About RiTara

ritara_fullI recently graduated from Belmont University, where I received a Bachelor of Business in Accounting with a minor in Chinese. I grew up a military child which instilled in me a need travel and explore the world constantly. This need brought me to Cape Town, South Africa last summer on a study abroad trip. I immediately fell in love with the beauty and the culture of the land; so much so, I decided I had to come back for a longer period of time.

During my study abroad trip in Cape Town, South Africa, I worked at a preschool in a township named Red Hill. In this township, through all circumstance, I encountered the most joyful children. My heart completely melted when I met a little girl named Pinky; however, she did not have the same reaction. She was completely terrified of all volunteers that have ever come to their preschool but I sought out to change that. We only had three days to interact with the children and by the end of the visit, Pinky and I surprised everybody by playing together. She even allowed the other volunteers to play along with us. That moment made the biggest impact on me because it showed me that one person can make a change in somebody’s life. That was also the moment I decided that I had to come back to Cape Town and try to impact even more lives.

After researching a few companies, I decided to work for The Happy Africa Foundation and African Impact. African Impact is a volunteer travel organization that offers interactive volunteer projects in Southern and East Africa. They facilitate meaningful volunteer project in 12 countries for over 10,000 volunteers. They are now the largest on-the-ground African specialist in volunteer tourism. They facilitate internship programs with ethical social enterprises and NGO’s in Africa. The Happy Africa Foundation is one of African Impact’s many partners in placing interns in their many locations. The Happy Africa Foundation operates out of 4 different countries.

What I look forward to most in this new endeavor is the meaningful interactions with new people and unique learning opportunities. There is so much for me to learn in so little time and I am excited to see what Cape Town has in store for me.

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