Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Day at Shulua School, Tanzania

Whenever I am in Tanzania, I visit schools, libraries and other educational institutions. It is my way of staying connected to what I love best: learning and teaching.

On June 18, 2010, I visited Shulua Secondary School, as a member of a delegation of the Lutheran Colleges Consortium for Tanzania (LCCT).

The LCCT sends American students to Tanzania to study for one semester at the University of Dar es Salaam. However, the LCCT always looks for opportunities for those students to enhance their educational, social, and cultural experience in such ways as volunteering in schools or community projects. We visited Shulua School as part of this agenda.

This school is in the Kibamba area, which straddles the highway from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro. We were very well received, by teachers, students and staff. The students entertained us with songs, poetry and a short satirical play.

This boy read poetry in English, which he had composed. We heard warm words of welcome and speeches and we offered our gratitude in return.

We had a good opportunity to meet and talk with the teachers. Mr. Alfred Mdima, third from the left on this photo, is the headmaster of the school. He gave us a tour of the school, which sits on farm land owned by his family.

Shulua Secondary School is a relatively new venture. We saw ongoing building and infrastructure projects. On the left is a well, just about completed.

Thinking about my experience at this school, I recall the motto of Makerere University, an institution I have visited twice. It says: "We Build for the Future."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Youth Meeting With President Kagame




Your Excellency President Paul Kagame,

Honorable Minister of Youth,

Honorable Minister of EAC affairs,

Executive secretaries of the National reconciliation and fight against genocide,

EAC Deputy Secretary General and Patron of EACYO, Mr. Alloys Mutabingwa,

Youth from East Africa,

Ladies and gentlemen,

All protocols observed

I would like to begin, on behalf of East African Community Youth Organization,

by expressing our profound gratitude for the hospitality of the Rwandan

government through the Ministry of Youth as they have actively organized all

aspects of our visit to Rwanda. We would also like to thank you for making time

to meet us despite your busy schedule, especially in the course of this week.

Your support to EACYO is greatly appreciated. We shall not take it for granted

and we shall do our best to maximize this opportunity you are giving us today.

We would also like to express our admiration for your strong and visionary

leadership. The progress since 1994 is considerable. It is a real inspiration for the

Youth, the African continent, and the world at large.

Since Rwanda joined the East African Community, the Deputy Secretary General

Mr. Alloys Mutabingwa, who you nominated, became a key spring-board and

pioneer for youth mainstreaming into EAC integration. He has also become the

first Patron of EACYO and we would like to take this opportunity to appreciate his

help and guidance. Thanks to your wise selection of team that puts your vision

into action, today the youth have space and a voice in the people-centered EAC


The youth in EAC, Africa and the entire world take you, Mr. President, as their

icon, steward and guardian.

Your Excellency, we wish to take a moment to acknowledge your support

to the Youth. Some of the measures you have put in place to ensure youth

development include the establishment of a Ministry of Youth, the creation

of a National Youth Council and structures up to grass-root level, Youth

mainstreaming in leadership at all levels, Youth in business by supporting youth

micro-finance, Education and skills development, and the support to the Council

of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA), only to name a few.

Your actions reveal your faith in the youth, as well as your just appreciation of

the immense potential that we constitute as the Youth.

Your Excellency Mr. President,

To briefly introduce our organization, East African Community Youth Organization

(EACYO) is a non-governmental, non-profit making Organization which intends to

create young people’s engagement in the realization of the goals and objectives

of the East African Community, the exploitation of shared opportunities for the

benefit of the East African dwellers, and ultimately, the creation of a people-

driven East African Federation.

Your Excellency Mr. President,

The importance of EACYO is outlined in article 120 of the Treaty establishing the

East African Community, which calls upon Partner States to involve marginalized

groups, including the Youth, in activities of the East African Community. EACYO

therefore exists to operationalize Article 120 of the EAC Treaty.

All the members of EACYO are committed to give their best to build a strongly

motivated generation of citizens ready to serve their nations and the EAC region.

EACYO has to be established as a strong structure that will outlive its founding

members and serve the generations to come.

Your Excellency, as you may be aware, the period from 12 August 2010-2011

was declared International Year of Youth. It was launched with the theme of

Dialogue and Mutual Understanding. Its slogan “ Our Year, Our Voice” reminds

us that Youth can actively participate in national, regional and global decision

making processes, and lead the way towards finding innovative and sustainable

solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of today’s time. We are

gathered here to show our solidarity for peace, for a strong and sustainable EAC

of today and tomorrow.

However we still need assistance from our leaders, elder brothers and sisters.

We are looking for role-models, people who inspire and motivate us. You Mr.

President you are our role model; also Our patron, Mr. Mutabingwa, has already

done a lot in that respect and we are thankful for his continued assistance.

Your Excellency Mr. President,

A lot still needs to be done but we know that, with your support, our goals shall

be achieved.

The Youth of East Africa would therefore like to request your support for the

establishment of a regional secretariat of EACYO which will enable us to

create a regional youth network. The type of support we are requesting, Your

Excellency, is two-fold.

First, we need financial support to set up an office with all the necessary

equipment and staff to carry out the activities of the Secretariat.

Second, we need capacity-building. We have the passion and determination to

participate to the development and transformation of our region. We need to

be empowered to strengthen our capacities and our skills, to build trust and

confidence in order to fully participate and make tangible impact. Leadership

training programs would greatly help to achieve such goals.

Your Excellency Mr. President,

Our second request is for you to sponsor the East African Youth Football

Tournament. This will not only contribute to an increased visibility of the youth,

but also to and peace-building among youth of East Africa.

Your Excellency, it will be unfair if we don’t speak about Rwanda genocide.

In 2010 East African Community Youth Organization in collaboration with

the Rwanda Diaspora in Arusha Tanzania organized a walk to remember that

included over 700 youth with a theme: Rwanda genocide; never again. This

year’s messages is “upholding the truth; preserving our dignity”. We also find

that it is very important to spread this message to the Youth of East Africa and

Africa at large.Commomeration reminds us about our responsibility to promote

Peace, Call upon all those contesting for presidency in Africa to visit Rwanda

Memorial sites so that they can see how big the burden is.

I would like to conclude, Your Excellency, by reiterating our gratitude for your

support and for the opportunity you have given us to be here today. The Youth

in EAC wish to crown you for your efforts to restore faith in humanity and

confidence among the youth in Rwanda, Africa and across. We are dedicated

to follow your foot-steps, sustain your vision and use it to cause change across


May the Almighty God grant you a very long life to realize the tremendous

impact your devoted leadership continues to cause across generations. The initial

results are extremely evident with your hands-on approach and we believe

that there is more to come. Please rest assured, Your Excellency, that hakuna

kurudi nyuma bali ni kusonga mbele haraka.

Thank you.

Mrisho Gambo


East African Community Youth Organization

P.o Box 11777

Arusha Tanzania


Cell: +255784337639

SOURCE: Mjengwa Blog