Students from School District 83 took a trip to Tanzania over spring break as part of their international volunteering efforts, helping with work in a small village and learning about the culture.

Shuswap students get hands dirty building school in Tanzania

Experience gives insight into what Canadians often take for granted

In the village of Odonyo-Sambu in Tanzania, home to just over 3,000 people of the Maasai culture, sits a school which was built with a little help from the Shuswap.

The School District #83 Me to We committee contributed funds in the past to build the school and, over spring break, members of the committee joined other students from B.C. on a trip to the village to help add a new classroom to the school.

READ MORE: Shuswap student committee speaks to the benefits of volunteerism

Not only was the trip a great chance to give back to a community that needs a hand, some of the students who participated came home with a renewed sense of what they take for granted.

“When I came home, everything seemed so different. The one little girl I saw, the last time I saw her she was carrying water on her head while waving at me and saying she would miss me,” says Hannah Cosman. “That made me reflect that my biggest problem before I left was if I wanted cubed or crushed ice in my water that I poured from the fridge, while this was her third time walking to get water that day. That kind of made me very upset.”

READ MORE: Former Shuswap teacher remembered for staying true to beliefs

“It was a really good trip, and a really good experience. There were some things that really surprised me,” says Rowan Trow. “Like when we walked to get water, we would have to keep switching back and forth while the villagers each carried one three kilometres every single day without complaining.”

Doing some hands-on volunteering in the village also allowed these students to see first hand the impact they could have on the lives of others if they are willing to put in the effort.

“It kind of gives people an insight into how others live. If you don’t see it, sometimes you can’t understand how to make a difference,” says Keeya Corbett. “Being there was really insightful, because even though you don’t always think you can help, we saw how how easy it is to actually help someone who has nothing.”

READ MORE: Talent show benefits African orphanage

For student Jordan Fischer, the most memorable aspect of the Maasai culture was not what they lacked, but their appreciation of what they had.

“They were very happy with what they had, even though they didn’t have much, which is different than how it is here,” he says.

Aside from helping to add on to the school, which involved laying a foundation and raising walls, some of the students also helped to repair homes in the village. In the Maasai culture, homes are constructed out of a mixture of soil, water and cow dung that dries into a type of clay. Any repairs are done by smearing a new layer of the mixture across the surface, and the students said it was interesting seeing how homes are built so differently than they were used to.

READ MORE: Shuswap student committee recognized for community involvement


 

@Jodi_Brak117
jodi.brak@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Students from the Shuswap carry jugs of water along a trail back to the village, learning how it feels to carry such an essential resource on their backs every day. (Wendy Woodhurst photo)

Shuswap students visit a school in Tanzania during their trip, where they helped build the foundation and walls of a new classroom. (Wendy Woodhurst photo)

Just Posted

Stanley Cup returning to Salmon Arm after 15 years

Resident excited for twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see iconic trophy

Money available to curtail nutrient pollution of Shuswap watershed

Excessive phosphorous could make algae blooms and other unpleasant conditions more common

Eight times a charm: Larch Hills skiers win team trophy at Teck BC event

Shuswap contingent wins Midget Championships honour eighth year in a row

Salmon Arm boy is only Para-Nordic athlete at BC Winter games

Thirteen-year-old Kaden Baum competed in three races on his sit-ski at the games.

Home loss ends season for Sicamous Eagles

A defeat at the hands of the 100 Mile House Wranglers on Feb. 22 was the Eagles’ last outing.

Okanagan rescue team comes back home from Australian mission

Brad Pattison’s team spent 33 days rescuing wildlife

Kelowna mayor to request RCMP’s ‘unfounded’ sexual assault report

RCMP said the report was completed over a month ago but have yet to release it or make a statement

Criminality not suspected in Ellison trailer fire death

The body was discovered after crews responded to reports of a house fire

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Kelowna youth accused of killing 16-year-old released

The young woman was arrested on Feb. 21 and is facing one charge of manslaughter

Interior Health appoints administrator at Summerland Seniors Village

Numerous concerns raised about private seniors care facility

Man arrested following suspicious trailer fire in Kelowna

Reports came in about the fire at approximately 11:45 a.m. on Monday morning

Body discovered following vehicle fire on Kelowna property

Firefighters discovered a body in a home on Anderson Road

‘Please be quiet,’ Kelowna Mayor tells sexual assault survivor protesting in council chambers

Forty per cent of sexual assaults reported to Kelowna RCMP in 2019 were deemed ‘unfounded’

Most Read