I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent at Peace Matunda and all of the new experiences which it provided. Even though I was a volunteer for only two weeks, I was made to feel so welcome and quickly felt at ease. I am a teacher in England so I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in the classroom assisting with lessons. The positive approach to learning was clear to see and it was a privilege to work with the students and the teachers. Evenings and weekends were spent playing with the children who live at Amani house. There was so much laughter and smiling, it was always such a happy place to be. During my short stay I was also able to visit some of the surrounding area which provides beautiful views and the chance for relaxation. I would like to thank the project organisers, teachers, volunteers and of course the children for making my stay so memorable and I hope to return again to see everyone in the future.
Allison Bird- August 2014
“I came to Africa alone, I’m 18 and just graduated from high school. While I was at the orphanage I was very homesick and lonely but the staff and other volunteers comforted me and did anything they could to help me. The kids at the orphanage and the school are wonderful, I have never met kids with so much grace and love in their hearts. If you go to Peace Matunda to teach in the school then Peace Matunda will be a perfect fit for you, but if you go and your in search of more volunteer opportunities at Peace Matunda you’re definitely in charge of how much impact you make and how busy you are. Although I student taught in a 2nd grade class in America I was not nearly as prepared as I thought I was for teaching at the school. I learned so much about myself while I was in Africa, not only did I get insight about my future but I learned about being homesick, being selfless and being flexible. You won’t meet better people than the people at Peace Matunda, I made many great connections and friendships. Mica Martin America”
Mica Martin- July 2014
OUR PEACE MATUNDA EXPERIENCE IN APRIL 2014
The experience we have had here in Peace Matunda is like none other.
Coming from different places around the world, we all had different
backgrounds. For some of us, coming here for the first time was a
shock in terms of lifestyle and culture, while some of us were
returning for a second or third time. Back in Bangkok, we heavily
relied on technology and seemed to be connected on social networks
quite often. However, spending two weeks here with little use of
electronics has really changed our way of thinking in regards to life.
Here, students of Peace Matunda are happy and joyful. They were
curious and were all eager to learn. The presence of the kids has
really made this trip astounding. They were by the guest house,
working on homework and we realized how hardworking the students
really are, despite different backgrounds. In one case, 2 students
stayed 20 minutes after class just to learn more about factors and
familiarize themselves with finding factors with numbers. Each student
here is unique in their own way.
They all had innocent looks on their faces which cannot be described
merely by using words. Also, the donations that we have prepared for
villages and students from Peace Matunda have shown us how simple
people live around the world. Walking a total of 20km over 2 days to
give out the donations was an eye opening experience that has shown us
the simplicity of lifestyle around Peace Matunda. It showed us how
lucky we are as students to be where we are today, which is something
that most people take for granted.
Volunteer work in Peace Matunda has changed all of us as individuals.
The valuable experience here is something that we will treasure
forever. It has allowed us as young adults to grow and mature, as we
are exposed to a different side of life that some of us didn’t know
about. Even though we came here to assist and teach some classes in
Peace Matunda School, I am sure that we have learnt new things as much
as the kids as well. I would encourage anyone who wants an experience
of a lifetime to come to Peace Matunda and work with the wonderful
kids here. Even if it is just for a week or a few days, there will
undoubtedly be smiles on all of the kids´ faces.
Peace Matunda is a one of a kind experience that broadens our view on
life, which, simply, is something money can´t buy.
NIST STUDENTS- April 2014
I had an incredible and rewarding experience at Peace Matunda School and Orphanage. The greatest gift you can give is yourself, and there is no better feeling in the world. I decided to go on this journey because I was personally going through some changes in my life. My mind, body and soul is now refreshed and renewed. I have become a better and stronger person because of this opportunity. I am so thankful for everyone I met along the way during my stay in Tanzania. As much as I hope to have made a positive difference in all their lives, the way my own life has changed by everyone I encountered is truly priceless. I miss the kids so very much from the bottom of my heart. I also miss the beautiful Tanzanian culture and way of life. I felt genuine joy the entire time I was there. Leaving was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I can’t wait to go back and experience more in the future. Next time, I look forward to staying longer. “Asante sana” to the amazing staff at Peace Matunda for making me feel so welcome. You have changed my life in the greatest way possible, and I am forever grateful for each and everyone one of you.
Jen Burson-February 2014
As my third trip to Peacematunda draws to an end here is what i know:
The School has grown from 1 classroom on my first visit,4 classrooms on my second visit and is now up to 9!
Amani House is amazing and beautifully decorated. The kids keep growing, i cant believe some will be heading off to boarding secondary school next year!The people here always welcome me despite the fact i have failed miserably to learn kiswahili.
The road to Peace Amtunda has changed – the ruts are deeper! It’s still well worth the drive. They tell me by my next visit the road may be fixed………
If you ever get the chance, do stop by and say hello to the kids- they’ll even sing a song for you.
