Ann-Kristin from Germany spent one month Zanzibar in Tanzania in the summer of 2018. In her blog she talks about her experiences. What motivated Ann-Kristin to volunteer abroad? Here you can get an insight into her time on Zanzibar.
In the summer of 2018 I spent a total of one month in Tanzania, more precisely, on the island of Zanzibar. Although Tanzania and Zanzibar have developed strongly in recent years, many people continue to struggle to meet their basic needs on a daily basis. For that reason, I did not only want to visit this country for a holiday, but decided to volunteer with World Unite! instead.
During my time in Zanzibar, I participated in two amazing volunteer projects:
The Mother Nature Forest Camp in Jozani
The “Mother Nature Conservation Camp Zanzibar” is a combination of 10 volunteering activities at the two locations Rain Forest and Beach under professional guidance. It is ideal for everyone of any age who loves animals and nature, and who wishes to become active in the conservation of the island’s unique fauna and flora.
One of my main responsibilities at the Forest Camp was to make the nearby Turtle and Tortoise Park look more attractive and improve some of its attractions for visitors. Here tourists and locals can learn more about the different species of turtles on Zanzibar. Thanks to the Park, the rural population is also given the opportunity to benefit from tourism in Zanzibar. There were no limits to our creativity: we painted the reception desk in attractive colors, painted the new logo of the park on specially designed stones and designed a tortoise shell skeleton including a label that was to serve as an illustration for visitors.
We learned a lot about the different turtle species in Zanzibar and were even allowed to feed them and to do own guided tours.
Another task was to teach the local staff in the camp German, English and Spanish. They were really all incredibly interested in improving their language skills!
It is important for me to emphasize that we were never alone in the camp. A watchman named Babu, was on site around the clock. In addition, our project manager Mohammed visited us at least once a day. In addition, Sadam and Minimo, two other staff members of World Unite!, were there for us every day.
In our last days in Jozani, we gained more insight into the local school system in Zanzibar. Many families can not afford the cost of teaching materials, school uniforms, and books, and the children often need to help out in the family to contribute to livelihood. Education is the only way for people to have a financially secure future.
It was a wonderful opportunity for me to get an insight into the school system. When I realized that World Unite! with the help of donations and volunteers was building a new primary school, I felt incredibly happy!
Marine Turtle Conservation in Nungwi
This project aims to rescue endangered sea turtles and is engaged in educational work for the sustainable conservation of the environment. Our duties included cleaning, feeding and caring for injured sea turtles. We got a precise introduction on how to treat the turtles when we arrived into the project.
Many of the turtles found and brought into the aquarium were injured or too weak to survive alone. An extra infirmary has been created for them to give them the attention and care they need. The turtles have to be fed twice a day, and we always collected fresh seagrass for them.
One week before I started volunteering in Nungwi, baby turtles had just hatched. We had the opportunity to take care of them. We weighed the turtles once a week, measured them and examined them for diseases. We always documented the information to observe the developmental process.
I have rarely met so many nice people as during my time on Zanzibar. From every corner you hear a friendly “Jambo” and although many people there live with far less than I knew from home, they are often willing to share and help each other.
My volunteer assignment in Zanzibar has given me so much positivity and it has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I think it is very important to be open to other cultures and countries and appreciate the knowledge gained!
Thanks to World Unite! for the great experience – it will definitely not stay with this one volunteer assignment!
Would you like to read more about Ann-Kristin’s experiences? Here you can visit her travel blog.
Fancy a volunteer assignment in Zanzibar? Be inspired by our possibilities on http://www.world-unite.de/en!