Maddy Cohen’s Service in Tanzanian Village Maji Ya Chai

For two weeks over the summer, I worked to assist a community in a rural village in Tanzania on community initiated projects. Specifically, I helped to refurbish classrooms at a school and helped to connect a school that previously not possessed access to running water, with a local water supply system. We spent a week digging through fields and creating a trench to put a water pipe in place, to connect the school to a local water line. Connecting this school where about 400 students attend each day to the local water supply had been a project that this specific village had been working on for the past five years. However, the villagers could only work on this project in their free time. The exciting thing about our project was that our group of National Geographic student volunteers determination to connect this water line to the school, ignited the determination of many community members as well. Each day, farmers would leave their work to join us. By the end of our two weeks, several of the older school children, and even the school principle came to help us finish the job.

What really felt rewarding to me about this project was that we helped a community come together to improve their own school.

One thought on “Maddy Cohen’s Service in Tanzanian Village Maji Ya Chai

  1. Maddie, what a wonderful experience! It is so interesting to hear about how the presence of volunteers inspired even more local people to get involved. There is so much more dignity in people doing something for themselves than in letting other fly in and do the entire thing themselves. I can only imagine that you and the other volunteers must have made it very clear that you were welcoming and appreciating the fact that this is, in the end, their village and their school. If you have any photos I would love to see them next time you’re in the library. Brava!

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