Volunteers' Reviews

review

Evaluation Form

Name: LeRoy Rogers
Country of Volunteer :Tanzania

“In general the experience was quite positive. It seemed that the Kilimanjaro Primary School was not really set up to make very good use of volunteers. However, I believe that we were able to be of some help. We think that the staff did an excellent job of making us comfortable and assisted competently in meeting our needs.”

Evaluation Form

Name: Jean Rogers
Country of Volunteer :Tanzania

“This has been a very interesting and valuable experience to learn more about the developing world and the issues and problems which exist. I have lived in Africa before, so the experience was not entirely new. I volunteered at Kilimanjaro Primary School so was able to view the school system in an intimate manner. The needs were apparent, as the condition of the building was poor, and the supplies, materials and equipment lacking in all respects. Some of the staff were very discouraged, and a teacher's strike occurred during our tenure there. However the staff were eager for our help, and allowed us to have some good experiences with the students. I believe my experience was valuable to me, and helpful to the students and staff. I do believe the experience could have been better if our time there had been anticipated by the school staff.”

Evaluation Form

Name:Vance and Rebecca Fleet
Country of Volunteer : Costa Rica

Please rate the following as 1--poor, 2--good, 3--very good or 4-- excellent:

  • USA Staff
  • 4
  • Airport pick up
  • 4
  • Food
  • 4
  • Accommodation
  • 4
  • Host Family
  • 4
  • Volunteer Project
  • 3
  • Field staff
  • 4

Please summarize your volunteer experience (please attach extra sheet if necessary) with IFRE.

Overall, we had a wonderful volunteer experience with IFRE. We participated in the Language and Culture program for the first week and then volunteered at Upendo Orphanage for two weeks.

The language and culture program was very useful for our subsequent weeks. The teacher (Joseph) was excellent and had a good curriculum that provided us with many of the basics of Swahili and many useful words and phrases for our work at the orphanage. We were a little surprised that the sessions only lasted 2 hours per day, but that left us with time to explore around Moshi on our own.

The accommodations were very nice for the area. Rosie and Eva (the hosts) were very friendly and made each of the volunteers feel special and very welcome. Breakfast was a bit limited compared to what we are used to, but lunch and dinner prepared by Rosie and Eva were always delicious. The rooms were kept clean and Rosie and Eva were happy to do laundry for us for a very small fee.

The local contact, Deo Peter, went out of his way to be very helpful to us. He helped with getting the required C class residency permit for volunteer work, set up a safari for us on short notice, lent us money when our bank limited our daily withdrawls, and even drove us around and acted as a translator/liaison when we wanted to help out a boy who needed help with his school funding.

Our time at Upendo was very rewarding. We spend most of the time just providing basic companionship for the children (most between ages 1½ to 3), helping with toilet, washing up, and milk and lunchtimes. The children are all very cute. Many of them want to be held a lot, which makes it a challenge if you have several crying to be held at once. We really wanted to branch out a bit more and help at the kindergarten or some other way, but the language barrier made it difficult to determine what we could/could not do. We did help out with embroidering labels on clothes one day and shucking corn on another day during the 2 hour long nap period after lunch. We will miss the children and hope that they find loving homes someday.

I would definitely recommend this program for anyone who likes to work with small children. For those who like working with older children, I would recommend placement at Msamaria, a center for street children between the ages of 5 and 18, where some of the other volunteers from our host residence were working.

Do you recommend IFRE program for others (please circle) (i) Yes (ii) No

Can we pass your e-mail to interested potential volunteers? If yes, e-mail: Yes, that’s fine. My personal e-mail address is: b.fleet@comcast.net

Hello Bharat,

Just came back from Safari after finishing my project, so just wanted to give you a quick update on both if you can please, please forward to Dr. Adhikari whilst he's here in Tanzania so he can follow up in person it would be much appreciated.

The project--Building a Caring Community, the experience for me personally was FANTASTIC, my contacts in the Lutheran Church in Moshi were great and I hope and think that I was able to contribute to what they needed. The work they are doing helping the carers of disabled children is completely inspiring and I believe they would still appreciate volunteers both in their Lutheran centre and in the Day centres with the disabled children, so volunteers with loads of different backgrounds. The centre is behind Standy bus station in Moshi but the main contact for me was Rosemary Chadrack, mobile + 255 (0)717424276, rosemaryefraim@yahoo.com. They are great.

