Hey everyone 😊
My name is Emilia. I’m 23 years old and work as a social worker in Germany. I traveled to Tanzania for four months and worked there as a volunteer. I planned my stay in Moshi step by step together with World Unite and came to Good Hope. I worked in the organization from Monday to Friday and accompanied the daily routine.
Traveling alone and working in a foreign country isn’t an easy decision. You think about a lot before the trip and naturally, you also have certain fears. What will the time in the project be like? Will everyone like me? Will I be able to communicate despite the language barrier? What will my tasks be in concrete terms? What will my daily work routine be like?
So many questions run through your head and you don’t get the answers at first. I also had these thoughts and was very nervous before my trip and even more on my first day at work.
All my fears and possible doubts dissolved by themselves in the first few minutes. The warmth and hospitality of the teachers, staff, and students make you feel at home. Everyone is so grateful and full of love. I knew already after the first day that I would feel very comfortable during my time in Moshi.
What is volunteering at Good Hope like?
The fields of activity are very varied. You can contribute many ideas to the daily life at Good Hope. I spent most of my time in the kindergarten with the youngest children at Good Hope. The children were taught by two teachers from 7 until 12 am. I was allowed to help with lesson planning, create my own lesson topics and teach myself with the support of teacher Olivari and teacher Hussein.
We talked to the children about colors, jobs, animals, and sports and learned the English and Swahili words. We painted the pictures ourselves to create a blackboard for the children. Seeing colorful pictures was one of the greatest joys for them. And to see that the preparation and work were worthwhile was the best gift ever.
All my ideas were so gratefully received and it made me so happy to see how much commitment the teachers showed in helping to implement them every time and also in translating everything for the children.
The work with the children
It was indescribable to see and feel how much love the children give back. I wouldn’t have thought that working with the children would mean so much to me. Taking the children in my arms every morning was the most wonderful feeling. Every single day I went to the front gate with a big smile on my face and knew that I would be greeted with beaming children’s eyes right away. Laughing with the children, dancing, helping them get dressed, practicing numbers and letters in English with them, singing songs together, and also preparing the notebooks with individual exercises so that they can learn new tasks every day more than fulfilled me. Despite the language barrier it’s possible to build a bond with everyone there. And to see that after a certain time, you are a part of the children’s everyday life is the best feeling.
I am a trained social worker. I do a lot of case-management and home-visits with at-risk families in Germany. Yet, I have learnt so many new things during my volunteering at Good Hope. Furthermore, I gained so many new experiences working in a kindergarten. Although I was not a trained kindergartener, Teachers Hussein and Olivari were always by my side explaining context and giving introduction into new tasks.
If you want to do it and experience it for yourself, then go for it! It is not too important if you have done it before or not, because Olivari and Hussein will let you know with which tasks you can support them and which approach would be appropriate. The important thing is to get involved with the local environment and to be respectful of their culture and way of life.
Experiences for life
I had so much respect for this trip and now I’m so proud to have done it. No one can take away the experiences you have on a trip like this. No matter how many thoughts and fears you have, you should do it. It’s worth all the money in the world to embark on such an experience. I don’t regret a single day, because it was the most beautiful and intense experience I have ever had in my life.