Understanding Sustainable Development

On this spring break trip, students will partner with Mainsprings: The Janada Batchelor Foundation for Children, to learn about sustainable development. Located in Kitongo, Tanzania, on the south shores of Lake Victoria, Mainsprings, with a stated mission to end extreme rural poverty in Tanzania, focuses on education and refuge for young girls, as well as sustainable agriculture. Education is available for not only the 40 girls living at the campus, but it is also offered to regional students.

During this trip, students will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of non-profit organizations, through immersion in the daily operations of Mainsprings (e.g., working in the dining hall, on the farm, and with reading buddies), attending seminars, and partnering with Tanzanian students on projects. Students will also learn from farmer educators about ecological agriculture, on the multi-faceted on-site farm, with rows of perennial trees (e.g., banana, papaya, avocado) interspersed with short rows of annual plants (e.g., kale, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, onions, sweet potatoes, corn). Finally, students will experience the Serengeti National park, learning about conservation, social justice, and regional approaches to land protection. Through these experiences, students will return to Deerfield with an increased understanding of environmental sustainability and educational approaches to effect lasting change.

Program Notes:

  • Students and faculty trip leaders will be housed in a rustic dormitory called the Guesthouse, with separate bunk rooms for faculty and for girls and boys. The majority of meals, consisting primarily of locally-grown vegetables, beans, and rice will be shared with the girls who live at Mainsprings. Other meals will be eaten at the open-air restaurant, Papa’s, located on the south shore of Lake Victoria. Breakfast will be served continental style. On Safari, students will stay in a safari lodge or furnished tent.
  • This is an “unplugged” trip where students will not have access to cell phones or internet for the duration of their time in Tanzania. Faculty leaders do have cell phones and access to WiFi.
  • Students and faculty leaders will update families and friends at home through our Notes Fom The Field blog.
  • Families are responsible for transportation from U.S. based airport to the student’s destination for the remainder of March break.
  • This trip conflicts with the March 9 SAT test date.

Program Dates

March 4/5 – March 14/15, 2024

Program eligibility

This program is open to all students with a preference towards those with a demonstrated interest in service and sustainable development. All interested students are encouraged to apply by November 5. Financial aid is available to all qualifying students

Faculty Trip Leaders

  • Toby Emerson; Kate Parker; Conrad Pitcher

approximate trip cost: $5,500 (*includes estimated round trip airfare from NY based airport)

Deerfield Academy’s Center for Service and Global Citizenship strives to make all of our travel programs affordable and accessible for all students while ensuring a high quality global education experience. While the costs of travel around the world have been rising steadily over the past several years, all of our trips are subsidized, and thanks to the generosity of many we are able to provide robust financial aid for qualifying students.

Helpful links

2024 Preliminary Itinerary

*This itinerary is subject to change

Day 1 – 2:

  • Stay overnight at a hotel near a NY based airport  
  • Flight from NY based Airport to Mwanza

Day 3 – 6: Mainsprings program orientation, exploration of the local area, and service projects

Day 6 – 7: Safari in The Serengeti National Park 

Day 8 – 10: Travel back to Mainsprings & continue with service projects

Day 11 – 12: Travel back to U.S. based airport

**Families are responsible for transportation from U.S. based airport to the student’s destination for the remainder of March break.

Notes From The Field

Tanzania 2019

Tanzania #12: Saying Goodbye

Ellia Chiang ’21, Hanna Deringer ’20, Christina Halloran ’20, and Mason Zhao ’20 reflect on the meaning on making new friends and the difficulties of saying goodbye.

Tanzania 2018

Tanzania #13: Farewell Kitongo

Mae Emerson ’19, Erin DeMarco ’19, and Olivia Geraci ’19 describe the difficulties of saying goodbye to the people and place they have come to love.