In the summer of 1990, under the leadership of the Headmaster at the time, Lister Hannah, MIS students Jesse Garcia and Nickie Shaver travelled to Tanzania with teachers Carol Geiger and Mark McGough to establish a helping relationship with schools, orphanages, social enterprises, and NGOs. Since that time, MIS has developed long-lasting relationships with 11 different organizations and groups. Each year, fundraising efforts culminate in a summer trip to Tanzania to distribute equipment, and supplies, and to provide hands-on support. While the intention is to meet tangible needs in these specific communities, it is also an opportunity for MIS students to learn about social enterprise and the type of support that creates a sustainable impact in developing communities.
The 2023 trip to Tanzania extended from June 29th to July 17th. The trip is open to MIS senior school students who have been involved in fundraising, planning, and organization during the school year. This year's itinerary included many work projects, site visits, an annual tree planting, as well as multiple days of hikes and safaris. Student members of the trip were charged with keeping a daily blog. The blog is accessible from this link with the passcode 'mis'. Please enjoy our students' insights and takeaways from the experience. This blog is an account of trips going back as far as 2013.
Retired MIS teacher, Mr. Kriti Joshi has been involved in the Tanzania Project for over 25 years. He continues to consult on this project and the Zonta Award. Joshi explains that "the trip and the projects we support have been built into the fabric of MIS for over 30 years. One project, in particular, we've been supporting since 2008. We are avoiding a savoir approach to support. There is learning that takes place on both sides. Some of the students may leave with the idea that we are going on this trip for the purpose of giving something to communities in Tanzania, but when they come back, a transformation has taken place".
Head of School Mr. Timothy Thomas goes on to explain that the intention of our partnerships in Tanzania is to "educate students to go out into the world and make a meaningful, sustainable impact. The Tanzania project allows students to learn about how we can support other communities and people to achieve their own goals through thoughtful, reciprocal support and commitment. The point isn't to capture Instagram moments; it is to develop relationships, deepen understanding, and cultivate a sense of shared responsibility for the well-being of all people, animals, and our planet".
Efforts are already underway to have another impactful year of partnership. During last weekend's Welcome Back BBQ, 12th-grade trip participants offered souvenirs from the 2023 trip in order to kick off fundraising. Stay tuned to learn more ways you can get involved!
Read the student-led blog: https://blogs.mis-munich.de/tanzaniaprojects/