Well what a week it has been! BVIS’ first Tanzania Expedition was a huge success. After a long 24 hour journey to Kilimanjaro airport we were greeted by a brief glimpse of the snowy peaks of Africa’s highest mountain. After a 30 minute drive through the dusty streets of Tanzania we headed to Arusha where our camp was. We were all pleasantly surprised to be awarded with beautifullush grounds, a swimming pool and state of the art facilities.This was certainly glamorous camping!
Yet we were soon all to realise that this was not a week of relaxation. Our first few days involved helping build teachers accommodation for Nazarette primary school. As with many Tanzanian schools it was heavily oversubscribed with very little facilities or equipment( no electricity, paper or pens in sight). Class sizes are on average 60 students with few desks and with not enough classrooms many lessons happen outside in the blazing heat. Our job was to help build another classroom and teachers’ accommodation to support the staff who travel 2-3 hours to get to work and get paid as little at $120 month. The accommodation would enable the teachers to work longer hours, supervise Saturday learning and take care of the school grounds which were at their current state very run down.
After 3 days of mixing cement and laying bricks we were rewarded with a two day safari. Spotting elephants with their young as the sun rose over the African plains was a truly magical moment and learning about the horrific rhino horn and ivory trade that is causing these beautiful wild animals to risk extinction was sobering.
Our final two days involved working with a family in the Arusha community. It was very rewarding to install solar panels so that these families could have a source of light in their homes. Watching a young girl switch on a sustainable source of light for the first time in her life was a hugely rewarding experience and now allows her and her siblings to study and interact past 6pm each day.
Each evening, students spend 3 hours reflecting and discussing what their experiences in the day had taught them about sustainable development, being a global citizen and our responsibility as privileged individuals mean.
Thank you for your support in helping us to raise the $6,600 dollars. Each dong we raised went towards each brick, window and builders wage who supported our charitable work. Each dong allowed us to provide light to a family, a classroom for 60 students, a desk for a teacher, a source of income for a starving family.