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Posted on: 14/12/2016

St Charles Student Visits Tanzania

This summer, St Charles student Lylas Mohamed visited Tanzania and she has written a little report about her time there: 

Lylas Mohamed

I was in Mafia Island, Tanzania, East Africa for just over one month during August 2016. I did many different things during my stay. I taught a TEFL course, which consisted of teaching children up to the age of 11 in primary and secondary school and also local village women who were trying to learn English. I also did some community work, including helping to start a youth club in the local church play centre and managed games and activities for the children in the village of Utende. I supported the work of a Safari company called Yange Yange Safari, which allows locals to learn English, interact with tourists and gain skills for employment, as there are very few jobs in Tanzania. Part of this was helping villagers train to become guides, teaching them descriptive words and how to answer questions and learning marine-related words. Mafia Island is part of a national parks scheme and, as a result of which, there have been weekly beach cleans and marine support systems in place to keep the island eco-friendly, as well as tourist friendly.

Finally, I was also involved in teaching first aid to many of the villages, which is another skill that will allow them to gain jobs within the tourist industry. I supported and encouraged members of the village to seek employment as boat men and tourist guides, as having first aid knowledge has provided them with the comfort of helping fellow tourists and villagers in case of emergencies. This was very important because there is minimal medical care within the village and the nearest hospital is a great distance away and is often too expensive for the villagers. Many local people will never visit the hospital in their lifetime. A moment which really stayed in my memory was purchasing a soft drink and the children and village women seeing it as an exotic luxury, although it only costs 1000 Tanzanians shillings - which is equivalent to about 30 pence. Many people only make around £30 a month and this is seen as a very good wage.