Volunteering at an orphanage in Africa has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. For so long, it seemed like such a distant goal... In middle and high school I often spent time thinking about the precious African children that I would someday meet, and I would tell my friends about my dreams and future plans. I considered volunteering during summer vacations from college, but it just never fell into place. There was always something holding me back or preventing me from going. But this winter I felt that spark again--that craving for adventure--and I knew I had to make it happen this time.
I began looking into programs and found that many of them were extremely expensive. I knew that if I was patient, though, I would find a way to get to Africa without having to break the bank. A friend-of-a-friend suggested IVHQ, an extremely well-priced volunteer program that she had used for her volunteer experiences in Africa. After looking at what they offered, I suddenly realized that my lifelong dream of volunteering in Africa was about to become a reality.
IVHQ offers programs in several African countries, and at first I wasn't sure where in Africa I wanted to go. But after doing some research, Tanzania seemed like the perfect fit. I signed up, and a few days later I got a confirmation email stating that my application had been accepted, and that I would begin my volunteer work in an orphanage in Arusha, Tanzania on August 1st for two weeks! A smile spread across my face that I haven't been able to wipe away since.I can't quite explain it, but this truly feels like the perfect time in my life to take this trip. My soul is craving this adventure--it just feels right. I can't help but smile every time I even think about it, and when I tell people about my plans, happy-tears fill my eyes. I'm THAT excited. :)
In addition to volunteering, it is requested that we make a donation of supplies to the orphanage where we are placed. As it is difficult to know what supplies are needed ahead of time, I will purchase needed items upon my arrival.
For all programs, it is imperative to remember that any money raised to help your project when you arrive in Tanzania will be very well received. Often it is hard for volunteers to take too many supplies due to limitations on baggage weight but remember that Tanzania has some very developed shopping centers where supplies can be bought once you have arrived in the country.
Below we have listed some supplies that are very helpful on the teaching and orphanage programs.
ï‚· Vitamins/Calcium tablets
ï‚· Antibiotics, antiseptics
ï‚· Medical family guides
ï‚· Any books and/or research on health care relevant to Africa
ï‚· First aid materials
ï‚· Children's clothing
ï‚· Bubble Solution
ï‚· Face Paint
ï‚· Music player and some children's music
ï‚· Musical instruments
ï‚· Stickers, stamps and certificates
ï‚· Group games such as bingo, snakes and ladders, twister etc.
ï‚· Colored drawing paper
ï‚· Sharpeners and Erasers (these are very important)
ï‚· Books (any type)
ï‚· Colored pavement chalk
***FRIENDS AND FAMILY: Any donation money that I receive will be used to purchase needed items for the orphanage and assist with program fees. Thank you so much for supporting my trip to Tanzania!!
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