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Suggestions to Future Tanzania Volunteers – From a Member of Team #1

Tanzania Volunteers with Global Volunteers

From Robi Kronberg, one of the Tanzania volunteers on the inaugural Ipalamwa team:

My suggestions to future Ipalamwa, Tanzania volunteers…

  • The children may initially be shy, but they will warm up quickly. They enjoy having their pictures/videos taken and seeing themselves immediately afterwards. This activity is a great way to “break the ice” with then. You will love their enthusiasm and their beautiful smiles. (Note Global Volunteers’ photography policy of waiting three days of being in the community to take pictures.)
  • The families whom you will visit are inviting us into their homes. When they offer you a chair or a stool, be aware that they are extending a warm welcome for you to share in their lives, even if only for 10 minutes. Take a seat and experience the part of their life they desire to share with you.
  • The local Global Volunteers staff are amazing. See them as partners in this shared work. Use them as resources, soak up their knowledge.
  • Your emotional reaction to things you see and experience may range from despair to hope. Allow those emotions and savor the depth of your feelings. Process with your teammates, share your feelings and thoughts at the nightly team meetings. It helps.
  • Be prepared for the experience to have a profound impact on your life. That is a good thing… It will keep the experience alive and continue to push you towards action.

Tanzania Volunteers - Ipalamwa

  • Enjoy your teammates. Embrace the opportunity to be in close proximity to people who may or may not have similar life experiences to you. Share pictures of your family, your pets, things that are important to you. Play a new game, share a bottle of wine, or your favorite tea. Laugh together, cry together. It’s part of sharing an experience as profound as this will be. Take at least one night to look at the stars. You will never forget the sight.
  • Allow yourself to grow. Push your comfort zones. Learn from community members and each other.

Tanzania Volunteers - Team Members

  • Realize that you are one small part of a project that will be the catalyst for significant change in the lives of many. Your contribution can and will change the trajectory of people’s lives and people’s futures.
  • Realize that you may have known about this project for only a short time while those visionaries who conceptualized this project have spent years, decades, putting all of the pieces in place to bring this to fruition. We, as volunteers, have a responsibility to honor the dreams, hopes, and hard work of those who have committed their hearts, souls, and minds to the RCP project. Don’t let them down.

Visit our Tanzania page to learn how to become a Global Volunteer in Ipalamwa and be the change in children’s lives.

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