Hello, my name is Theresa Erickson, I am in my fifth and final year of post secondary school at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, and will be receiving my diploma in November (2014) with a major in Geography and minor in Anthropology.
For the past four and a half years I have been sitting in lecture theaters listening to copious amounts of presentations, and reading scholarly articles consecutively. And now that my education is coming to a close, I am presented with an opportunity to travel to Tanzania, in May and June of this upcoming summer (2014), to live, work and study in Nguruma, an African village, to acquire my final 6 credits needed in order to graduate.
Our group consisting of both UBC and UBCO students will be working alongside the local Meru peoples to develop and implement a variety of sustainable VolunTourism programs. Such programs include bio-intensive agriculture and environment, education and English-language literacy, and sustainable community development.
The main thing I hope to take away from this trip is to gain hands-on practical experience in community-based research, along with volunteering in a community that we will hopefully help create a long-lasting change toward sustainability on a community scale.
Following the 6 week education portion of the trip (May 12th-June 21st), I am interested in partaking in an optional wildlife and culture safari of the Serengeti, other world-famous national parks, and more villages in the Lake Eyasi region.
You can be taught these sorts of principles in a classroom setting, however I know that I will most benefit by participating in this incredible opportunity that allows me to be involved in the real world, learning how to properly conduct community-based research.
I am still unsure what I want to do after I graduate, whether it is related to geography or anthropology, or many both. But I need real life opportunities to see what each discipline has to offer, and what a better way to see what anthropology has to offer than immersing myself in Tanzanian culture for half of my summer.
However, with all the benefits, comes the hindrance of cost. I think I can speak for the fast majority of people that believe that funding should not be the reason to hold someone back from learning, especially when it involves hand-on opportunities to be working along with a local non-profit organization – The Vijiji Foundation.
The program itself costs $3,500, and in addition I’ll be paying for tuition ($1,000), my flight (~$2,200), an entry visa and, of coarse, vaccinations (to keep myself healthy while I am there) all out of my own pocket.
I have some funds saved, however, I am in need of some help. I have set up an account on GoGetFunding (weblink below), looking for donations to help send me to Africa. So please, all I am asking is for people to skip one Starbucks or Tim Hortons this week, and help me achieve my goal of $3,500. Donations of ANY amount are greatly appreciated.
Kuwa na siku njema! (Have a nice day! in Swahili)
Donations can be made at the following link: