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Leaving Ireland for Zanzibar

By July 12, 2016October 10th, 2023No Comments

Our new Zanzibar intern, Lauren, wanted to use her skills, to travel and gain a tan that didn’t come from a bottle! She was searching for an opportunity that combined working in a charity with an amazing destination. What really drew her to this particular internship was our projects.

“Two weeks ago I packed up and left my home country of Ireland to join The Happy Africa Foundation as their sustainable development intern in the beautiful island of Zanzibar. The Happy Africa Foundation (THAF) is responsible for managing donations and allocating funds to African Impact focal projects such as building the community center in Jambiani or supporting the conservation club in Kizimkaze. Over the next 6 months I will work closely with African Impact’s teaching and marine projects to identify areas that require financial support and organize fundraisers for these projects as a result.

African Impact’s motto “Explore, Inspire, Impact” and it is that exact promise that drew me from my comfortable corporate life in Ireland to the pole pole of Zanzibar. Einstein said “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile”. With this in mind and adventure at heart, I hopped on a plane to Zanzibar. I had never been to Africa and I had no idea what to expect but with I can safely say it was the greatest decision I have made. While I expected to give my time and skills I never expected to gain so much in such little time here. My first two weeks has taught me a huge amount on life in Africa. Everyone has extended their karibu to me with smiles and the THAF and African Impact team have made me feel at home away from home.

It is heartwarming to see the honesty and kindness of the local people of Zanzibar. I believe understanding and supporting the local people and communities is essential to a sustainable impact. I hope to spend my time getting to know the community and how I can best contribute during my time here. This week I joined the Marine Conservation project and I will be taking part in the Dolphin, fisherman and boat driver data collection as well as teaching the conservation club. I feel unbelievably lucky that I have the opportunity to be in the presence of such intelligent beautiful creatures and I feel that it is our responsibility to protect them. I am also excited to teach the conservation club as it is driven by the huge interest of the young people.

What is obvious is the passion behind this project from marine project managers Celeste and Lisa. The time and effort they put into their work and volunteers is testament to the impact of this project over the past two years. The quote “Our world in not inherited from our ancestors but borrowed from our children” was mentioned in my introduction to the marine conservation project and it is clear that this idea has led all of the project initiatives. Without the work of this conservation project this little fishing village will suffer greatly as fish numbers deplete and their food source is destroyed. Educating young people today through the conservation club will produce the environmentally conscious leaders of tomorrow. I can’t wait to get stuck in!”