Alumni from Tanzania saw a need for more community activities in their region Dar es Salaam. Tanzania YES Alumni Association (TAYAA) got together for a one day workshop to discuss this issue with all alumni currently in the region. This one day workshop was organized by TAYAA Assistant Secretary General Doreen Malavanu and the Dar es Salaam chapter leader Rupati Makoi. The overall purpose of this event was to bring together alumni in the region and increase their capacity for planning and carrying out community activities.
Malavanu had a desire to see the alumni in her area more unified and active in the community and this lead to her inspiration to create this workshop.
“Dar usually has a lot of alumni in different areas; some working, studying at their school, etc. So to see them come together and want to cooperate on some meaningful community projects would be wonderful to get started,” she said.
The workshop had different sessions and one included a presentation on writing proposals and reports. The PowerPoint presentation was divided into three sections: proposal planning, writing and report writing. The presentation lists out in detail the different things one should think about when putting together a proposal and includes things that one shouldn’t do as well. At the end of the presentation, the alumni were able to view and discuss good examples of proposals to get a hands on experience of what theirs should look like in the future.
Another session included teamwork building activities and group discussions. The major discussions were on the challenges that alumni face when planning for and conducting community activities. Some of the pinpointed issues were the lack of cooperation with alumni and community members, being intimidated by writing proposals for projects and having no direct exposure to the issues going on in the community because of things such as limitations of school and time. The group also discussed their desire to conduct bigger and more sustainable projects in their community.
Some of the suggested solutions to these challenges that the alumni came up with were to work on bettering their communication, include other alumni in projects to increase the impact of the projects and define the goals and objectives as a chapter so that they can work towards them. They also suggested conducting projects in phases so the first step could potentially be to raise awareness among community about the project.
The workshop lasted for six hours and went successfully. The organizers of the workshop believe that all of the objectives they wanted to cover during the event went well and now they are looking forward to the future. Malavanu would love to see this kind of workshop happening again in the future or even to just catch up with alumni again on the progress from their own events.
“If we are able to continue in the future, it would help in equipping new alumni with these skills and we can also check on the progress of the alumni who attended the workshop in the past,” Malavanu said.