Guest post by Dana from @SIChange
Support for International Change (SIC) is dedicated to limiting the impact of HIV/AIDS in under-served communities and training future leaders in global health and development. SIC believes that the HIV/AIDS crisis creates both an imperative to act and an opportunity to learn. We envision a world where HIV/AIDS no longer limits length or quality of life or reduces the social or economic development of communities, and where young people learn the skills to address the health crises of future generations.
SIC offers structured 8 and 12 week volunteer programs open to students from a variety of universities in the US and the UK. Each year, student volunteers bring new energy and talents to our work in Tanzania.
Prior to landing in the middle of nowhere, East Africa, our volunteers receive extensive training from previous SIC volunteers (Program Coordinators) as well as guest lecturers (often professors) during a series of seminars we call Prefield. Prefield not only provides our volunteers with the necessary information and skills they will need to be effective HIV/AIDS educators, but it also prepares them for life and work in a developing country.
Upon arriving in Tanzania, each program begins with an intensive, expert-led orientation. A week into orientation, volunteers move into a homestay with a host Tanzanian family. Our programs focus on teaching community members and school children how to protect themselves from HIV and how to care for those who are already infected by AIDS as part of an awareness campaign within a partner community. In addition to these responsibilities, we urge volunteers to take the lead on other projects related to our work. Volunteers are also encouraged to see the effects of the AIDS epidemic first-hand, through regular visits to the home of an AIDS patient and trips to local orphanages.
“[My experience with SIC] gave me the confidence and the courage to keep traveling and living abroad.” – SIC Volunteer, 2005
“SIC gave me enough exposure to global health to know that I want to go abroad again in the future and I want to focus my research on issues that affect developing countries.” – SIC Volunteer, Summer 2004
“Working with an international group of students – including Tanzanians who, in addition to being some of the most talented people I’ve ever met, are so dedicated to help their country and people – was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.” – SIC Volunteer, Fall 2008
“In the face of a devastating, insurmountable challenge of AIDS, SIC is always hopeful.” – SIC Volunteer, Summer 2006
If you have a strong desire to help others, a willingness to adapt to new challenges, and the ability to work hard with a team of like-minded people, we would love to hear from you: The deadline to apply to our Fall program 2010 has been extended to August 15th! Click Here to find out how to apply!