I am now halfway through my internship here in Zanzibar and I can’t quite believe how quickly time has flown by on this beautiful island. Having already completed one internship with THAF I was really excited to see how this would differ from my time in St Lucia. To say that I had fallen in love with the place, the culture and the people was probably an understatement – and that’s saying something because Zanzibar had a lot to live up to.
This internship has been very different and has bought up some fresh new challenges. Being the first intern at the Jambiani projects means I have been able to set up The Happy Africa Foundation and educate the volunteers on how the partnership between THAF and African Impact works. Doing this was probably one of my biggest challenges and getting the volunteers involved and excited about fundraising and donating has been a slow process but we are definitely getting the excitement through camp. Some volunteers are organising events after they leave, like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and helping us to get corporate donations.
I have also been able to set up business meetings with a local bar and have organised some new fundraising events. We will be holding our first ever Quiz Night next week and will also be piloting a movie night later on this week. I am very happy that I have been a part of the initial set up of these partnerships and hope that they continue long into the future so that more people hear of the amazing things that we are doing in this community. As an island that is hugely dependent on tourism it is so important that holidaymakers see that there is much more to this island than the white beaches, turquoise waters and beautiful sunsets.
Community spirit here is very high and there is a lot of respect from the elders of the village for what we do for the local people. Our focal projects have grown in just the two months that I have been here and I am very privileged to say that I have been a part of that. The Jambiani Educational Community Centre has bought who whole community together with volunteers working alongside local volunteers and builders and its been incredible to see the journey from the overgrown land to a piece of land that is now ready to have foundations built once we have the money available. I have also been able to bring in new ideas on how to make Nursery, Nutrition and Health (previously the Nursery School Feeding Program) more sustainable by building a large garden to provide each nursery school with fresh fruit and vegetables to help feed the children.
The opportunity to learn new skills was one of the main reasons, apart from the beautiful setting, that I chose to do this internship rather than extending in South Africa. This position has not disappointed and has enabled me to learn about a new culture and language, connect with local businesses to introduce The Happy Africa Foundation and African Impact and get them involved in fundraising efforts. It has also helped me enhance my skills in fundraising such as writing corporate proposals and composing email campaigns to broaden our circle of potential donors.
The next two months are full of so much potential, with high season approaching and lots of new initiatives being put into place I cannot wait to see how much of an impact I can make during my internship here on the stunning island of Zanzibar. I couldn’t be happier that I chose to travel to another country and I would recommend it to anyone who loves travels and wants experience in the NGO Sector.