The Meru are Bantu tribe located on the foothills of Mount Meru, the second mountain in Tanzania and the fiftieth highest in all of Africa. The Meru tribe are predominantly farmers both cultivating crops and keeping livestock, in sharp contrast to the methods of their neighbours, the Maasai. The Meru area is flanked by hills that support abundant banana and coffee plantations and many trees. The Meru are a very approachable and welcoming people. Typically, as you walk around the region you can expect to meet women carrying bananas on their heads while on their way to market, but who are eager to exchange a greeting with a visitor to their lands. The Trust’s base is located in Tengeru Village about 12 km east of Arusha and 30 minutes west of Kilimanjaro airport.
Amongst the Meru Community our volunteers are often involved with:
Tree planting projects and Environmental Education. Thanks to copious availability of water throughout the year we are running our own nursery at Tengeru. All the trees are raised from seedlings and once cultivated are transplanted to the area where they will best be used. Project volunteers will be working with us in sowing seeds, filling the polythene tubes, transplanting the trees; and in running different training courses about tree planting in schools, women’s and men’s groups. All our trees are distributed for free as we have a strong conviction that we should be doing everything within our means to make our environment a better place. The planting of greenery stands for the sustenance and enrichment life.
Working with orphan centres. The orphaning of children in Tanzania is an acutely sad and prolific problem nowadays as many parents are losing their lives to different diseases, notably malaria, HIV / AIDS, typhoid, etc because of the myriad difficulties that engulf a person’s life in a third world country. Most of the relatives of these orphans fail utterly to provide them with life’s daily needs. It is then that these helpless children lose hope, finding themselves in orphan centres, or turning to the street. In these circumstances many children feel neglected and isolated and believe that their future has in a sense been stolen from them. But Green Foundation believe that you and we can together play a valuable role in making them feel part of a family again. Working together we can help to provide care and education to our beloved orphans. There are options to care for 1 month - 3 year old orphans, or to teach orphans from 4 years to 15 years of age. We warmly welcome you to this memorable and incomparable task!
Assisting with teaching English language in schools. Many rural schools lack English teachers altogether and the demand for native-English speaking teachers is extremely high. To fill this gap your voluntary contribution in teaching English in nursery and primary schools would be most valued and appreciated especially by the vast majority of parents who realise that the acquisition of English language skills is amongst the most valuable tools their child will obtain towards their future success in their working lives. Teaching English is very challenging however our knowledgeable staff will provide you with suitable orientation and teaching materials.
HIV & AIDS programme. Tanzania is one of the worst affected countries in Southern Africa to experience the HIV / AIDS problem. In and around Arusha you could play a very great part in helping to fight the AIDS epidemic. Many people are suffering from HIV / AIDS and a growing number of young people are believed to be carrying the virus unknowingly. Help is desperately needed in educating and counseling those caught up in the wake of the disease. You will be asked to help with any activity that may be required by the project. The main activities will revolve around counseling, education, home visitation, and report writing. You may also be asked to help with fundraising and awareness campaigns.
Working with women’s groups. Until now many women have been striving alone in the fight against poverty, with little or no support or guidance. In growing numbers however they are now organising themselves into different groups to help to improve the living standards of their families. Groups have been formed for business start up guidance, milk processing, pottery project, vegetable growing and several other enterprises. These women face many challenges: how to market their products, understanding micro-finance and loan application procedures, etc, etc. We welcome volunteers to work with these women’s groups in helping them to reach their goals.
Teaching handicapped children. Walking distance from our base in Tengeru is a special primary school for handicapped children. Many disabled children from far and wide are brought to this centre. The handicapped children need provision of special care and education to equip them to master environment in naturally very trying circumstances. Volunteers are invited to cooperate with the local teacher to provide care and tuition to our beloved brothers and sisters who struggle with these hardships.