Tara Matthews

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

University of Pittsburgh | Oakland

Heinz Programming Area:
Economic Opportunity
International Experience Summary:

Tara Matthews worked in Karagwe, Tanzania for four weeks through the Pitt in Tanzania program. During her time in rural Tanzania, Tara visited various female entrepreneurs in the area and interviewed them about their experiences as a woman entering the world of business ownership and work in a largely patriarchal society. She gained exposure to the societal atmosphere where these women were raised, educated and worked. Through these interviews Tara found a temporary position working at WOMEDA, a legal and economic aid agency in Karagwe designed to help women in the community. Tara was able to gain more insight into the culture by working alongside the various volunteers and employees at WOMEDA and in exchange, helped them to secure and update their computer software as well as helping to digitize the extensive records of the households that WOMEDA served. Tara was highly immersed in Tanzanian culture, as she lived in a guesthouse located on the grounds of Nyakahanga Hospital and spent much of her free time either on the grounds speaking to locals or visiting the nearby village of Omrushaka. She was also able to experience various cultural activities, such as morning chapel as well as a highly unconventional wedding where she saw the marriage of not only two people, but also two highly different cultures – Danish and Tanzanian, a topic she was able to discuss with the women who visited WOMEDA. Since this trip, she has been offered an honorary position at WOMEDA as a technology consultant.  

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Bridges to Africa