GUEST FEATURE: Role of the youth in creating change - The Citizen

GUEST FEATURE: Role of the youth in creating change

Tuesday November 27 2018


By Mpoki Thomson

The youth in Tanzania are aware of the challenges that surround them. Throughout the years, they’ve had to battle different hurdles that at times seem unsurmountable. Still, the zeal to continue striving for success and overcoming such challenges has never withered.

Through a global initiative, We Make Change – a global online volunteering community that creates online volunteering communities, individuals across the world are connected and are able to come up with different solutions to the problems surrounding their communities.

They are enabled to create projects that will make change happen. Here in Tanzania the initiative is anchored by Paul Siniga (Rio Paul), a young activist engaged in different societal activities.

Through the project, youth from all walks of life are given an opportunity to make a difference in their communities. This past weekend, different youth leaders and individuals keen on creating change convened at Safe Space in Dar es Salaam to discuss a way forward on how the youth can get involved in community projects such as United For 2030.

Being cognizant of the many challenges our country faces as we make our journey towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is clear that more needs to be done to facilitate the needed environment for change.

Among those in attendance were Fridon Tiengisa, founder and Executive director of Jamii Medical Awareness (JMA), an initiative that focuses on addressing different issues in the community through provision of health education and awareness, he is also a final year student pursuing a degree in Pharmacy at Muhimbili University.

Another youth activist in attendance, Kahama Peter, is a legal officer and Youth of United Nations Association (YUNA) regional director, he shared his passion for youth engagement and how working together will help the general community.

Judith Banyeza, an environmental scientist and founder of a volunteering foundation that aims at promoting youth to engage in community development and play part as future generation ambassadors, was also part of the group of individuals.

Judith is engaged in a lot of projects that involve health, helping the girl child, tackling climate change and creating environmental awareness and expansion to students in primary and secondary schools. Zahra Salehe, a development activist and change maker, who is also the founder and exdirector of Integrity Capacity and Community Advancement Organisation (ICCAO), a multitask organization that works on development, gender and environment, was also present during the discussion on how youth can play their role in helping the next generation live in a world that is much safer and free of man-made catastrophes.

Brenda-Jasmine Jerome, a university student studying e-commerce and International business in China and a fashion enthusiast, vowed to play her role in helping create change. “I plan on doing some serious work towards making an impact on SDGs soon,” she declared.

Many more individuals showed up in support of the initiative, which Paul has fervently advocated in a bid to see that our youth become more involved in matters that directly affect their daily life.

Why change is needed

We live at a time where the challenges the world faces are so great and our politics seem so divisive.

As young people, it can often feel as though our voices are not heard, that the people in power do not represent our views, and that we are powerless to make the change we want to see. Yet, we are also the largest, most connected and technologically advanced generation ever. That is why it is up to our generation to ask: what is our vision for the world we want to create? Because if we are to have the future we want, we must start by creating a vision behind which we can unite.

United for 2030

United For 2030 aims to make the Global Goals relevant and accessible to all young people by harnessing the power of technology to provide a simple way for people across the world to help achieve them.

Developed by and for young people, United For 2030 brings young people together to represent their nations. They collaborate online to develop projects to address challenges their nations and the world faces.

The project will begin by selection of 100 young leaders from 20 countries across the world: Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Haiti, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uruguay, USA, United Kingdom, Vietnam and Yemen.

The five representatives from each of these nations will work together as part of a 12 month online program. They will collaborate to create a project to address challenges their nation faces.