Volunteer Perspective: JBFC’s Impact

August 26, 2013 3:57 pm Published by

Guest blogger Hogan Gardner talks about the difference between life at JBFC and the rest of Tanzania.

Obviously (or perhaps not if you don’t have feelings) when I sat down to write this blog, I thought I was going to focus on a couple of the girls. And it’s not that I don’t want to – I could go on all day about any one of them and everyone knows the kids here are awesome. I’d just prefer to use this part your day to actually educate you about the JBFC Community and the impact it has had, because of the standard it holds itself to.
 For example, if somebody wanted to know what Tanzania was really like, I would tell them to steer clear of this place, because they are two different places. Take a short drive away from JBFC’s campus down to the main road that heads to the million plus city of Mwanza and it is a different world. Out there people are trying to survive, they get their money, they get their food, and on to the next day, every man for himself: a kid trying to sell little bags of peanuts to passing cars, a woman begging for money, a man throwing bags of rice into the back of a truck. Not a horrific scene, but you can sense as you look around that there is a “you get yours, I’ll get mine” mentality. They do not have time to think about tomorrow.

In here, at JBFC, no one has to worry about the necessities. Everyone is fed; everyone is paid. As a result people can afford to look forwards. There is an attitude of progression that is nonexistent in the rest of Tanzania. 
If you look around the campus during the day, it is always buzzing: kids reading in the library; workers employed from the neighboring village turning what used to be a random plot of land into a soccer field, so the soccer team has a place to practice; the construction team working to get the new dining hall and restaurant ready; the kitchen staff at PAPA’s laughing while they prepare the orders for tonight’s reservations.

Of course, that is not to say this campus doesn’t experience setbacks. There are, but the ability of the administration to keep everyone motivated creates an atmosphere that I have not felt outside of JBFC. A feeling that makes you think this is just the beginning of an organization that will eventually become a household name.
 It would be cool to say I went to a third world country for a couple of months this summer, but I didn’t. I came here.

Hogan Gardner is a rising sophomore at NYU. He is a JBFC Ambassador, who has visited JBFC four times since 2010. He spent this summer working as an intern for JBFC.

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This post was written by Mainsprings