November 3-4, 2017 | Institute for Accountancy University, Arusha, Tanzania
In the month of November 2017, the Vijana Assembly and UNESCO MGIEP’s YESPeace Network successfully hosted the Tanzania National Youth Assembly in Arusha, Tanzania at the Institute for Accountancy University. A total of 652 delegates (52% female; 48% male), aged between 15 and 30 attended the Youth Assembly from different parts of Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa and Burundi.
The event was conceptualised with the aim of creating a platform for youth practitioners to share best practices on how peace and sustainability can be promoted through education within different spaces.
The facilitation team from Kenya and Tanzania held a panel discussion and hosted educational talks on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and discussed the impact of the SDGs in our society. Additionally, a highly engaging and interactive discussion was held around defining the objectives of a National Youth Council. A discussion and debate was also held on the possibility of forming a National Youth Council within Tanzania.
Further, Activate! Change Makers, a partner of the YESPeace Network from South Africa, conducted a dialogue focused on exploring possibilities of collaboration and defining how there can be a sense of interconnectedness and connections in society. Ms Lezerine Mashaba from Activate! expressed that “the future of the African continent lies in the hands of the current young people and our passion can better be realised in collaboration”.
This rich conversation provided an opportunity for the youth to share their ideas and experiences on how peace, sustainability and education can be promoted in their respective societies. Also present were some individuals, who shared their personal journeys of peace and healing, such as Mr. Jonas Kessy, a victim of drug abuse, who shared his story on the challenges he faced while dealing with drug abuse. Mr Kessy also shared the actions he has undertaken since to eradicate the use of drugs and violence in his community. He expressed “When I started I didn’t know the effects of drug abuse… My testimony can be very helpful to victims of drug abuse.”
On conclusion of the dialogue, Ms Mashaba shared her experience at the Assembly by stating “The dialogue session has enabled the Youth to think about ways in which they can involve their communities on engagements around Peace, sustainability and education. It was an amazing experience.”
The event was supported by the office of the Regional Commissioner, Mr Mrisho Gambo, who was also the key guest speaker. Mr Gambo expressed his appreciation of the efforts made by Vijana Assembly and the YESPeace Network to organise the event. Mr Gambo further shared his commitment to support the work of the Youth in Arusha and in supporting the YESPeace Network for the upcoming events and activities.
The Commissioner quoted Mahatma Gandhi in saying “Be the change you want to see in Tanzania”, encouraging the youth to come together as a force to promote peace, sustainable development and global citizenship within their communities.
Going forward, Vijana Assembly and the YESPeace Network in Africa plan to jointly host the annual National Youth Assembly within different regions around the African continent – in Kenya, Zanzibar, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
Further, Vijana Assembly and other partners of the YESPeace Network in Africa will work towards organising capacity building workshops for some grassroots organisations who have expressed a need and shown an eagerness to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals.
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