Written by Novy Warouw, Photography by Josh Hobson
United Planet is a multilingual, multinational, global non-profit organization that aims to “unite the planet one relationship at a time.” It strives to help those who are committed to seeing a global community that places emphasis on cooperation and collaboration rather than conflict and strife. United Planet provides volunteers the opportunity to help with a wide range of projects, from teaching English and providing training to children and youth, to medical assistance and healthcare. So far, they have extended their reach to over 35 countries around the world.
Tanzania’s exotic landscape brings about many visitors all year round, with natural wonders ranging from Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti desert, and the waters of Zanzibar. Although Tanzania has maintained stable democracy and avoided political conflict, it has suffered from economic and social issues. Due to the limited healthcare infrastructure, many HIV/AIDS orphans are in need of support from the community.
United Planet Tanzania offers volunteers the opportunity to get involved in projects that focus on two main areas: global health or children and education. Whether in the bustling city of Dar es Salaam or the countryside of Iringa, one can partner with the local pillars to foster cross-cultural understanding and promote social change. This allows volunteers to get involved with the national hospital to assist with outreach in rural Tanzania, interact with those impacted by non-communicable diseases such as cancer, and create awareness for local health centers. Volunteers can also support children and promote education by getting involved at the local orphanage, teaching English at a primary school, or working at the community center with youth and young adults.
“United Planet emphasizes that it is mission-focused and moves away from tourism to support those who are looking to make a difference participating in a real experience and engaging as a global citizen.”
United Planet currently represents U.S. and Canada as an associate member of the ICYE (International Cultural Youth Exchange), an international non-profit youth exchange organization that promotes intercultural learning and voluntary service.
About the Photographer: Joshua Hobson is based out of Gainesville, Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida with a BFA in Creative Photography in 2007. Josh’s photography has a main focus on the human-created environment and explores how “individual desires coalesce to create shared spaces.” In 2013, Josh traveled to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on behalf Photographers Without Borders to document United Planet development projects. At the moment, Josh is pursuing a MFA in photography at the University of Florida.