Did you know that Tanzania currently ranks 6th in the world for the number of people living with HIV/AIDS? That’s 1.4 million men, women and children. Support For International Change (SIC) is dedicated to limiting the impact of HIV/AIDS in underserved communities and training future leaders in global health and development.
Our volunteer programs offer university students and recent alumni a chance to make an impact in Tanzania by educating local communities through structured HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns.
In 2009, a group of SIC volunteers spearheaded a project to raise money for UPENDO, a local support group for people living with HIV/AIDS. The goal was to provide enough funds for the members of UPENDO to build a chicken coop, which would become a valuable income-generating project for them to maintain in the future.
Here is a letter (translated from Swahili to English) from Peter Qwaray, the Chairman of UPENDO:
Dear Becca (and all VP4 volunteers of 2009),
I would like to thank you for your short letter of words which touched the hearts of everyone in UPENDO group.
Really, we thank you so much for your contribution which has made us so happy. You have showed us that you are willing to give us a helping hand in our struggle to help ourselves through our income-generating project, and we believe that you will continue with the same good hearts into the future.
We know that you also have hard lives like us, but because you have been with us, you also realise that our conditions are particularly difficult, and you will therefore continue to forgo some things so you can continue to contribute to improving our lives.
I would like to thank you so much again on behalf of all my fellow group members and we pray that you have lives of happiness. Â Keep going with the same caring hearts, it is a quality to be worshipped and you will be blessed by God.
We believe that you will connect us with many friends in your country, and we are so happy to be with you â€“ in fact you are more than our friends, you are our relatives now!
Please give heartfelt thanks to everyone there who remembers us. God bless you all again and again.
Peter Qwaray – Chairman UPENDOť HIV+ Support Group
SIC currently has space available for our summer program starting July 20 – September 14 and the fall program starting September 22 – December 15. If anyone is interested in volunteering in Tanzania, here are some links that will provide additional information about SIC’s volunteer programs.
Personal photo submitted by Monica W.
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