By Naomi Yakawich
Thirty-seven young leaders developed their moral and innovative leadership capacities at a one-day workshop hosted by Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Tanzania. Featured community leaders addressed the theme, “Moral and innovative leadership for peace and development,” at the training program held on March 25 at Tandale Youth Development Center, emphasizing the topics of responsible citizenship, service and interreligious and intercultural collaboration.
GPF Tanzania is taking proactive measures to educate and support young leaders with moral and innovative leadership capacities through such training workshops in an effort to counter rising violent extremism among the youth of many African countries.
National Vice Chairman for Tanzania Youth Vision Association (TYVA), Dickson Kamala, who is also the East Africa Community Youth Ambassador and a member of East Africa Anti-Corruption Youth Network, addressed the young participants. “Leaders have great influence over others,” said Mr. Kamala, “Moral leadership gives life to others and enhances the lives of others; Immoral leadership takes away from others in order to enhance oneself.” He went on to describe a moral leader as one who leads to serve. “You can be someone who leads through persuasion, motivation, self-awareness, and the most important of all: serving people.”
Speakers at the youth empowerment workshop equipped participants with practical advice to develop good habits that exemplify ownership over the challenges facing their country. “Youth should be very punctual,” said one mentor, “Because every moment of youth is costly.” Herman Kajiru, the former National Chairman for Youth of the United Nations (YUNA-Tanzania) agreed that time is of the essence, telling his fellow youth leaders that their future depends on what they do today. He encouraged the young people to rebuff actions that criticize and condemn others and instead be proactive in providing solutions and take on new challenges as an opportunity to grow as a leader. “If the youth understand their responsibility, a large number of crime may be reduced in even one day.”
The young leaders were encouraged to become models of peaceful leaders in their own communities by maintaining a disciplined lifestyle, displaying responsible citizenship not only legally, but also both in their social and moral obligations. As model citizens for their country, young people have the influence to inspire not only other residents of their same country, but also youth from around the world.
“Moral leadership requires a vision of peace and justice for the entire human family,” said Mr. Kamala, “This vision goes beyond our national borders to see the benefits of global peace and justice for ourselves and all people. It is directed by respect for ethical beliefs and values and for the dignity and rights of others.”
The messages shared at the youth leadership development program proved to motivate many of the participants, including Nasra Kiwamba, who reflected, “I am so thankful to be part of this useful training. I promise to utilize the knowledge gained.” Nasra is a student at the Tandale Youth Development Center.
The youth empowerment workshop is part of GPF Tanzania’s Vijana Na Amani (Youth for Peace) Campaign. Through ongoing workshops on education, leadership and entrepreneurship in communities and universities, GPF Tanzania strives to raise peace ambassadors to counter youth radicalization and violent extremism.