travel bursary reports
I have just got back from Musoma, in North Tanzania after 6 weeks with the charity ‘Go Make A Difference’ or ‘Go MAD’ as it is often abbreviated to.
I was not entirely sure what to expect before I left, but have come back with so much joy from what can only be described as an incredible experience. The primary focus of the trip was humanitarian aid, partially in the form of assisting building projects. The charity was originally set up when the founder Graham McClare went to Musoma to help build the Anglican cathedral there, but was concerned by the terrible water conditions and wanted to make a difference.
In light of this, groups still go out there 20 years later and help local builders to erect water tanks. But the charity has grown since then and now water is not the only project. While I was in Tanzania I helped to build a water tank for Sophia’s family, but as well as this I helped build; a goat shed for her family – providing vital income, a toilet block for teachers in a school - giving them dignity as well as enhanced satisfaction with working there and hence more likely to do a good job educating, in addition I helped build a second goat shed for a different family, started a large water tank for a school, and did some work for a new house.
In addition to building projects we were involved in health projects, for example at ‘mobile outreaches’ where I helped to distribute worming tablets to children, weighed children and assisted in Malaria testing. While in Musoma we also held a ‘Malaria Awareness Day’ in which 1000s of children from surrounding schools came for a day of fun but also with a serious message where we told them how to use Mosquito nets and we were then able to give children a net from fundraising money. Each week I also helped to run a girls group, teaching the bible and looking after children. Also every Friday I taught English at an after school program for some children to gain some extra practice before there vital exams to get them to the next stage of their education.
One of the other things I did when I was there was to go to a leprosy community. I had no idea how I would respond to seeing people with their condition. But in seconds I was struck with how lovely these people were and I could feel nothing but love for them. They were probably some of the nicest people that I met, so genuine and so thankful. One women in particular I was drawn to, we noticed she was burning herself on her cooking pots, so we realised she would appreciate oven mits. We were able to get her some made. When we gave them to her, her face was a picture of joy which was so lovely. We were also able to give out shoes to the community and re-dress some of their wounds. It was so lovely to help them out.
While I was in Tanzania I was also given the opportunity to go on a Safari into the Serengeti. Of course I took that up – and what an experience! I really did see the African wildlife in full swing – the list included; Warthogs, Impalas, Zebras, Wildebeests, Ostriches, Thompson Gazelles, Giraffes, Elephants, Lions, a Cheetah, Hyena, hippos, baboons and other monkeys, crocodiles and Buffalos!
I would definitely recommend this trip or others like it to anyone! Get in touch if you want to find out more!
God bless, Rachel
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