Anyone in the community or far away can get involved in supporting girls in Pwani Region to achieve their potential and bring change to their community.
We are looking for volunteers who are passionate about women’s rights, empowering young girls and helping them reach their potential, who can teach English, Maths, computer skills or drama, as well as volunteers with experience in fundraising and working with other NGOs.
To volunteer with us, you can email us at email@example.com with your CV and cover letter. We are looking for volunteers who can help deliver English, Maths and hygiene workshops. Prior knowledge of Tanzania, Pwani Region, Bagamoyo District, our culture and Swahili are highly desirable, but not essential. A background check from your country of residence is essential.
You will be contributing directly to bettering our community and supporting our wonderful girls, as well as discovering our culture, way of life, our history and surroundings on the beautiful Bagamoyo coast.
Phillipa Hofmann – current volunteer with FSO – June 2019
We interviewed Phillipa Hofmann who is currently volunteering with FSO. Phillipa has been with FSO since August 2018 on a twelve-month programme.
Phillipa comes from Ludwigsburg in Germany. She is volunteering in her GAP year and intends on going to university to study law when she returns to Germany.
She is keeping a blog whilst in Bagamoyo and you can read about it here: philippa-in-tansania.auslandsblog.de
(only in German)
Q: Why did you decide to volunteer in your gap year?
I have a strong interest in other cultures and languages. I think volunteering is a great opportunity to broaden my horizon before stepping into the world of work/study and improving my intercultural competencies by going abroad.
I hoped to learn from the people in Tanzania and their life and hopefully contribute a little bit to the international dialogue. I value the opportunity to meet new people from other cultures and build new friendships while working together. Further I wanted to grow personally from this unique experience and gain an expanded and informed world view.
Q: Tell us about the International Bund (IB) and the process to decide which organisation you wanted to work for.
I am participating in a German governmental program called “Weltwärts” (The Development Volunteers Service). The development volunteer service focuses on joint intercultural learning. I found out about IB over the internet page of Weltwärts where all places of assignment are listed. IB offers many places in different partner organizations worldwide therefore, they have a big variety to choose from. I went to one of their seminars and gathered further information about the organizations and their workplaces. The people from IB were very friendly and I enjoyed the content of the seminar a lot. That’s where I found information about FSO and subsequently decided to volunteer with them.
Q: How did you raise funds for your volunteer trip?
75% of the costs of a volunteer service are covered by the governmental program. The remaining 25% is contributed by the volunteer. Weltwärts and IB encouraged us to raise funds to cover our part. This is also a great way to raise awareness for the program and its goals in the public. I presented the program in my workplace and in a service at my church. Many people where quite interested in it and contributed something for my service. I also wrote lots of letters to organizations and foundations and explained my plan.
Q: Why did you choose Forward Step Organisation?
FSO sparked my interest at the IB seminar. IB prepared files about each of their partner organizations with descriptions of the work and the goals of those partners. I was curious about FSO and looked them up on the internet. I was thrilled by their programs and goals because I am very interested in women rights and empowerment and loved the idea to dedicate my gap year to such important topics. I always enjoyed working together with children and adolescents and getting creative. I decided that FSO is the perfect place to volunteer.
Q: What work are you doing for FSO?
On some afternoons we work with the girls. Usually we practice English with them or help them to make bracelets and jewellery which are sold in local lodges and restaurants. All the money earned from the jewellery is used to support the girls’ education. We also work in the Amani Child Care Centre which we visit two times a week. The Kindergarten is like a preschool, the children are between three and six years old and learn writing, the basics of calculating and some English. I also work on other projects which come up from time to time in the organization.
Q: What is a typical day for you in Bagamoyo?
Because we are not working 9 to 5 and our schedule is different everyday there is no typical day. We visit the Kindergarten in the morning and the girls come to the FSO Learning Center in the afternoon at the end of their school day. I can decide by myself what time I work on other projects. Of course, other chores like washing clothes, cooking or grocery shopping I do in my free-time.
Q: What do you hope the outcome of your work to be?
I learned a lot in the last ten months about the life and the culture in Tanzania and I definitely gained a wider perspective on topics, challenges and changes in our fast globalizing world. I value this opportunity a lot and hope that this wasn’t only a one-sided experience for me. But also that the girls and the people I interact with on a daily basis remember me in a good way.
Q: You leave in August. What will you miss the most about Forward Step and Bagamoyo?
That’s a difficult question because there will be so much I’m going to miss. I find that the people are way more friendly and helpful in Tanzania than in Germany and life doesn’t seem to be so hectic and stressed. I also met a lot of nice people I’m going to miss back home. Further the work atmosphere at FSO is great. It’s very amicable and harmonious and I enjoy that a lot. I always feel very welcome.
All in all, volunteering at FSO was the best decision I could make and there are many reasons for me to come back and visit in my holidays.
To donate towards our projects and keeping our learning center, you can donate via this link or make a bank transfer using the details below:
Name of Bank: CRDB Bank PLC, Bagamoyo Branch
Bank Address: P.O.Box 160, Bagamoyo, Tanzania
BIC/Swift Code (all countries): CORUTZTZ
Account Name: Forward Step Organization
Account Number: 0152282170900
Your donations will allow us to keep our learning center open and helping us to continue supporting our girls and community.