Interview with a volunteer

Interviewing has always been something exciting for all of us. Learning about experiences one had is a fantastic feeling for the rest. This interview is with a volunteer working with Art in Tanzania, an NGO known for upbringing major social impacts in the community of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Let’s hear about Sari’s experiences and how she worked with AIT to help the community grow.

Interviewer: Hey Sari, How are you doing?Sari 3 (1)

Sari: It’s good. How are you?

Interviewer: I’m great. Let’s start. First, tell me something about yourself.

Sari: I am Sari, living in Finland now. My first time in Tanzania was two years ago. This is my fifth time with Art In Tanzania since then.

Interviewer: That’s amazing. So, you’ve been volunteering for a long time. You can tell me exactly how do you think volunteering affects the community?

Sari: I can say from my side, as I was in the Construction as well as Environmental conservation project that even if you do a small thing for a community or teach a few people how to do something, they can spread the word. Even a small help from your side can be a big thing for the natives. You can’t change the whole world but you can change a community by taking a single ‘step’.

Interviewer: That means a lot, really! Have you been volunteering before these AIT Volunteering?

Sari: Not really, this is practically the first.

Interviewer: That’s good. How did you end up at Art in Tanzania?

Sari: Yeah, we had a big festival in Finland called ‘World Festival’. I met Marjut at the Art in Tanzania stand there.  I was planning to have a sabbatical year from work & she told me about the volunteering & internship opportunities here. It sounded so good that almost the next day I was booking the tickets.

Interviewer: Awesome. So What project were you working on at AIT?

Sari: Mainly construction & some environmental projects like in Moshi, we had a Tree Plantation & Conservation project. In Zanzibar, I learnt how to make Dhow boats & in Dar es Salaam, we made the compost & I taught native people how to use it for agriculture.

Interviewer: That’s so good. How was your experience with AIT during these two years?

Sari: I was so good, that it is my fifth time here. I really love this. I keep coming back & back & back.

Interviewer: Now Sari, I want you to rate Art in Tanzania on the following points on the scale of 1-5.

Sari: Yeah, go ahead.

  1. Community Service that AIT is doing 4
  2. The closeness to the local community 4
  3. The kind of projects 4
  4. The support you get from ait while you are on your project 3
  5. Accommodation 4
  6. Food 4
  7. Overall 4

The interviewer is a volunteer working with Art in Tanzania & has no relation with AIT at all. The interview is devised and conducted by the interviewer itself, with no interference from the AIT team.Sari 2 (1)

Safari Time!

By Anna Kevin and Emilia Sten

DSCN6872We had chosen a three day volunteer’s safari, containing of a visit to the Masai village, N’gorongoro crater and Lake Manyara. On friday five excited people climbed into the 4×4 driven Land Rover. We were heading to the west, through Arusha aiming for our first stop, the Masai village.

When we arrived, they were already expecting us. The Masai children took our hands and led us into the mystery of their world. Our driver/guide told us how to greet the Masai chief, so we headed towards him with great interest. He is a very powerful man, with 30 wives and 124 children. He was sitting by his cattle, watching over the whole village. The tour took us around the village, and even into their houses. We heard the story of the evil tree and why the Masai are missing a front tooth. We felt free to ask anything. Art in Tanzania is using the safari income to support education in Masai land and volunteers have assisted to build up a nirsery and primary school to the village.

DSCN6980

We then spent the night in Karatu volunteer house. The second day it was time to meet the animals in N’gorongoro. The ride was very bumpy, but the view of the huge crater was amazing. The drive was exciting, because you never knew which animals you were going to meet. Our driver/guide did his best to find all the hiding animals, and he could spot them from a long distance. It was incredible to see the lions sunbathing next to the zebras and gnus. We even got a look at the black rhinos, which are really rare.

DSCN7109The third day was also filled with game watching. This day with a different terrain, because we were heading to Lake Manyara and the jungle. It almost felt like we were in the movie “Planet of the Apes”, since baboons and monkeys were everywhere. Here we could also see the giraffes, which are not living in the crater.

On our way back to Moshi, Kilimanjaro, we visited the optional snake park. Snakes are very hard to spot in the nature, and we wanted to be face to face with the Black Mamba. We also had the chance to try our courage by holding a snake and a baby crocodile. Back in Moshi we washed away all the dust from the safari, but the memories will stay forever.

(Originally published on May 15, 2014)

Young student benefits from sponsorship through Art In Tanzania

Written by Anna Kevin and Emilia Sten and edited by Amy Pitman. Art In Tanzania volunteers. (Originally Published on: Oct 15, 2013)

In a place where education is hard to come by, sponsorship can help give a young person an education and eventually a chance to a better life.

This is the story of 22 year-old Joseph Wilson, whose life changed when he got a sponsor.

Originally from Mwanza, near Lake Victoria, Joseph moved to Dar es Salaam because his family couldn’t afford his education fees as he has two other brothers who were also depending on them.

He was eager to learn and after moving to Dar es Salaam he took up evening classes taught by volunteers at Art In Tanzania. It was then that he realized that if he wanted a good education, he would need to find a sponsor.

Joseph WilsonSponsors provide money for an individual’s education including school fees, transportation, exam fees, books and other materials. Food is not covered so Joseph has to pay for this himself. He was able to find a sponsor in one of the team leaders at Art in Tanzania. This all started four years ago.

However, his sponsor got a family of her own and was unable to afford the sponsorship anymore. But as fate would have it, he soon found himself another sponsor in a Dutch couple.

He now attends a military established and sponsored school called Makongo High School. His lessons are taught by soldiers.

The sponsors maintain contact with the individual to ensure both are satisfied. The money can be given directly to the individual, to the school or to Art in Tanzania but Joseph always provides his sponsors with receipts to prove that the money is going into the intended use.

Joseph’s life has changed for the better thanks to a sponsor paying for his education and he is very thankful for this. When he is not in school taking his studies, Joseph works part time at Art in Tanzania in order to pay for his food and says he can’t complain because he’s not walking around hungry.

His average days schedule includes school, scouting, football and work, and his goal is to become a high school teacher. He has a dream that one day he will establish a school which would have a focus on different teaching techniques. He also adds that his school will not allow corporal punishment, which is a common practice in Tanzania, but rather a different approach to correct wrong doers without humiliating them.

Joseph believes that without the sponsorship, his life would be miserable. He says he would probably be a street child because “without an education, you can’t do anything.” Joseph will be sitting his form four national exams in a few weeks and hopes to pursue his education further.