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Volunteering in Africa

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by razziegyp, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. razziegyp

    razziegyp New commenter

    I volunteered in Tanzania for a month- went with i-i and they were fine. Went to Moshi, stayed in a house with lots of other volunteers, in dorms and went to two schools. You can teach the Masai English too. Had a great time, went on safari and had a week in Zanzibar. Do it, you won't regret it!
  2. ian60

    ian60 New commenter

    I'm sorry to maybe be a bit of a cynic or just plain miserable, but I am rather dubious as to the actual benefit you may be giving to the communities you would like to drop into for a month or two.
    It strikes me as "I want a holiday being good to poor people, so that I can take lots of pics and come back to tell everyone how life changing it was."
    How do you think the communities genuinely feel about a constant stream of well meaning young first world tourists passing through their lives? No matter how much you hug them and tell each other you'll never forget each other, there will be another bunch of fresh young bright things to replace you once it is holiday time back in the UK again.
    I know, I am being horrible, but I do think it needs to be thought through in its entirety. If you are that concerned, maybe give a week's holiday money to a charity that you know will have a long term impact.
    (I'm going to hide now before I get told what a complete git I am)
  3. I can see what the indication of the last post is, but I disagree.

    I went to Ghana for a month in 2007. I went with 'madventurer', they do all sorts of placements. You can sign up for a 4 week process.

    I believe that many of the people valued our work out there. It was enjoyable for us too, but there is nothing wrong with you enjoying it. Life is about enjoyment. I don't think many charitable people don't get any positive feelings from their contributions. If they don't, it's probably because it's a tax dodge.

    Anyway, I would recommend madventurer. I Am still in contact with many of the ghanaians who wroked with the company. one of the natives has actually since gone to University and now started his own charity. (with the help of support from many volunteers from the UK who had once or twice been out to do 1 month placements, he kept in touch with lots of them as genuine friends). It is called 'Greenfield Africa' and I know he is very keen to get people out to do projects for however long you are available.

    I really enjoyed Ghana, it is a great country. I went to Accra and Ho.

    If you want any more info on either of those charities, that you can't find online, then feel free to message me.

    Hope this is of some use?
  4. camronfry

    camronfry New commenter

    There are far too many different type of volunteering projects, doing such different things to come out with a 'short term projects are bad' conclusion. Some are, some aren't. Lots of intervention in Africa does a lot of harm and lots do some fantastic work (both sometimes going on simulaneously within the same organisation).
    A good recommendation and some detailed investigation prior to signing up is probably the best way to help make sure you make a sound decision.
    The organisation I mentioned in a previous post, Soft Power, who work in Uganda do some amazing work and have been for some time. By carefully organising short, medium and long term volunteers combined with paid workers they have built and maintained schools, developed conservation projects and loads of other worthwhile stuff that enhances communities and above all help local people help themselves.
    I would worry about someone who has volunteered, thinks they've made a contribution and some long term links and comes out with:
    I know I got a bang on the head recently, but it is 2012 isn't?
  5. If you highlight that part of the sentence that does not sound great, however, the whole sentence was he went on to University and started up his own charity. Not something that I think I would be confident in doing. I was not stating that I am surprised my friend went to University. I was outlining how his original work with one charity lead to him going to University and then setting up his own charity based in Ghana and using UK contacts to aid that, as anyone with a good business brain would.
  6. camronfry

    camronfry New commenter

    I'm not disputing any of that, sound like the guy you're talking about has done some very good things.
    But really, 'one of the natives'.......
  7. [​IMG]
    My mate is native, he wasn't a foreign employee. Just as I am native to Scotland! If any of my friends from other countries came to work/travel here and referred to me or any of my Scottish friends, or any people they bumped in to on their travels as natives I certainly wouldn't be offended, this is not meant as a dergotary term. I often refer to my friends in California as natives when describing my time out there etc. If it is interpreted by some as a non-neutral term based on the use of the word by some people in days gone by, then I apologise. But as you mention it is 2012, this word is used by me simply as a neutral descriptive word for anyone who is native to any country/city.

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