Karagwe, Tanzania

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Tanzania flag Location | Rural Western Tanzania, East Africa
Photos | Found here
Blog |
Read more about Amizade in Tanzania
Support | Community Initiatives in Tanzania
Service Opportunities | Working with water-harvesting, women’s rights issues, sustainable agriculture, construction, teaching in schools
Cultural and Recreational Highlights | Serengeti Safari, Zanzibar, crossing the equator, meeting with a traditional healer, Rwanda genocide museum, sports

Tanzania is known throughout East Africa for having years of peace, most often credited to the unifying national language of Swahili. Volunteers in the mountainous Karagwe Region will find themselves in a remote town where the majority of people are farmers subsisting on less than $100 a year. Sadly, the AIDS epidemic, malaria, and other health crises have touched this vibrant community. Amizade volunteers work side-by-side with an impressive team of community members and organizers dedicated to improving people’s lives.

Program Overview

Water harvestingAmizade volunteers will live within the community of Karagwe and serve with our partner community organizations. Volunteering frequently relates to supporting the installation of water systems on family homes, working on a sustainable farm, teaching in schools, working with a women’s rights organization, or to assisting with the construction of a Transitional Home for orphans. Service is only one component of the Amizade experience. Volunteers will also learn through speakers from local organizations, visits to local mosques or churches, and local cultural and recreational opportunities. Groups of Amizade Tanzania volunteers stay in a local hostel, while individual volunteers can be placed in a home stay with a local family.

henna in zanzibar

Lodging | A local guest house or homestays (for individual volunteers)
Food | Lots of fruit and starches, some fish, some chicken
Flights | Through Europe or the Middle East; very long
Visa | Yes, obtained at the border or the embassy
Communication | Cell networks, sporadic internet
Closest Airport | Kigali, Rwanda or Entebbe, Uganda

Our Community Partners

Mavuno | The Mavuno Project is dedicated towards meeting rural development aspects with special references and emphasizes to education, health, agriculture, environmental protection and sanitation, appropriate technology, women and youth development, needy children assistance, HIV awareness, light feeding, and water assistance.

Family Alliance for Development & Cooperation (FADECO) | This grassroots community organization focuses on empowering local community members to support themselves economically, increasing nutrition and preventative health practices, and providing educational technology and resources that will lead to community-driven plans for sustainability. Located in the rural Kagera District just beyond the energy grid, this organization has helped:

  • bring the first radio station and the Internet to their region
  • design a solar food preservation system
  • implement rain water harvesting
  • and continuously educate the local community.

solar water purification demo

Women Emancipation & Development Agency (WOMEDA) | This women’s organization focuses on increasing economic and human rights by supporting members of the community through legal procedures and training programs. WOMEDA:

  • provides free legal and educational services for women and children in Tanzania
  • Promotes gender equality through workshops on women’s and children’s rights, political leadership, and legal literacy.
  • Provides counseling services to families, and works with community members to ensure children’s rights.

Past volunteers have done qualitative and quantitative research for WOMEDA that enabled them to receive grant funding. FADECO and WOMEDA have also worked together through Amizade to provide rain water harvesting systems to families identified by the community to be in the greatest need.

Evangelical Lutheran ChurchAmizade volunteers work with the Lutheran Church in their efforts to construct a transitional children’s home. The vision for the transitional home is to provide a center where children could stay while waiting to be placed in foster care and to provide education and training for the children. The facility will be staffed and administered by the Nyakahanga Hospital. The Lutheran Church also partners with the hospital to administer a number of vital community health initiatives, including an AIDS Control office. Amizade volunteers can be placed at the Nyakahanga Hospital to complete community service focused in medicine and health.

Recent Successes

Over the past few years, Amizade volunteers have participated in projects related to community health including:

Clean Water Initiatives: With the generous support of the AllPeopleBeHappy Foundation, Amizade has been working with Mavuno, WOMEDA, and FADECO to install rainwater harvesting systems in the region. To date, because of Amizade’s work, 11 survivors of gender-based human rights abuses and their families now have access to clean water. Additionally, in the summer of 2010, Amizade helped to complete a tank that will bring clean water to over 300 schoolchildren.

Women’s Rights Research: Amizade service-learning students compiled data that demonstrated women walk an average of twenty miles to receive representation from WOMEDA. This information helped WOMEDA receive grant funding and supporting to continue its efforts.

AIDS Education Children’s Book: Amizade volunteers teamed up with local educators to design and publish a book in Swahili to educate youth about AIDS prevention. The pictures for the book were completed by Tanzania school children.

Tanzania map