Hey everybody! Great work on the fundraiser, hard to believe we're past the halfway mark!
The American summer (our cold season) is a time of year when our trucks are really busy. Every May-September, we host about 70 international volunteers in three groups, recruited from select universities in the US and UK. We take the good-intentioned energy of our volunteers and hone and channel it where it can be useful. We train them in how to conduct HIV education campaigns in rural Tanzanian communities and then pair them with outstanding Tanzanians to co-teach and translate. Then we assign them to a specific village, where they live with local people and teach at local schools and community events for six weeks. They attract a lot of attention, which means people listen to HIV education and show up for testing by our professional counselors. The results of the campaigns are always impressive.
Our volunteers pay a fee, which covers all of their costs in country, including housing and food with local families, visa, transport, and the costs of their teaching. It also covers some of our routine running costs like salaries and vehicle maintenance. This sustainable source of income means that we can commit to our communities regardless of grant funding, and that our grant proposals request funds for line items that are most attractive to donors. It's a competitive advantage for us that we generate our own funds, and it makes the entire program stronger.
Volunteers and Tanzanian teaching partners teaching in the village (above) and schools (below).