The Vijiji Center sprang from the serendipitous meeting of the two partners, Amos Meyasi and Sandra Peacock.
was June 2012, Sandra was on a tour of Tanzania, and Amos was
recommended to her as a guide for cultural tourism. While exploring the
Arusha region together, they discovered they shared a passion for all
things cultural - Sandra as an anthropologist and Amos as a member of
the Meru community in Nguruma Village. They also shared a desire to
educate visitors and to support local communities. And so, they decided
to build a small guest lodge on land owned by Amos' family, where
travellers could stay and learn about the peoples of Tanzania, and that
would provide employment and other opportunities for village members.
They also created The Vijiji Foundation,
a registered non-profit organization (Registration: NGO-6497), whose
mission is to improve the lives of local Tanzanian people through a
variety of community-driven initiatives that create lasting change.
Meyasi grew up in Nguruma Village and attended Mount Meru University
where he studied Culture and Tourism. Amos has more than 12 years of
experience with volunteers, education, and cultural tourism, as well as
extensive experience in organizing and guiding wildlife safaris and
Peacock, PhD, is a professor at the University of British Columbia in
Canada where she's taught courses in archaeology and anthropology for 13
years. She brings her understanding of cultures past and present to the
interpretive programs at The Vijiji Center and has taught summer field
courses in anthropology and community-based research at The Vijiji
Center for the last two years. She divides her time between Canada and