From East Westphalia to the foothills of the Alps to volunteering for Africa

Originally from East Westphalia, the mountains around Munich attracted Teresa to her new adopted home of Upper Bavaria. For some time now, she has been volunteering with Jambo Bukoba in communications and press relations.

“I liked the idea of being involved in a meaningful way while at the same time contributing and expanding my knowledge and having a connection to Africa.”

Teresa—tell us where you come from originally?

I grew up in a small village in East Westphalia. Then, between 2011 and 2019, I lived in Paderborn, completed my training and studies there and did my first work experience as a buyer.

And then you decided to move to Munich. Why?

I’ve always had the urge inside me to get to know new places. For example, I already knew at the age of thirteen that I wanted to go to Australia after graduating from high school. With the help of many part-time jobs, I was able to finance this plan and I spent eight months there, first as an AuPair in Sydney and later as a working traveller.

With my first salary in my pocket, I did more travelling in my 20s. In fact, almost every free time I had was used to get to know the world.

However, I always remained loyal to East Westphalia as my starting point and home until shortly after my 29th birthday. I finally decided on Upper Bavaria as my new adopted home because I wanted to get to know Germany and the mountain region better. I thought, how will I know if where I was born is my first choice of residence if I’ve never lived anywhere else?

And now after almost two years of living here, I can say that the mountains and lakes really appeal to me.

You have been involved with Jambo Bukoba since 2020. Why did you decide to volunteer?

After completing a correspondence course in journalism, I wanted to put my knowledge to practical use. I finally found Jambo Bukoba through the gute-tat foundation, which brings volunteers together with NGOs and other organizations.

I liked the idea of getting involved in a meaningful way, while at the same time contributing and expanding my knowledge, and having a connection to Africa. After all, this is the continent I have come to love most during my travels.

“At Jambo Bukoba, I really enjoy working with the team and I love seeing how dedicated all the volunteers are as well.”


Foto by Sabine Schulte Flow Photography

There is a wide range of NGOs and aid organizations in Munich. Why choose Jambo Bukoba?

Firstly, Clemens Mulokozi, the charismatic founder of Jambo Bukoba and his personal connection to Tanzania. Clemens is definitely one of the first reasons why so many people are inspired to get involved.

Secondly, all employees and volunteers are very passionate about the project work in the Kagera region of Tanzania.

Thirdly, we know for a fact that donations will find get to the projects and to the young girls and boys in Tanzania.

And last but not least, I think it’s great that there is a sporting aspect to the project work of Jambo Bukoba and that the students learn life skills in a very memorable way.

What are you responsible for as a volunteer?

At Jambo Bukoba, I work with other volunteers in the area of communications. We write articles for the homepage and posts for social media.

It is important to us to inform members, donors and interested parties as transparently as possible about the ongoing progress in the projects and the organization and to provide an insight into the success of the work and its future. The more people we reach, the greater the chance for a better life for girls and boys in Tanzania.

Did you have any previous journalistic experience before Jambo Bukoba?

Yes, I had. The impact of language has always fascinated me. That’s why I had the idea of spicing up my fairly classic career as a buyer with a journalism degree.

During my studies, I learned the craft of journalism mainly in theory. However, in addition to modules such as online journalism, there was also practical work on the various forms of reporting. And for a few months, I also worked for a local newspaper, where I conducted interviews and wrote reports.

“It is important to us to inform members, donors and interested parties as transparently as possible about the ongoing progress in the projects and in the organization.”

What do you like most about volunteering at Jambo Bukoba?

At Jambo Bukoba, I really enjoy working with the team and it’s great to see how committed all the volunteers are. When you experience that, you realize that incentives don’t always have to be financial.

How do you spend your free time Teresa?

In my free time I like to be outside. I love the combination of hiking in the Alps and photography. That is the ultimate paradise for me. Besides that, I like to do yoga, meet friends, read and cook. And where possible, I would certainly like to start travelling outside Germany again.

Have you ever been to Tanzania?

Unfortunately, I have never been to Tanzania. But I was able to spend three months in South Africa during my international business studies. That was in 2016.

At the turn of the year 2017/2018, I travelled for a total of six weeks in southern Africa— first on a round trip in a converted truck through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe and later with a South African acquaintance through Lesotho and Eswatini, at that time still Swaziland.

That was probably the best time out in my life. The people in Africa are just indescribably warm and their positive attitude towards life is very inspiring.

Teresa—thank you for volunteering at Jambo Bukoba. We really enjoy working with you.

If you would like to volunteer with us in Munich, please check our website for the latest volunteer positions or just get in touch. We want to hear from you.

Teresa Mönks was interviewed by Muriel Burke