Mary's volunteer experience in Tanzania

Retired special education teacher Mary Rowlette said she learned in the rural village of Ipalamwa that we’re all more alike than different. Her personal goal, she said was to learn, observe, support others and make a difference on her volunteer experience in Tanzania in July 2018.  Read on for her interview:

 Mary, tell us about your volunteer experience in Tanzania. What projects you were involved in?

As a matter of fact, I was involved in a number of projects. I taught conversational English, level three to young children aged 8 to 12. I made home visits to offer psycho-social support to young mothers and their children. I observed the creation of a new hand washing station and also did some light painting in a local school.

Did this kind of immersion within the community give you the chance to form new relationships?

Oh yes, definitely. My fellow teammates were fabulous. We shared many an hour laughing, crying, sharing stories. It was a terrific way to learn from each other. As for the children, well they were amazing. Throughout this volunteer experience, the children and I  learned laughed and sang many, many songs. They even tried to teach me Swahili. That’s something I’ll never forget!

Mary's volunteer experience in tanzania

Mary teaches children in Tanzania. A lot of laughter and fun had by all.

Do you believe this volunteer experience has changed your life in any way? And if so how?

Yes, it certainly made an impact. The whole experience demonstrated to me that, no matter who we are, no matter where we’re from, we all need to work together and accept each other. We ALL love, laugh, cry share joy and suffer hardships BUT we continue to live and move forward with our lives.

Finally, what are your reflections on waging peace through an understanding between cultures?

I think that as I travel be it as a tourist or a volunteer, I make a point of being kind to others. Listen to what they have to say. Observe and absorb all information presented to me.  When I share my experiences with others, I do so in the hope that they too may participate on a Global Volunteers service program somewhere in the world.

With your charitable attitude, Mary, we think you’re an inspiration to all you encounter!  Thank you!


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Volunteer Impact In Ipalamwa

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