The 5 day safari was through Arunga but very specifically with someone who I believe Dr. Moham already knows--Michael, who is the safari guide. I can't say enough how reliable and trustworthy he is.

Michael is simply GREAT. It is so obvious he's got 7 years experience working with tourists of all sorts, nationalities and expectations, with good English and great customer service whilst still being clear on what should be done, how to lead us, make us feel safe and excited about what we are doing. In fact he is the one I rang as I left Spain when Frederick didn't answer his phone to pick me up at the airport when I was arriving at 1:30/2:00 am in the morning and he kindly rang Aly, although Aly still forgot to pick me up from the airport!!!! :-(( out of sheer luck I still managed to arrive at the Moshi hostel at 4 am because I started talking to a driver who knew Frederick. Michael's mobile is + 255 (0)754368281, michael.peter59@yahoo.com

Unfortunately Aly started very well, but then (at least in my case, obviously, this is just my point of view) he has been very disappointing, disappearing for 2-3 days, saying he would follow up with things and then not, getting very, very stressed when he gets more than 2 requests at the same time and even giving rude answers. He really decided not to focus anymore on Kit and I when he knew we were not going to be there and meet Dr. Adhikari personally. The day I left I actually talked to him personally and told him all this.

I just wanted to share this so that

  1. You knew what a FANTASTIC experience the volunteer work was with Building a Caring Community and
  2. In comparison with Frederick and Aly, you knew what a GREAT experienced and reliable person to have in Tanzania Michael is.

If at all possible, if you could forward this message to Dr Adhikari it would be great, and I won't bore you with any more emails!! :-))

thanks and kind regards,
Emma

My time at LWCC was busy but it was a fantastic experience

I was at LWCC for 9 weeks from October through to December and it was everything I could have hoped for and much, much more. I was welcomed into my host family with open arms and by the end of my stay really felt like part of the family

When I arrived I was the first volunteer and at first I found this a little daunting but my mind was soon put at ease when I chatted to the family and the teachers about how I could help and I realized that there was loads of stuff that needed doing where I could be of assistance. The work of volunteers at LWCC was varied. On any given day I could be going to the new land and helping with the building work, helping with the newsletter, or perhaps going into town to get the maize and flour for the children at the center. However the majority of my work was with the children themselves. During the first month I was there I did some classroom teaching and during my second month I was given the job of teaching English to Standard 3. I also played games and sports with the kids, baked cookies and did art and craft among many other things.

One thing that all volunteers are expected to do is to go to the center from 3.00 and help the kids with homework and play with them. This was always the best part of the day as the children were relaxed as it was no longer school time. At this time we generally good fun reading, playing in the garden, dancing to the radio and cds or just chatting.

As well as the work that you do whilst at the center the family are also keen to introduce volunteers to Arusha and the surrounding area and arrange trips such as to nearby Lake Duluti or to the UN tribunal for the Rwanda Genocide.

My time at LWCC was busy but it was a fantastic experience and one which I hope to repeat and I would recommend it to anyone.

LARA

Experience at the Living Water Children Center

Overall, we are very happy with our experience at the Living Water Children Center. This center is doing a good job under difficult circumstances caring for children in need, most of whom have lost their parents due to AIDS. The children seemed happy and well behaved.

There were 9 children from ages 2 through 9 living at the center during most of the time we visited (Jan. 1-8), as many of the children had gone to visit a relative from their extended family over the holiday. Those staying at the center over the holiday were those that "had no where to go, " and spending time with them was a rewarding experience. Children began returning to the center on Jan. 6, and most had returned by the time we departed on Jan. 8. The center usually has 25-to-30 live in children. Additional children from the area attend classes at the center's day school.

Several times each day we played games or went on walks with the children. We taught them to ride the new bikes recently donated by a volunteer. We read with the children and gave private tutoring in reading each morning for about an hour. We ate with them on several occasions. The Kimaros organized a celebration dinner, which the volunteers helped cook, at their home on Jan. 7 to welcome the returning children and new volunteers and so that we could say goodbye. We visited briefly at the center's school, which reopened Jan. 8.

Our 11-year old daughter, Katy, was their youngest volunteer ever. She and the children enjoyed getting to know each other. Our hosts gave us plenty of traditional, tasty food - such as chipate (fried bread), soups and stews, lentils, rice, veggie slaw and fresh pineapple. The room where we stayed in the hosts' home was clean and pleasant. The bathroom does have hot water (our placement sheet said there was no hot water.)

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this program.
Kay Brown

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