I have been fortunate enough to secure an opportunity to travel to Arusha, Tanzania this summer to volunteer at one of the local orphanages as part of an experience organised by The PMGY (Plan My Gap Year) Foundation. The PMGY Foundation is a UK registered charity (1169415) that has been set up to help provide financial aid and assistance to the projects and countries they work with on an ongoing basis. The objective of the PMGY Foundation is the prevention or relief of poverty of people living in the communities they support by providing or assisting in the provision of education, training, healthcare projects and all the necessary support designed to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient.
It is estimated that around 1.4 million Tanzanians are infected with HIV. On top of this, for every 1,000 births almost 6 women die in childbirth. These factors along with general widespread poverty and minimal state welfare have resulted in an alarmingly high level of orphans and street children in Tanzania. This results in orphanages becoming extremely busy with a limited number of staff to support the children. The PMGY Foundation has partnered with a number of these centres to address this issue - with one of the solutions being to recruit people (like me!) to provide an extra pair of hands in helping to feed, entertain and generally take care of the children.
I intend to fund the majority of this experience myself as it does also include a number of leisure activities outside of the volunteering. However, it is the volunteering experience that I feel very strongly about and if I can raise any extra funds it would be amazing to be able to give back to the centres by providing resources (books, pens, toys etc.) that I notice they need while I'm out there! So, I'd be hugely grateful for any donations, every little helps :)