In complimenting the government’s efforts to achieve Vision 2025 which focuses on improving the quality of livelihoods, peace, stability and unity, good governance, a strong and competitive economy as well as creating an educated and willing to learn society amongst many others; Restless Development brought together youth from different backgrounds and taught them basic research techniques that will guide them in their day to day planning and decision making.
The techniques were centred on basic research methodologies and sampling techniques. Participants are expected use the knowledge to perform different kinds of research in their communities upon completion of the weeklong training. One of the beneficiaries of the training, David Mbumila, says the knowledge will help him and his colleagues deal better with the challenges facing youth currently.
“Indeed the training has unlocked our brains, and we will make sure that we share what we have acquired here with other youth in our communities so as to be ambassadors of change,” says Mbumila. He adds that before the training he had doubts and did not anticipate he would learn something new and helpful. On the contrary he feels he learnt much more than he expected. “Let more organisations invite youth to participate in projects and make assessments of other projects done by experts and ordinary people,” insists the youthful beneficiary of the training.
According to Restless Development Country Director Ms Dilhani Wijeyesekera, her organisation is a platform that creates opportunities for youth in Tanzania as well as building their intellectual capacity. Creativity is key for young people to better their lives as well as that of their communities. It was a moment of triumph as the 20 youth were awarded with certificates of completion in Dar es Salaam last week.
Their excitement in addition to receiving the certificates handed to them by Ester Riwa, a Senior Youth Development Officer from the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture, was the fact they had gained vital skills in data collection and interpretation. A Chinese proverb maintains that if you give a man fish, and he will eat it in one day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat forever. This proverb was echoed by Ms Ester Riwa who found the training timely. Ms Riwa insisted that imparting research skills to youth has come at the right time, the country needs contributions from the youth in matters concerning development.
The Senior Youth Development Officer highlighted what youths in the country are entitled to. This included; contributing to the growth of national economy, participating in policy making and implementation as well as pushing for immediate changes that would in turn champion national development. She touted for other community based organisations to emulate the initiative by Restless Development.
“I am glad that this organisation covers reproductive health among other things, which I think is vital for youth who are vulnerable to different diseases including HIV and Aids.” adds Ms Riwa. She further underscored the need for youth to shun all acts that are likely to increase the HIV and Aids prevalence in the country. The training on research knowledge was coordinated by Restless Development in collaboration with Africa Medical Research Foundation (AMREF) and the National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR).
Apart from issues pertaining to youth, Restless Development which works with different communities across the Sub Saharan Africa focuses on other issues such as sexual and reproductive health and rights, livelihoods and wealth creation as well as active civic participation. According to Restless Development Programme Quality and Learning Manager Kennedy Oulu, the training in research will help the youth and their communities influence policy implementation in the country and be able to actively contribute positively to their communities.
Research and Communication Assistant Programme Coordinator Ntenje Katota states: “The training has taught these youth on how to acquire evidence based knowledge so as to influence and push for action. The youth in turn can initiate research into young people and shape the future of this nation.” Restless Development is the youth development agency founded more than 20 years ago, with the intention of enhancing capacity building in young people to positively contribute to the development of their nations. It currently operates in fifty nations around the world.