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Tanzania Trip | DBS Student Experience

Students Tanzania Trip 2019
Summer 2019 marked the trip of a lifetime for some of our DBS students, SU team, and faculty as they made the incredible journey to Tanzania, spending two weeks living, working, and immersing themselves in Tanzanian culture.

The trip was organised by DBS faculty members Adam Crowther and Maria Hunt, together with Dr. David Nyaluke; a lecturer with UCD. David set up an NGO called TIVERDS (Tanzania International Volunteering Education Research and Development Support), which serves to promote international solidarity and education exchange between Tanzania and other countries globally.

DBS in association with TIVERDS, facilitated this volunteer and cultural exchange expedition which led 30 students and staff on a 12,000km trip to the heart of east Africa.

Upon landing in Dar es Salaam, our crew undertook a 26-hour bus journey to Njombe whereupon they were greeted by villagers, welcoming them with open arms.

Njombe is characterised by its greenery – tea plantations and avocado farms adorn the landscape breathing life and beauty to the area. Our team were stunned by its lush growth and temperate climate.

There was an air of celebration as both sides embraced their new extended community.

The exchange team worked with AMANI College of Management and Technology – a local Lutheran College. Similar to how Ireland operated in the past – the church is very much a central part of the education system. Bishop Mengele greeted the team on arrival and instructed the villagers and local police to treat them kindly; and the Njombe convent played host to our team for the duration of their trip.
Gary the Goat. Tanzania Trip May 2019 

A three hour mass was held, followed by colourful displays of song and dance; but before the mass began everyone was ushered outside for an auction; to raise funds for the church.

Watermelons were first to be auctioned and our generous representatives forked up €90 for a single fruit. Chickens were next, however the team were warned not to bring any chickens back on the bus hence they avoided bidding on that. Next up, a goat; our squad decided that – yes - that would be a great idea and they bid the highest price to get the goat, whom they named Gary. Gary went on tour for the entire Tanzanian trip, even on the bus – well, it wasn’t a chicken! In the end Gary the Goat was donated to a school for the deaf.

The presence of team DBS caused quite a commotion - local TV and radio stations descended upon the group, inviting them to partake in various broadcast features. Members of our SU team appeared on Tanzanian TV to highlight the issue of access to sanitary products for women. Our DBS girls brought gift boxes and promoted a healthier attitude to women’s essential needs.

Team DBS spent their mornings teaching at AMANI College, delivering class lectures in their respective fields of expertise. A real mix of subjects was delivered to the local Tanzanian students, including; marketing, psychology, social science, accountancy and journalism.

A daily break for dinner was followed by further voluntary work in the evenings. Students undertook various roles including working in the local orphanage, teaching in a school for the deaf, and coaching basketball and youth football. A friendly match was played against a military school where DBS – armed with three sports scholars on their side – took the win. 

Taking inspiration from their own studies at DBS, our student teachers advised pupils on goal setting and drafting vision boards. In Njombe the predominant areas of employment lie in the agri sector.  Team DBS encouraged their young scholars to think outside the box and see beyond their village lines. By the time their stay had come to an end, a large percentage of the class enthusiastically proclaimed that they want to pursue their studies and visit Europe, with particular interest in Ireland.

In a bizarre but fortunate turn of events Bishop Mengele contacted Government officials in Dar es Salaam to inform them of the work and positive impact achieved by team DBS. The Tanzanian Government, in response, invited our crew to become ambassadors for the Njombe region. They travelled to the capital Dar es Salaam and met with the governing party’s head of communications, where they were presented with official state certificates recognising their ambassadorship. An incredible feat!
Tanzania Trip 2019 DBS crew with certs

One of the many highlights of the trip was a Safari excursion to Ruaha National Park. Ruaha is the biggest national park in Tanzania, even bigger than its more famous sister; the Serengeti. It remains relatively untouched by tourism and is described as the ‘gem of Tanzania’. Whilst there our team got up close and personal with elephants, zebras, giraffes, and lions, among other wildlife.

Reflecting on their time in Tanzania, our students were beaming with positivity and although each student took something different from the trip, they all agree – it was an experience that would stay with them forever!

Tanzania Trip May 2019 Students and DBS instructor

Ruaha National Park. Tanzania Trip May 2019

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