A Volunteer’s Powerful Reflections from the Inaugural Ipalamwa, Tanzania Team
Reflections on Ipalamwa, the village that is at the top of the mountain and the end of the road…
From a Team #1 Tanzania Volunteer, Robi Kronberg:
Images, experiences and memories of Ipalamwa will forever be a part of me. As a member of the inaugural team to the village of Ipalamwa, I experienced a life change in my two weeks of learning from and working with the people of Ipalamwa.
Here is what I will forever hold in my heart…
- the brilliant smiles that are as plentiful at the signs of impoverishment
- the resilience of Ipalamwa’s people that is as prevalent as their hunger
- the knowledge that hope can and does coexist with despair
- hearing from the parents of Ipalamwa their desire to raise healthy children… a universal wish shared by parents all over the world
- the authentic desire of school children to be learners and thinkers
- the laughter of children at play
- the shyness of both volunteers and community members that blossomed into friendships
- the beauty of Ipalamwa’s people, their pride, their strength, and their willingness to open their homes and hearts to strangers in hope of creating life-changing partnerships
Here is what will bring me back…
- the desire to see parent’s dreams for their children come true
- the passion to make a contribution to a project much bigger than any one person
- to once again gaze at the southern hemisphere, where the stars and galaxies are so brilliant in the night sky that the experience can’t be described in words
- to feel again the sensory experience of bumps on a well-worn dirt road and the handshake of welcome and gratitude from a grandmother who deeply loves her family
- to see again the red dirt blended with the brown stalks of corn, green avocado trees, and earth-toned brick of huts and homes – all of those colors seamlessly blended with the vibrancy of the cloth artfully wrapped around the women of the village
- to smell again the air of the surrounding hills and mountains and the smoke from a family’s cooking fire
- to once again savor the camaraderie of a group of volunteers bonded by passion, laughter, and the shared experiences of Ipalamwa
The inaugural Ipalamwa, Tanzania team served in July 2017 (see photo below). They focused on launching the Reaching Children’s Potential (RCP) program, a child-focused, comprehensive, holistic effort beginning with pregnancy and continuing through the 18th birthday.
Volunteers from all walks of life are needed to educate, assist, and support the parents, community members, and children in Ipalamwa. View the full, year-round schedule. You may also like:
- Blog post: Suggestions to Future Tanzania Volunteers – From a Member of Team #1
- Be The Change podcast episode #20: A Day in the Life of a Tanzania Global Volunteer
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