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Volunteers and local kids playing tug of war Volunteers and local kids playing tug of war

Girl Empowerment, Moshi, Tanzania

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    7

A Career Break That Changed My Story

I am a 35 year old woman from New York City who was climbing the corporate ladder at a Fortune 500 male dominated company, working constantly, always stressed out, and had reached a point where I felt unfulfilled and burnt out. Throughout my career I had mentored and coached women, and when I decided to take a career break, I knew helping girls and women is what I wanted to focus on. I believe within every woman is the power to write her story - she just needs to find it.
Coming here, I had to step outside of my comfort zone. I worked on a variety of projects from teaching nursery school and creating gender equality in the classroom, to educating and building confidence in teenage girls at NAFGEM and in secondary school, to leading seminars for the community to create awareness of women's issues, to working with a women's group to help them generate income. The projects have been unlike anything I've ever done, and I'm integrating into a local culture and learning so much about myself and what I am capable of.
Being here has opened my mind to thinking in new ways and inspired my imagination. So much of my previous life in this arena of empowering women has been reacting to and creating a plan to combat women's issues and gender inequality. Being here it is about thinking outside the box to change it, or even more powerful, to prevent it from starting. You really have to deconstruct how issues in society are created, and then rewind the clock and try to change the behavior and see how the result is impacted. It's such an empowering feeling to think that these projects could change the future of girls and women. The work is more rewarding than I thought possible.
I feel like one of the biggest gifts is getting to see the girls and women grow throughout the time on project, and know that you were able to help shape some of their story. In my own life, African Impact Moshi has written a major catalyst into my story, and I can't wait to see how it unfolds...

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Social Life

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

First experience, exceptional experience

This experience changed my point of view, my perspective in what really matters and taught me not to be afraid of new situations.
I will feel more confident in handling new topics and culturally aware that there are more paths that lead to happiness and success.

Overall Rating

5/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    6

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    4

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Engaging Moshi

This experience was overwhelming in both positive and negative ways. The Moshi community is beautiful and the volunteers are kind and exceptional. However, being on this trip has caused me to think critically about the fine line between community engagement and voluntourism. I learned how easy it is to turn what could be a phenomenal opportunity to expand the global community into allowing uneducated students, admittedly like myself, to seize employment opportunities without the proper qualifications. African Impact is doing very cool stuff, but I would recommend to the administration that more attention be paid to the ethics behind swarms of young white adults flooding a foreign community in hopes of making a difference. While the intentions are pure and awesome, the impact may be somewhat damaging.

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation