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In May, Imani, our Senior Trip Host for Zanzibar, visited the UK office during his travels to the UK and Europe. It was lovely to catch up with him and talk about all things Zanzibar ahead of our 2024 summer programme starting.

Read on to hear about some of the topics we discussed, including school challenges, the WASH Programme, and the impact our volunteers make.

How would you describe Zanzibar as a destination for volunteering?

Zanzibar is a beautiful island in East Africa with a population of two million. Its beautiful beaches make it a very famous tourist destination along the coast, but as you go further into the island, many live in poverty, and the schools are severely underfunded. Because of this, they are in poor condition and face many challenges, including limited teaching resources, no tables and chairs, and inadequate classroom infrastructure and sanitation facilities. It is a fantastic opportunity for Zanzibar to host African Adventures’ volunteers as they can make a massive difference for our community.

Zanzibar-school-classrooms

Ubago Primary School’s classroom block.

What impact do you see the volunteers have on the students at our partner schools?

Volunteers inspire the students in Zanzibar. Many students see the volunteers as a good platform to practise their language, and they motivate them to study hard. Last year, for the first time in Fuoni School’s history, all students passed their exams and got a place in secondary school. It is encouraging to see, and we’re delighted with this achievement.

volunteer-teaching-class

What impact have you seen from the WASH Programme at Fuoni, Kinuni and Kijito School?

Before the construction of the new facilities, there was always a big queue due to the limited number of toilets, meaning students would miss parts of their lesson or go to the toilet outside.

The construction of the new toilet blocks – at not just one school, but three – has brought comfort to the students and teachers, as they can now access the toilet when needed, without queuing. I’ve also seen a significant improvement in hygiene of the school site, creating a better studying environment.

Also, before the introduction of this programme, many of the female students did not come to school during their period, missing classes because they were not confident in managing their menstruation because of the poor facilities and limited access to sanitary products.

Now, each school has a dedicated toilet just for girls who are menstruating and a reusable pad programme. We have seen an increase in female students’ attendance and improved academic achievement. We believe the WASH Programme also contributed to Fuoni School’s excellent exam results.

WASH-Programme

What advice would you give to our volunteers travelling to Zanzibar this year?

Zanzibar is a beautiful island that you will enjoy, but you will also have a platform to learn new things that aren’t available in the UK. I want you to be open-minded and to learn. I believe your trip will make a big impact on your life and give you awareness of what life is like on the other side of the world. I can’t wait to see what wonderful things happen in Zanzibar this year.

volunteering-in-zanzibar

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