Heather Campbell- January 2014
My time spent at Peace Matunda this summer was truly exceptional, I had the best and the most eye opening experience. It was a trip I had been desperate to do for a long time and it definitely lived up to its expectations. I worked in the Primary school everyday teaching Standard 1 and 2 English. This was tiring at times but I loved every minute of it. The children in Amani House were all lovely and teaching them how to bake cakes, which was difficult with the ingredients was a lot of fun. I loved all the kids and there was no surprise when it all got emotional saying goodbye. I hope to come back some time soon to visit and hopefully stay longer.
Volunteering at Peace Matunda has been an incredible experience! I did not expect it to have such a profound impact on me. I helped out in school- teaching both sport and English and helping with admin- which was fun and vastly rewarding. It was refreshing and humbling to have a class so eager to learn. The kids taught me the importance of love and enjoying life and the opportunities you encounter. They never fail to put a smile on your face.
It was fun to play with the kids after school- from football to hide and seek – to talking to the staff and members of the community, visiting the local pottery production workshop, going to the local Tengeru market and Arusha as well as Mt Meru itself, there is so much of the beautiful Tanzanian culture to experience. I also did a safari with Peace Matunda which I highly recommend!
Tanzania in general and Peace Matunda have given me some of the best memories of my life. I could not have felt more welcome. The chilled out `no worries` attitude is something I will miss dearly. Asante sana to all who have made it such a memorable experience and it is a place which will always remain with me. My time at Peace Matunda has shown me an openness to love that I have not experienced elsewhere – family is not simply differentiated by blood. It feels like a second home and I am certain that this is the first of many trips in my life to Peace Matunda. For anyone considering a trip to Peace Matunda – I would whole heartedly recommend it!
Roisin Burrows-O’Donoghue, 2013
NIST Students Volunteer- 2013
Year 12 – Being able to stay and volunteer in Peace Matunda for 10 days has been an amazing experience. There was so much to learn about the children.
Year 12- Volunteering at Peace Matunda is unequivocally the best decision I have made. The purpose of my trip was to volunteer and teach students at Peace Matunda, however I ended up learning more about what family means, about African culture and most importantly about myself we could teach them. It was an unforgettable experience being able to be in charge in classrooms and share our knowledge with the children. Immersing ourselves in a completely different culture and being able to exchange cultures has been amazing. Kaaya and his staff here at Peace Matunda have made me feel extremely comfortable by welcoming me into their lives and family. The kids at the Amani house have never failed to put a smile on my face. There is so much to do here in the foothills of mount Meru as Peace Matunda gives the opportunity to not only spend priceless time with the kids but to explore Tanzania’s wildlife through their safari adventures. I would extremely recommend others to have this once in a life time experience here at Peace Matunda where you can truly learn about the significance of service, happiness and African culture. I could have not asked for a better experience in Tanzania, Africa.
Year 11 – The experience of coming and staying at the Peace Matunda School and orphanage for 10 days was unlike any other we had ever had. The hospitality and generosity we were given from Kaaya and the rest of the crew was amazing, and there wasn’t a minute we didn’t feel at home. None of us expected to create such strong bonds with the children here, and we appreciated the opportunity we were given to teach them. The whole year, NIST has been fundraising for Peace Matunda exclusively; so to come and see exactly where the money was going to, was a phenomenal thing to do.
Year 9 – Volunteering in peace Matunda was definitely an amazing experience for us. We have been accepted so well into a new culture and the kids are always so open and affectionate. We could ask for nothing more. We were able to learn from the kids and also teach them. The teachers were open to new ideas and always welcomed us into their classes. We have so many memories to bring back and share. We will never forget Peace Matunda and we will do anything to come back again.
Teacher – as a chaperone of a group of international school students to visit Peace Matunda, it has been a fabulous experience watching our students grow as individuals and working out how cultures such as the one at Peace Matunda happily and healthily co-exist. We have all learnt a tremendous amount from each other and will take back your openness, willingness to accept, amazing hospitality and generosity – Asante to all!
