Meet our Volunteer Ilma Manji

Ilma Manji has come to the end of her eight month volunteer placement with Cedar Tanzania. A Tanzanian national herself she was keen to lend a helping hand whilst waiting to begin her first year in Med school this September, in Dublin Ireland. Here is what she had to say about her time with us...

1. What inspired you to volunteer with the Cedar Foundation?
First and foremost, I’m very passionate about the cause. I love to help and I believe the Cedar Foundation was the best place to contribute my time to the betterment of the community, and my country. Also, after meeting a few members of staff, I quickly understood that it was a healthy, competitive environment in which I could hone my skills and be encouraged to strive for the best. This excited me!

2. What is your role?
I’m a Volunteer Field Officer. My role mainly involves planning and executing the Community Asset Mapping activity along with a team. I also occasionally assist in other organizational projects.

3. How long is your volunteer placement?
8 months

4. What things have you enjoyed? 
I enjoy days where I work in the Kamanga village. The villagers are extremely genuine, friendly and always looking to teach me Kisukuma. I enjoy learning about their culture and really appreciate their nuanced perspective on lifestyle!

5. What things have challenged you so far?
The amount of responsibility that comes with my position has sometimes been overwhelming; however I’m always very eager to prove myself so I enjoy being challenged by new things.

6. Would you recommend this volunteer scheme to others?
I would definitely recommend this scheme to others, it’s a relaxed but driven environment to work in, and the hard work definitely pays off!

7. What would you say to anyone who said that they could not volunteer because they didn't have a skill to offer?
In my interview for Cedar, the phrase Asset Mapping was mentioned a little. I thought to myself “What in the world is Asset Mapping?!” I hadn’t a single clue what was expected of me, or what this Asset Mapping was supposed to look like, but I was totally down for it anyway. The staff at Cedar are the best support any “newbie” could ask for and as a result, I have had the opportunity to build on already existing skills. Volunteering is about commitment, development and work ethic, to name a few. As long as you are driven, you will soon acquire/improve on all the skills you need, to fulfill your role. As I was told at Cedar: “Everyone makes mistakes! It’s okay!”

Thank you Ilma for all your hard work! Cedar Tanzania looks forward to working with you again.

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