The example of Johanna and Justus from Germany, who are currently volunteering in a day care center for children and nursery school in Moshi, Tanzania, show how volunteering abroad can improves one’s own intercultural skills and contributes to cultural exchange between volunteers and the people in their host country.
We are very happy in Tanzania and enjoy every day in our placement. Together with a local teacher, each of us has been assigned to one class so that we can get to know the children properly. After an initial adaption and learning period we were even allowed to start to teach on our own. The teachers always provide us with a small cheat sheet and, of course, are always there if we need help or assistance.
To be honest, when it comes to Kiswahili, we benefit as much of the teaching as the kids do. Every morning, the teachers provide us with the daily schedule and explain to us what we are going to teach, including Kiswahili meanings etc. Also, they regularly teach us songs, rhymes and clapping games that afterwards we teach to the children. After school, we always sit together with the teachers for around an hour and talk about the day, the country and also about our own home country/culture.
Conclusion: Not only you as a volunteer do provide your skills and time for a good cause during a volunteer placement abroad, but you get at least as much in return from your placement when it comes to cultural knowledge and new skills!
Johanna and Justus, we wish you a great remaining time in Tanzania and would like thank you and your placement for your great work!
Here you can find more information about the day care facilities and schools that we are working with in Moshi.