Before I came to Peace Matunda I could not really imagine what I’m going to experience there. But now, after I have stayed there, I can say it was even much better I have ever expected. It also won’t be a come-and-go experience for me. Once you have been there, you will still keep in touch with this place and plan to come back. The children as well as the whole Peace Matunda Family are amazing. Experiencing their culture, joining the children’s joys and worries and becoming part of their daily life was so inspiring and left its mark on me. The way how they run this project and how everybody is involved in it, is really special. Everybody has his/her task and contribute one’s share that this project runs that smoothly and nicely and make them a family. I really enjoyed my stay at Peace Matunda and I never felt alone or misunderstood. I can highly recommend going there and becoming part of this/our family. Viola, Germany – January 2013
What other previous volunteers have said about their experience at Peace Matunda:
Hi, I am from Berlin and I first volunteered at Peace Matunda in January 2011. I stayed for 3 months and it was the most amazing time of my life! Peace Matunda is a great place to be. I was helping out in school and doing some after school tuition with the kids from the orphanage as well as the dayschool kids. I loved being there, playing with the kids, talking to the staff and community and just enjoying that beautiful mount Meru. I did Kilimanjaro and a 5 day safari as well as the cultural tour with them and I can only recommend it! For anyone who thinks about volunteering at Peace Matunda: you will love it! By the way: I am just about to return there in April 2012 🙂
Kathrin Lohmann, 2011
“I first volunteered at Peace Matunda in January 2008. I thought it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity and although I expected it to have an impact on me I did not realize just how much. The children touched my hearts right from day one. I wish I could take their love of learning and appreciation for the small things and transplant it in every child in Canada who feels they are hard done by because they didn’t get the latest video game for Christmas or didn’t get the $150.00 jeans for their birthday. I wish for every child that chose to drop out of school because they just didn’t like it that there was a way to give that education to one of the children at Peace Matunda. One of my best memories is giving the children homework and then having them say, “teacha, teacha give me more home work”.
When I left Peace Matunda in 2008 I knew I would forever be changed and that I would find a way to return and to support the orphanage from afar in whatever way I could. I was fortunate to return in January 2010 and was amazed by the changes that Kaaya and The Cicely Foundation had made……. If you have the opportunity to volunteer at Peace Matunda I would highly recommend it. Whether it’s from the children showing you what hope and courage are, taking a ride on the dala dala, hearing about a child that can’t go to school as they can’t pay the school fee, comforting a sick child, or walking down Mt. Meru to the market at Tengeru you will be changed forever by the experience. The only question is – what will you do now?” Heather Campbell, Edmonton, Canada, 2010
The time I spent in Arusha as a volunteer for Peace Matunda is one of the most humbling and rewarding experience I have had in my life. I remember the kindness of Kaaya’s family and everyone at the orphanage as we were preparing the Chai tea for breakfast before going to school. There were a lot of smiles and silent nods. I was a stranger to them and they greeted me as one of theirs. It was a singular moment of bliss. I volunteered as a teacher assistant and we had class in the mornings and activities in the afternoon. Thanks to Peace Matunda’s organisation, the children are growing up meeting a lot of people from all over the world and expanding their horizons. I would like to recommend to anyone to take a part in Peace Matunda’s School and Orphanage community.
Matthias Taieb- 2009
“What makes Peace Matunda an incredible place are the children, who are kind, smart and so much fun to be with. I couldn’t have felt more welcome and saw the best of Tanzania through the eyes and hearts of the young children there. Kaaya [Project Director and Founder] was also wonderful and allowed us to suggest and implement projects with the kids. I highly recommend volunteering at Peace Matunda orphanage for anyone who wants to be touched by the lives of others”. Jamie Piekarz, Toronto, Canada
“Children arrive at Peace Matunda Orphanage under a variety of harsh circumstances — mostly due to parental abandonment or death from diseases. Even more unfathomable, a few mothers have given up one of their children to the orphanage because they simply are unable to care for the whole family. Hard to believe, yes — but the startling realization we volunteers came to, after a very short time in this very remote village, was that giving a child over to the orphanage was actually not the end of the road but the beginning of hope. Peace Matunda Orphanage becomes their first safety net (food, shelter, clothing) which then allows them better access to school and a safe place to nurture their eager minds. And in the long run, volunteers at Peace Matunda help to create more smiles than sorrow in their world of harsh reality”.
Arlene Stinchcombe, Toronto, Canada
“Volunteering at Peace Matunda has been an incredible experience. Teaching at the school is both fun and challenging, but more than anything, it is vastly rewarding. After school, I look forward to discovering what all the kids we are living with are up to. From making mud houses, to jumping rope, coloring, or any sort of games they have made up. The afternoons are always different and always fun. It is difficult to put into words how my experience at Peace Matunda has impacted me. Beyond a greater understanding of what many part of the world suffer through just to live day by day, the children have taught me the importance of love and hopeful joy. I did not come to Africa to “change the lives of others”, but I also did not anticipate I would be so changed either. My time at Peace Matunda has instilled in me a love that I have not exprienced elsewhere, and I am certain that this is the first of a number of trips in my life to Peace Matunda”. Michael Althoff, Richmond, Virginia, USA
“Teacha, Teacha!” These words will forever hold a strong place in my heart because of the amazing children at Peace Matunda (“P.M.”). Although I was the teacher in the classroom, I was taught more about love and life from the kids than I could have ever imagined. Just thinking of the memories I made with all the kids always brings the biggest smile to my face. Not only is the time spent with the children life changing, your chance to emerge into a culture so far from the western world is awesome. My experience at P.M. was more than I could ask for and if you’re wondering wether or not to take the jump and volunteer, please do it! It will impact your life in more ways than you will even know”. Abby Zimmerman, Chicago, Illinois, USA
If you want to know more about volunteering at Peace Matunda, we can put you in contact with one of our previous volunteers.