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Review for Mainsprings: Janada L. Batchelor Foundation for Children Inc., Tulsa, OK, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I took a group of students to JBFC twice. In both cases it was an absolutely wonderful and life-changing experience for my students. Mainsprings has really thought through their work and are addressing the issues of poverty in that section of Tanzania in such a thoughtful, complete and sustainable way. From the home for the girls, to the schools, the permaculture farm, the community service, the engagement with the local community, their plans for the future and so much more, Mainsprings is truly partnering with the local community to build a better future. I was particularly impressed to hear the founders and leaders speak about how they felt they were doing their job if they developed the organization to such an extent that the westerners lost their jobs as local Tanzanians took over all aspects of the organization. Further, Mainspring does an excellent job of educating the volunteers (such as my students) about their work, building a true respect for the work of the organization and even more importantly, for the girls and the local community. This is not just voluntourism, but rather a real immersion into a culture and an organization doing transformative work. I teach a course on poverty to high school students, and we study why/how certain NGOs are effective (or not), and Mainsprings checks every box of how to make aid effective. It is a wonderful lesson for my students to see such change in action.

Role:  Volunteer