International Volunteer Day Celebrated Tanzanian Style!

Yesterday, Wednesday December 5th, was International Volunteer Day. The purpose of this day is to thank volunteers for their support and ensure that people are aware of the great work volunteers do and how much we need them in societies everywhere. In Tanzania, we celebrated International Volunteer Day in both Morogoro and Zanzibar.

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What is Volunteerism – in Swahili and English

International volunteers in Morogoro, Tanzania, took the sunny Wednesday afternoon to celebrate and share stories of volunteerism with all the youth that they have worked with over the past 6 weeks.

UMATI’s Youth Action Movement (YAM) group took this day to celebrate the raging success they had at all their outreach events last month. The first took place at a rural high school (as seen in Alicia’s YCI blog post here), and the second took place on November 30th to promote World AIDS Day.

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A member of YAM talks about what he learned from Volunteering

Faraja’s Home Based Care Youth Ambassadors were recognized for their continued participation and attendance in Peer Education and Health workshops. Their passion for learning about HIV/AIDS and how it affects their friends and community is something to be greatly admired. We know that with their growing confidence, they are equipped to educate their peers about HIV/AIDS.

We are also happy to recognize The Chamwino Girls Club. The girls were awarded with certificates to commemorate the training they received in Business English vocabulary and sentence structure. The Girls’ accomplishments in using debates to inform their peers on important gender and HIV issues were also celebrated.

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Chamwino Girls Club awaiting the ceremony

Last, but certainly not least, we celebrated all the work that the ~100 volunteers at Faraja Trust Fund take on. These volunteers work tirelessly on a daily basis to ensure that Faraja’s mission is fulfilled and the necessary services are provided to those that need them the most. During our time here, the Faraja staff have been committing their time, 3 days a week, to improve the computer skills necessary for building capacity within their organization.

In Zanzibar, International Volunteer Day celebrations happened at Mahonda Youth Centre, welcoming around 90 youth, adults, and young children to participate and observe the day’s activities. The youth participants of YCI’s Emerging Leaders class were responsible for planning the event – everything from the location, to transportation, entertainment, and programming – and it was a job very well done!!

One highlight of the event was a youth debate that was coordinated by the Emerging Leaders. The debate statement was “Leaders are Born” and many people shared their arguments as to whether leaders are born or whether they are made. The winning side was “Leaders are Born,” for their passionate responses and valid arguments that everyone is born a leader and has their leadership strengthened the more that they grow.

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YCI Volunteers Local and International – Irene, Alicia, Norbert and Erin

Some other highlights included:

  • Two past local volunteers were invited to speak about their experience with YCI and to share the benefits that youth can reap from volunteering in their community.
  • A few participants from the Business English class performed a skit on the positive effect that volunteering and leadership-building has on youth.
  • There were also three spectacular poetry performances recited by several participants of the Emerging Leaders and Business English groups.
  • Finally, the Youth Ambassadors concluded with YCI’s Program Closing, where they awarded the 21 fabulous participants with their certificates of completion and a Canadian flag pin! To end off with a bang, our DJ of the day played some great music and several local youth showed off their fancy moves to the crowd!

To end off the event with a big bang, our DJ of the day played some great music and several local youth showed off their fancy moves to the crowd!

Mirjam Groen, Global Ambassador, Tanzania 2012

If you are interested in volunteering in Tanzania in the upcoming year, Check out our 4-week project leaving this January 29th or our 8-week project leaving in May. For information on all our overseas placements, check out our Program Calendar.

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