Callan Hajosy is a recent UC Santa Cruz graduate and Merrill College affiliate who studied environmental studies and economics. Next month she will be embarking on a five-month open-ended trip to Tanzania as a representative of the non-profit organization One Heart Source, which helps educate people about HIV/AIDS.
CHP: Can you tell me a little bit about the organization you work for?
Hajosy: I work for One Heart Source (OHS), a non-profit NGO that is based in Arusha, Tanzania. We run educational programs trying to break the generational cycle of transmission of HIV/AIDS.
CHP: How did you get involved with the organization?
Hajosy: Forty-one schools nationwide are involved. I got involved because a good friend of mine from high school was one of the first volunteers to go over there. He worked there for two years, told me about it, and I went last year. I was a volunteer there for eight weeks and then they asked me to go back as a program manager. That was after I graduated.
CHP: What pulled you into it and made you interested?
Hajosy: I’ve always wanted to go to Africa. I was already going after school [to South Africa and Tanzania] and then I heard about [OHS], read their website and was just hooked on it. I thought it would be a really great way to travel and help and get involved.
CHP: Where will you be going in a month and what will you be doing there?
Hajosy: I will be going to the village of Mateves, which is in Arusha, Tanzania, and I will be there for five months just running the summer programs. We also have programs in Zanzibar, so I’ll be running back and forth. We [volunteers] teach classes about three times a week, or however long they want us, and we also do community outreach programs and community teachings. There’s an orphanage there, so we work there also. We teach about HIV/AIDS awareness, protection and empowerment.
CHP: Do you have any future plans?
Hajosy: I don’t know, I have a one-way ticket right now, so it could end up being a while. Hopefully I stay involved. What I do right now when I’m not in Tanzania is recruit UCSC students and help them go through the application process, and also help them with pre-fieldwork. Right now I have five volunteers. I am so excited — I had my first dream of being back in Tanzania last night and I was like, “It’s time! It’s coming!” It’s definitely an adventure.