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Carla C.2

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1 reviews

Review for The Baobab Home, Matawan, NJ, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Two years first assignment through AFID – accounting for international development. It was a great experience and finally this fall, the time was right to go again.

In November I went to Bagamoyo in Tanzania which is a town on the coast, about 2 hours north of the capital Dar-Es-Salam. It was hot (35c) and humid. The Baobab Home is an orphanage located on a farm. Many of the kids in the orphanage have lost their parents to HIV or they are unable to care for them. The administrator of the organisation, Yasini, is one of the children who grew up in the orphanage, finish his secondary school and got his business administration diploma. I got to work with him on the payroll and working on excel skills – it was such a pleasure to work with him! I also worked with the lady who does the bookkeeping to combine the Quickbooks files and improve the setup. It was a good challenge and it was so satisfying to make a difference.

The kids were so fun to hang around with. They were so curious and wanted to learn so much. I loved how they played together, made games and toys from the things around them. They live together in a big family, dinner time is lots of fun and when the music went on, everyone was dancing. I stayed in the volunteer house on the farm. Comfortable but also primitive with a cold shower using a bucket and many interesting creatures around. The gecko that fell on my shoulder when going to the kitchen to make some coffee in the morning definitely make me scream.

The cooks are amazing – always a big smile– they cook dinner for all the school kids & staff for lunch (about 200 meals) and then dinner for the orphanage kids & staff in the evening (30 people). Simple meals but delicious and many items grown on the farm. In the picture we had omelette, salad, watermelon, potatoes and a curry. Rice and Beans were also a staple.

The school, the Steven Tito Academy, is also located on the farm at the end of the path. They take in 25 kids each year in kindergarten and each of these kids come from poor families who cannot afford the school fees. Through the small class sized and teaching in English and the financial support from their sponsor, they are able to attend school be ready to be successful in high school.

Writing about it makes me smile ear-to-ear again. It was an incredible experience to be there and to make a difference using my accounting skills. Ask me about it – love to share more!

Role:  Volunteer