An Opportunity to Learn and Give

My name is Deogratias Mamiro. I am a community development manager by profession. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Development.

Prior joining the movement with Africa Volunteer Corps, I worked with business oriented institutions. I was able to support myself, but I wanted to engage myself in initiatives that supported my community. This is why I applied to volunteer with AVC.

The 2013 volunteers during their first week of service!

With Africa Volunteer Corps, I have been able to work with Baraka Goodhope Orphans Development (BAGODE). I have enjoyed working with a group of people who have dedicated their time and work to help society. The NGO was founded in 2004 with the vision of helping children in Tanzania lead healthy and happy lives. The organization is committed to supporting orphans and other vulnerable children by facilitating community development projects and working with foster parents to provide good care. The mission and goal is to assure that all children are living in safe family environments and have access to basic care.

Volunteering with BAGODE, I have been involved in planning and executing community projects and representing our organization in external meetings, seminars, and workshops. I have also conducted fundraising activities to supplement financial support for ongoing programs and initiate new projects.

I developed grant proposals, which secured funding for projects and have allowed BAGODE to increase their outreach and benefit more people across Mwanza. For example, I developed an application for funds from Mwanza City Council, which was approved. We used this additional money to support adults and children with HIV by improving their accessibility to health and relief services. We coordinated with Home Based Care (HBC), which provides care and support to individuals living with HIV/AIDS directly to their homes.

BAGODE has also been able to establish a Village Community Bank known as VIKOBA. Currently, the capital has reached more than 2,500,000 TSH (approximately $1,500) and we have been able to provide members with loans. Clients use these loans to initiate new projects and get their businesses off the ground.

I am glad I joined the movement with AVC and I am encouraging others to join. Volunteering with AVC is an opportunity to learn and to support the vulnerable people in our society.