Strousburg student volunteers at orphanage in Tanzania
“I wanted to see what other parts of the world were like,” says Emily Hassinger (20) about her decision to volunteer abroad in Tanzania. “I spent much of my life volunteering in small ways so I was ready for something different.”
Emily is currently working on her bachelor`s degree in hospitality management with a minor in dance at East Strousburg University. She arrived in Arusha, Tanzania in mid-August to begin a three month Care placement at an orphanage coordinated by Projects Abroad, a global volunteering organization with various projects all over the world.“With approximately 60 children directly under the orphanage`s care, there are always jobs that volunteers can help with ranging from childcare, small teaching projects and building projects and just general upkeep of the orphanage. There is always something to do.”
Monday through Friday from 8am to
1pm, Emily taught math and English and
helped with tasks such as sorting and taking inventory, escorting the children to doctor and dental appointments, helping with homework and preparing them for bed. She lived in a volunteer house across the street from the orphanage with other volunteers.
Emily was able to incorporate her dance minor into the project by leading dance classes once a week, a feat that proved to be a challenge (due to language barriers) but rewarding in the end.
“From my classes alone, the two girls I taught improved tremendously over three months. As for the other kids, I just always had the opportunity to help them when they needed it and even though small, I feel like I made a difference.”
Emily plans to fundraise money at home on behalf of the orphanage and hopefully return to Tanzania in the spring of 2015 to see the children again.
“I learned the importance of my presence to the kids. I also learned a lot about being the `parent` the kids needed along with being a `friend’. The hard part was being able to find the balance. What I’m studying doesn’t have anything to do with my work in Tanzania, but I can see it helping when I decide to have a family of my own.”