It isn’t all about money. Giving your time by volunteering to helpthe schoolorUMIVITA, can be a huge gift.
Although we cannot run formal volunteering programmes, we would be delighted to discuss opportunities with you and introduce you tothe schoolandUmivita, if there is a role for you that would benefit everyone. We will work closely with everyone to make sure that your efforts are enjoyable, well-organised and genuinely useful.
Volunteers so far have done all sorts of things to help the school, including helping in class, providing administrative assistance, helping with dance, drama, craft and sport lessons, decorating or improving the school environment, or just playing with and taking an interest in the children’s lives. Besides helping at the school, which tends to attract its fair share of volunteers, people willing to help Umivita are warmly welcome, particularly with office administration, planning and fundraising.
Here is a note from Blundell School students Alistair Chilcott and Olivia See‘s recent volunteering trip to the school
Alex, in his own words: “Having finished University I wanted to do something different before finding a job, so next thing I knew I was in the African sun being bombarded with questions by what felt like half the population of Tanzania! After some first day nerves, I soon worked out that I was definitely in the right place. That feeling of it being right must have stuck, as I have now been a further two times, and am planning my 4th trip for later this year…. It took me a while to realise that even if I didn’t dig a well, or single-handedly construct a building, just being in the school gives the children a great lift. Many of them just want someone to make THEM the centre of attention, which they don’t get otherwise, and giving them time and room to express themselves is an incredibly uplifting and gratifying experience. Realising that you have made even a small difference makes the sweat and the mosquitoes worthwhile a thousand times over. Staff, pupils, indeed everyone, will fall over themselves to make you feel happy and welcome, and there is always a job to be done, a class to teach, football to be played, a mango to be eaten! Or, if it all gets a bit too much, a sea to be swam in and some sun to be soaked up… Buguruni School for the Deaf is a fantastic place, and I really could not recommend highly enough spending some time with the wonderful students there, seeing the world they live in, and also being looked after by wonderful Nuns. It is such a vibrant and happy place, absolutely everyone should treat themselves to a visit..”
Hamish is deaf himself and is a former pupil at Mary Hare School. He volunteered during a gap year before going to study at Chelsea Art School, and he made a real mark on the school. Staying for four months, he made friends with every pupil and joined other volunteers to create a beautiful new art room. He also taught, played games, organised Sports Day, was a marvellous role model and generally had a lot of fun.
Holly and Hayley
Holly and Hayley volunteered for three weeks and threw themselves into making sure the children had a fun time with them. They helped teach maths to the younger children, and English to the older students. With Hamish, they organised the first Sports Day the school had ever held, with the children (wearing team face paint) participating in what turned out to be highly competitive races! The favourite games seemed to be ‘Don’t Drop The Water Bomb’ (an instruction that was largely ignored by participants) and ‘British Bulldog’. The winning team was awarded chocolate medals, whilst every child received a sweet for taking part.
Laura, Caroline, Hannah, Katy and Lucy
Students from Oxford and St. Andrews, they threw themselves into school life with enormous energy for three weeks. They helped Hamish to create the art room and organised endless games for the pupils. They also helped out in class and improved their own sewing while purportedly ‘helping’ the vocational students, who ended up teaching them more than the other way around!
Lucy worked at the school and UMIVITA for a year during a sabbatical from PA Consulting Group in 2007-08. She made an enormous difference to the work of both organisations and fell in love with the people, with Dar and with Tanzania. In the school, Lucy taught English and Maths, took the children out on trips in the surrounding area, and helped the sewing class to make Christmas decorations which they sold in the UK. She also led several major projects which made permanent improvements to the pupils’ everyday lives, including arranging for the local Rotary Club to provide running water at the school for the first time in fifteen years, supervising the construction of a new playground, and setting up a partnership with the International School in Dar-es-Salaam. Lucy has since returned to the school several times to help out and check on its progress, and is now the chair of Tanzanear.
Whilst reasonable efforts are taken by Tanzanear to provide potential volunteers with information about volunteering opportunities available at Umivita and Buguruni, each volunteer accepts that his or her decision to undertake a volunteering opportunity is made independently of any such information and solely on the basis of the volunteer’s own enquiries.
Tanzanear accepts no liability in connection with the volunteer’s placement at Umivita and Buguruni. In consideration for the volunteer’s participation in the volunteering opportunity, the volunteer agrees to release and discharge Tanzanear, its officers and employees from any and all actions, causes of actions, claims and demands in relation to any damage, loss, injury, cost or expense which may be sustained by the volunteer in connection with the volunteering opportunity. In addition, the volunteer acknowledges and agrees that Tanzanear does not provide liability insurance for the protection of any person who may participate in a volunteering opportunity and agrees to make his or her own adequate insurance arrangements.