Tanzania: 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.

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 4. Financial aid is available for all trips with priority for students who have not previously received aid for a Deerfield trip.

Proposed Itinerary*:

March 7-9: Travel to Tanzania (March 7—overnight at JFK airport)

March 10-19: Orientation to Mainsprings, exploration of local area, service projects, farm work, partnership with students, and village night (dinner with local families)

  • For 2 nights and 1 day during this time, students and program leaders will go on a safari in Serengeti National Park

March 19-20: Travel back to Deerfield

*Itinerary is subject to change.

**Families are responsible for transportation from U.S.-based airport to the student’s final destination at the end of the trip.

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 from Abroad blog.
  • Check out last year’s posts for a better understanding of the travel experience and visit https://deerfield.edu/Tanzania

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