Working to Empower Girls in Moshi, Tanzania

Posted by: Catherine D.

I would firstly like to say that this was the most incredible experience of my life! I am so happy that I took the chance and applied for the Girl Empowerment in Moshi project in Tanzania. There were so many highlights of this trip, I don’t even know where to begin.

Perhaps I will begin by saying that the staff was remarkably welcoming, patient, fun and dedicated! I enjoyed spending every second with these amazing and inspiring people. Questions were welcomed and answered thoroughly. I never felt overwhelmed or uncomfortable. Before arriving, I was slightly nervous about the teaching aspect of the projects. I am more of a writer, rather than a speaker, but I was able to ease into it and loved teaching the students. Again, the other members are always prepared to help you with anything you need and are extremely encouraging.

Accommodations and food were way past my expectations. Coffee and tea were served every morning, followed by a delicious breakfast. I loved that many of the dishes (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) were culturally diverse and included local recipes. It made you feel that you were able to experience the culture of Tanzania with your fellow volunteers. It is worth noting that the rooms were also very comfortable and I enjoyed hanging out with my roommates after long, but wonderful days spent teaching on projects.

Another perk of the package was the Swahili lessons we received in the afternoons. I picked up basic greetings and phrases quickly and enjoyed conversing with the friendly locals and students whenever the opportunity arose. The projects were well managed, very organized, and we always stuck to a very well structured timetable.

Also, if you are interested in taking part in this project, you should know that there are many amazing adventures you can take on the weekends! I was able to go on a safari on my first weekend with my roommate and it was breathtaking! We saw the big 5 and we ended the journey with lunch by Lake Manyara while watching a family of hippos playing in the water. I will never forget that weekend. The weekend after that, I spent my Saturday at a spring with my other roommate and we swam all afternoon. On Sunday I went on a jungle hike with several other volunteers and we got to see waterfalls and make our own coffee from the coffee beans that grew there in the jungle!

So overall, I would like to say that Tanzania is a beautiful country with beautiful people, and the project had a welcoming and warm staff. Most importantly, I am grateful that I was able to take part in a fantastic and meaningful cause! Gender equality is such an important movement and there is still much more work to be done to ensure that all women and girls are treated fairly and given the same opportunities and rights as men. I hope that I can return as soon as I finish grad school. I am looking forward to another amazing adventure.