TANDANA FOUNDATION INC

Rating: 4.96 stars   25 reviews

Issues: Education, International, Economic Development, International Exchange

Location: 2933 Lower Bellbrook Rd. Spring Valley OH 45370 USA

Mission: To empower individuals of various cultural backgrounds with an increased awareness of the world, other cultures, themselves, and an expanded sense of their possibilities; To promote positive, caring interactions between people of different backgrounds and encourage consideration and lessening of global inequalities; To promote respect and responsibility toward one's self, all people, and the Earth.
Results: We received 501c3 status in late 2006 and since then have coordinated thirteen volunteer programs in Ecuador and two in Mali, which have allowed approximately 140 North Americans to volunteer their services to help 17 rural communities in Ecuador and 2 villages in Mali, while learning about the local cultures and forming cross-cultural friendships. Ten of these programs were focused on health care and allowed our volunteer healthcare providers to treat over 2,000 patients in 17 communities. One program was focused on education and allowed us to provide free English courses for approximately 50 local students. Other programs have allowed us to support community projects such as the paving of a patio for a community center, the construction of a bathroom for a kindergarten, the planting of fruit trees in a school garden, and the building of a storehouse for a village grain bank. Through our grants program, we have provided funding for four community initiatives in Mali, including the creation of a grain bank, the beginning of two school gardens, and the restoration of a well; and one community initiative in Ecuador: the creation of a school computer lab. We have also supported 30 rural Ecuadorian students by covering the various costs necessary for them to attend secondary school. This summer we offered free English classes, attended by 80 students, and math classes, attended by 30 students, for our scholarship students and others in their communities.
Geographic areas served: Otavalo Canton, Ecuador and Bandiagara Circle, Mali

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Tandana Foundation really excels in their attention to the volunteers that participate with them. They went the extra mile to assure our comfort, safety, enjoyment, and knowledge for the 7 day volunteer vacation I was part of based out of Otavalo, Ecuador. Their interns and long term volunteers were some of the most capable and professional I could have ever thought would be available to us for the projects. Tandana's focus on doing what the communities need and want to have happen vs. what outsiders think should happen is the true key making volunteer projects successful long term for all those involved.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I joined Tandana with 14 other like minded volunteers for a week of "Volunteer Garden vacation" in Ecuador. It was truly the most gratifying experience. We planted, worked in the school garden, taught composting to happy, bright eyed school kids. We cooked, ate, and worked with the locals, we were not just tourist clicking photos but participated and that is what made a big difference and the Tandana staff made it happen. The staff took care of our every need, we stayed in modern hotels, fed us well and were the nicest group of smart young people.
I wish Tandana founder Ann Taft, Director Hope Taft and staff all the best and thank-you for giving me a chance to give back.- Shyamala -Hope to participate again.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I went on a service trip through Northeastern University to work with Tandana in Otavolo, Ecuador. Anna and her team were incredibly helpful and considerate with volunteers and community members. The organization does great things by providing whatever service the community needs most and by facilitating genuine connection between volunteers and community members.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I had a life-changing experience on my trip to Ecuador through Tandana. I participated in a course that traveled abroad spring break to teach English in primary schools in Otavalo with my class. My experience was filled with cultural excursions, native interactions, and full immersion in the beautiful country. The Tandana staff was extremely personable and welcoming and I had an amazing time on my spring break alternative trip.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

A wonderful trip with awesome guides and lovely people. We were given excellent previews of the languages and what to expect in each village. Safe and culturally educational. We were able to travel to views that no average tourist would ever see. We were able to help several villages with needed reforestation efforts. We had good quality time teaching school children in beautiful highland Ecuador.
Our meals and accommodations were super.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Perhaps give the group a few moments when enroute to stop and take in the views. We were tightly scheduled and I find myself wishing I had more moments to breathe and appreciate where I was-- even though I know our purpose was to help and work. We did not get much time at our inn to just decompress for a few minutes.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

A few years ago I had an internship with Tandana for 9 months. Prior to that experience and after I have worked with 6 other NGO's in Latin America and the Caribbean but I would have to say Tandana does the best job of achieving its goal-- to create and nurture real and responsible relationships among people of different cultures. I typically like to spend a decent amount of time in any foreign place I visit because I feel you get more out of the experience if you really get to know a place rather than pass through on a quick visit. Somehow this doesn't seem to hold true with Tandana as they are able to provide volunteers with an incredible, authentic experience in no more than a week. I've never seen anything like it.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Working with The Tandana Foundation has given me an even deeper appreciation for the country of Ecuador. People's lives get changed for the better and the results are amazing. Not only the local villagers lives change but the volunteers and coordinators that are responsible for the work being done always leave with a profound experience and a different outlook on life. May The Tandana Foundation continue to grow and prosper in Ecuador and Mali!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not change anything

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I can't say enough about the great work that Tandana does. I have volunteered twice on medical volunteer vacations in Ecuador, and would do so again if the opportunity arises. The volunteer teams that I was a part of included both medical and non-medical volunteers, and as a non-medically trained volunteer myself I was able to participate as a team member and contribute to the project in important ways, and Tandana always takes great care of its volunteers. Seeing people in rural Andean communities receive medical treatment was a deeply rewarding experience, as was the opportunity to immerse myself in Ecuadorean culture. Tandana has roots in the communities where it works, which includes its founder as well as various past and present interns who join in on the projects, and as a result it has strong relationship with the people of the community. I would very much like to participate in another volunteer project in the future.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

Tandana works with people on such a level that both the volunteers and community members are left with a good understanding of how human compassion spans all people.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have read the privilege of doing Public Relations volunteer work for The Tandana Foundation for four years now. I can't say enough about how enjoyable has been. Tandana's Executive Director and staff are completely committed to the Foundation's mission. Their sense of commitment is very contagious and has spread to all the volunteers including myself. Tandana's staff is also extremely appreciative of all the work the volunteers perform. Even if I am only completing a small task for them, they always so grateful for my work. They really make them feel as if I am truly making a difference. The appreciation also makes me feel valued, which is something I think that is lacking in a lot of the for-profit and nonprofit world today. I have often said that I started volunteering for Tandana because it provided me with an opportunity to use my public relations skills, however, I will stay working with Tandana for life because of the people who are in charge.

In my wall as Public Relations Specialist I frequently interview people who have traveled with Tandana on their Volunteer Vacations or group service projects. All the volunteers come back from their experience with Tandana truly inspired. It is also worth noting that many of the people volunteer with Tandana more than once. Tandana creates wonderful relationships between the volunteers and the people they help

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

There is absolutely nothing I would change about Tandana.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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