Thursday, July 21, 2016

So, What Am I Doing?

I want to take a quick break from travel writing to quickly explain what I am doing in Tanzania. As part of a placement through the Olin IDIN fund, I am working at Twende in Arusha, Tanzania for two months this summer. Twende is a social innovation center that works to empower local innovators to solve challenges they see in their communities. We work to accomplish this through hands-on workshops and projects. We also provide support for businesses and developing social ventures.

The workshop.

But enough about that, back to me. I am working primarily in the (2 person) design team. As the director of creativity (self-appointed title), I work to provide design support for both the Twende center itself, and for the innovators that are working on projects or businesses. I have recently been working on designing a book to highlight Twende’s CCB (Creative Capacity Building) workshop, as well as graphic design for a business operating out of Twende. Throughout it all, I have been documenting the various work that goes on at Twende through photo and video. On the more human-centered design side, I have been working on improving the workshop space, and planing for Nane Nane (a large festival that happens in the beginning of August).

A view inside.

It is safe to say that this summer experience has been unlike most. When deciding whether to take an opportunity more in my comfort zone or to come here, I took a leap of faith. It has paid off so much more than I could have hoped for. Not only am I working somewhere where I can have a real, meaningful impact on the lives of others, but I have also grown so much as a person and gotten to know myself much better. I would recommend everyone that can take this kind of opportunity whenever possible. It has been a wonderful learning experience so far, and it’s hard to believe I am more than half way done with my internship here already. There is so much more that I want to accomplish!

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