Mallorcans Núria Pacheco, Toni Arbòs and Miguel Ángel González travelled to Tanzania during the first week of August, to work as volunteers at the Amani Children's Home community centre in the small town of Mtwango.
The NGO, Juntos Mola Más collaborates with the centre, which is home to nearly 50 children under the age of 15 and during the year the NGO organises trips to various projects.
“You create a very special bond with the children, it’s magical; you travel there thinking that you are going to help them, but in the end they are the ones who help you,” says Núria Pacheco. "You give it your all; play with them, cook, paint rooms or plant a garden; the goal is to help as much as possible.
During their stay in Tanzania the Mallorcans lived with eight other volunteers who came from all over Spain.
Despite the lack of infrastructure and the poor condition of the town's housing, they all agree that, sometimes, less is more.
“They have a very different lifestyle and they have values that we lost a long time ago,” explains Miguel Ángel González.
“There is no stress, no notion of time as we know it; you walk through the village and everyone is smiling from ear to ear and it seems a kind of happy and healthy conformity,” adds Toni Arbòs, who readily admits they've only seen a small corner of the country. "We are talking about what we saw in Mtwango, not all of Tanzania, of course, but the experience far exceeded our expectations.”
All three Mallorcans enjoyed their stay and admitted that it was very difficult to leave Mtwango.
“No one wanted to say anything, because you realise that you’re not going to see them again,” says González. “You sign up for an adventure but you don't really know what's going to happen or what you're going to do and that's the magic of the experience."