance to explore Tanzania’s safari capital and hike the famous snow-capped Mt Kilimanjaro.
They also spent time with the local tribes and went on a safari where they were fortunate enough to see all of the Big Five; this includes the elephant, lion, leopard, rhinoceros, and Cape buffalo.
James, one of the other volunteers, stayed an extra week so that he could tick off one of his life ambitions. He said in the news article: “I stayed [in Tanzania] an extra week to fulfil my lifelong dream of climbing Kilimanjaro. I took the Lemosho route with two other experienced climbers. We saw some of the most beautiful scenery along the way.”
This is another great example of how volunteering opportunities can open up the chance for students to gain great insight into the varied career paths available to graduates, not to mention how it helps in broadening and developing new skills – some that could well be viewed as valuable to potential employers.
Samantha added that the experience was an eye-opening one: “It made me realise the things we take for granted. [It was] an excellent experience that I will never forget.”
James described how made new friends and took the time to immerse himself in the culture: “I met some of the nicest people in my life. Everyone was eager to show me a bit of their culture, from food tasting to dancing to sightseeing.”
James also went on to explain how his time in Tanzania has helped him with his plans for the future: “It’s fair to say I am completely besotted with Tanzania and its people. I have found the experience very rewarding and will be looking to do more volunteering in the holidays.”
Are you a university student looking to embark on a similar adventure that these students fell in love with? We have an amazing range of programmes to choose from. Why not make your next trip an overseas adventure with Agape?
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Here at Agape Volunteers we’re sure that many of you are looking forward to leaving 2020 behind. So what are your plans for 2021?
2020 has been a very challenging year for so many people around the world but we're looking forward to 2021 with hope and optimism.
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