Our Thanksgiving gift to you: First-time Global Volunteer Courtney Curran wrote she couldn’t let the holiday season pass without acknowledging the transformative power of our Tanzania Service Program experience in her life in July, 2021. She participated on the first volunteer team on the Reaching Children’s Potential Program (RCP) since the onset of the pandemic. “When counting my blessings this Thanksgiving, you and the work of Global Volunteers are number 1,” she extolled in a morning email. “I’m here for you… and am thrilled by the possibility of serving again in 2022. Please share my story with all who support Global Volunteers.” Enjoy!
by Global Volunteer Courtney Curran
Habari za mama? That’s Swahili for, “How is your mother?” Thanks to Global Volunteers’ good work, the mothers in Ipalamwa, Tanzania are well and their children are thriving. Mothers in the village receive free healthcare, and well baby visits from birth to age 2 thanks to Global Volunteers community support. Global Volunteers is an investment in people; a powerful vehicle for good being realized. In the remote, rural village of Ipalamwa, Tanzania, 617 hand washing stations have been installed, and 350 sustainable earth boxes are in use by local families for harvesting desperately needed nutritious vegetables. Soon, with more of Global Volunteers’ effort, Tanzanian families will receive a professionally designed, well-constructed chicken coop, along with 10 chickens for collecting eggs and harvesting meat. With Global Volunteers’ sustained commitment to families, mothers in the village receive porridge and micro-nutrients for themselves and their babies. Thanks to these pioneering efforts of the Global Volunteers’ Reaching Children’s Potential Program, in Ipalamwa children ages 0-2 are thriving and receiving well-balanced nutrition they need and deserve. This sustained support drastically diminishes the likelihood of childhood stunting.
This Thanksgiving, it’s important to remember that we are one people gathered in shared values and a common purpose—helping others thrive and experience the fullness of their potential—together. You are needed as a Global Volunteer, and your support could not come at a more desperately needed time. The work continues: more hands and willing hearts are required. Please make a consideration of supporting Global Volunteers either financially or in person. You can choose to serve in China, the Cook Islands, Cuba, Ecuador, Greece, Sicily, Nepal, Peru, Poland, Portugal, St. Lucia, Tanzania, Vietnam, Appalachia, West Virginia, the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, Española, New Mexico, and San Juan, Texas. You will never regret a moment of support you give to this vital effort bringing about children’s potential and seeing your life make a difference in the lives of others.
How do you measure a life well lived? I consider it in terms of the lives I positively affect. When I consider my time spent in Tanzania as life well lived, I consider the families I met in Ipalamwa: Fareida and Skolla, Yasir and Nasir, Fines and Joynette, Dostea, Pladia and Jordan, Privan and Bibi and Babu, Roseoula and her yet to be born child. I consider the exemplary workers on the ground supporting the Global Volunteers’ initiatives every day addressing health, hunger, and cognition: Husna, Thekla, Regina, Mama Tony, Dr. Silas, Anna, Given, Joel, Julius, Debora, and Fatina. I think of the staff that supports the Global Volunteers’ mission: Michele Gran, Maya Witte, and Emily Wood. I think of the volunteers I met while serving: Shirley, and Leslie. Together, with joy and hard work, we experienced goodness in the world and that’s a change that is always welcomed.
This Thanksgiving, I hope you consider coming alongside others who may seem different from you, but really, we are one. We are one people with one shared initiative: helping each other thrive. It is the goal of Global Volunteers for each family served to live a vibrant, full life by addressing United Nations’ sustained development goals of health, hunger and cognition. When this effort is realized, the future brings joyful hope to the lives of others when we live as one people joined together in shared purpose. I hope you realize your place in this global family. When you decide to serve, your life will forever be enriched by the relationships you’ve made and the positive change you’ve seen accomplished. I intend to go back to Tanzania, and then to serve in Nepal. My advice to you? Go, see, serve, and be sure to tell others. You’ll be grateful you did. Happy Thanksgiving to you and all you love!