When students go to school, their ultimate goal is to succeed in life through the knowledge acquired from studying. Every school aims at instilling positive traits in their students, those that will do greater good in society thereby helping the entire nation develop.
As these young minds are nurtured, practical lessons become part and parcel of the growing process. Through such realization, it was only fitting that last Saturday hundreds of students in Dar es Salaam had the opportunity to manifest their personal growth through taking part in different projects.
More than 600 students celebrated personal and societal transformations they achieved through Uwezo Award project. A project aimed at nurturing young minds. The ceremony brought together students from five Dar es Salaam districts, these schools included Azania Airwing, Benjamin William Mkapa, Gerezani, Mchikichini, Aboud Jumbe,Kibada, Boko, Bunju, Ghomme, Turiani, Azimio, Buyuni, Charambe, Chang’ombe, Mbagala Kuu, St. Augustine, Temeke, Wailes, Kibamba, Manzese, Mbezi inn, Malamba mawili and Mugabe.
Leading up to the awards ceremony, the day started by students marching from the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioners Office to Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE). Students showcased their talents and passion, from traditional dances, singing, rap, imitating voices and much more. This made the day very colourful and interesting, honoured by Mboni Mhita, a Member of Parliament (special seat) from Songea.
Acknowledging the hard work done by students and teachers, Noelle Mahuvi, Uwezo Awards project coordinator gave introductory remarks saying they are glad that this year they have had a great number of schools participating.
“We are happy that the project has grown as we were able to reach 50 Secondary Schools from the entire 5 Municipalities in Dar es Salaam. Community Change Projects are amazing. This project has five objectives; to create a forum for the young generation to understand their potential and to acquire leadership skills. To raise a responsible young generation, to acknowledge Community Change Projects done by students and to mentor outstanding potential and talents. I am glad that I have seen most of these objectives in the projects,” she noted adding; “30 secondary schools were able to bring reports of their Community Change Projects, out of the 30 Secondary schools, 12 schools were recognised by getting trophies, with three of the schools receiving golden trophies.”
Mugabe Secondary School became the overall winner, as their students, through UN club, made some handcrafts (doormats) using scraps from tailors. They also did vegetable farming and the total amount of funds collected from their project was used to renovate and supply their neighbouring orphanage centre with some basic needs.
“I am proud of this project. It has made me do so many things that I never used to do before or even thought I could do. For the first time in my life I have done agriculture, maintaining a small garden, growing vegetables and selling them. Now I am sure if I get out of school, I can actively and successfully do this business. I am so proud of myself now that I have learnt this,”Godbless John from Mugabe Secondary School says.
The second position was attained by Temeke Secondary School, which received a Golden trophy. Their students, through UN Club, organised a bonanza and they collected funds for all classes that wanted to participate. In addition to that they also organised a business of selling ID cards holders to their fellow students and the total funds collected from their two projects was used to paint their school.
Expressing his joy, Mfaume Salehe from Temeke secondary school said despite of it being a tough task, he is glad that he has participated voluntarily on the project. “I was in charge of creating ID card holders and selling them to our fellow students. Now I know for sure entrepreneurship is my thing. I just love it,”Mfaume said.
The third school which also received a golden trophy was Wailes Secondary School. Wailes Students, through UN Club organised a farming project and a fundraising event, the fund collected was used in building the school fence.
Allen Kimambo, an entrepreneur passionate on environment conservation who also runs a recycling business, was invited as an inspirational speaker, to inspire students on using their ample time after classes to develop their talents. He insisted that, with the ongoing trend of youth unemployment, there is no doubt one would need to make sure they develop their potential to the fullest.
“At your age you are very curious and you try hard to exercise your imagination in a lot of things. Projects like this can help you to absorb that energy constructively and brings impact to yourself and your community as well,” he advised.
Expressing her happiness, the guest of honour said she was proud to see students’ efforts and that of their teachers even though they have had some hurdles at their workplace. “I can’t thank you enough for what you are doing for the nation. I am where I am today because I set my long term goals long time ago and I have been able to achieve a lot. If you have long term goals, you should make a lot of efforts to make sure that they come true. I am glad that you don’t let go of your education, but you use your ample time to do project like these ones to nature your talents,” she expressed her appreciation.
After students’ recognition, the guest of honour gave an award to Master of ceremony Anthony Luvanda, a trophy to recognise him as Uwezo Award 2017 role model. The MC was introduced as a man who has been very successful in using his talent and passion as a public speaker and professional mc and for not forsaking education.
“I appreciate the effort Great Hope Foundation is putting towards making this project a success. You may not fully understand it now, but later when you finalise school you shall appreciate. Today I am a very successful MC and probably among the most highly paid in the country.
But I learnt all this while in school, when I was volunteered for free to be an MC. I believed school was more than books so I participated in a lot of extra curriculum activities,” MC Luvanda proudly explained, adding; “When I was in College, I started working for a Radio Station that also sharpened my public speaking skills. When I got employed, the money that I was paid for being an MC per day was equal to the salary I received for the whole month. That is when I decided to resign and be a full time MC and I have no regrets for making that decision. Keep on with these efforts and trust me you shall be amazed at the outcome in the future.”
Sharpening the skills of students cannot be done successfully without the full participation of teachers. They hone the skills of students and make them see the bigger picture in life. So it was only fitting that as the awards ceremony was coming to a close, the guest of honour took the opportunity to recognize the teachers from the twelve schools that did very well. She promised to top up $25 for every teacher, as a way of motivating them to do better next year. Other schools which participated and received a silver trophy included Ghomme, Mchanganyiko, Dar es Salaam, Malamba Mawili, Kibada, Airwing, St. Augustine, Charambe and Azimio