Before becoming a volunteer this year, Husna was an entrepreneur in 2017 in the village of Kisanga, Iringa region, Tanzania:
“My name is Husna Abraham and I am 24-years-old. I am Tanzanian, currently living in Morogoro. I am a businesswoman and my business is selling clothes. I decided to take part in ICS because I loved the development that I saw occurring in my own village and my country.”
For the past three months Husna has been living in the village of Mibikimitali, Iringa region, with a team of Tanzanian and U.K. volunteers working on an ICS Livelihoods programme. Today, as returns to Kisanga, the village she grew up in in Morogoro region, we take the opportunity to share her reflections on a remarkable year working with Raleigh Tanzania.
Encouraging Husna to come back to come back to work with Raleigh as a volunteer has been very beneficial to the community she was volunteering in. She was able to share her story and empathise with the challenges community members face when starting up their own businesses. Empowerment is important to Husna: she believes community members can take responsibility for their own development and more broadly, for sustainable development in Tanzania.
“I advised the entrepreneurs on how they can make changes occur within their own community. Due to my experience of being an entrepreneur in 2017, I tried to share my story with them so that community members know the development of the village is upon themselves. I helped them to understand how they can learn to employ themselves instead of waiting for someone to employ them.”
Raleigh’s entrepreneurship course not only equips community members with the knowledge and skills to develop their own businesses and apply for funding but it also generates aspiration amongst young people.
“Women learned how to employ themselves to bring about changes in the community. They plan to bring a wholesale shop to the village which can create sustainable development to the society.”
Raleigh International exists to create lasting change through youth
Through her work with young people as an entrepreneur and later as a volunteer, Husna’s experience has enabled her to be able to clearly articulate her belief in the capability of young people.
“Young people are very important for the development within our countries or our societies. Youth have the power to effect change because young people have the energy to participate in different activities for development. Young people are also very creative and have great ambitions. The youth are the source of development and have a plan for the future. I advise other young people to love and help each other.”
Approximately 75% of Tanzanians live in rural communities. We support young entrepreneurs to set up small businesses in their communities which benefit themselves and the people around them. Husna, at just 24-years-old, has (along with her fellow community members) experienced the positive impact Raleigh’s entrepreneurship training course can have in rural communities. Over the three months in which she has been a volunteer in the village of Mibikimitali, she has offered her own knowledge and skills gained through the entrepreneurship programme last year to inspire and support aspiring entrepreneurs in another village. She can see how opportunities can arise from uniting people from different backgrounds, cultures and abilities.
“As a youth, I had a desire to help my fellow youth and the whole of Tanzania to give them knowledge about entrepreneurship. I wish Tanzanians to benefit from sustainable development, that is why I decided to take part in ICS. The most fulfilling moment of my Raleigh Tanzania ICS programme volunteering experience was providing the same knowledge about entrepreneurship as I received in 2017 to other young people”.
Our thanks to Jonathan Ngonyani who was Husna’s Team Leader in 2017 and who is now one of the Deputy Operations Managers for the ICS Livelihoods Programme and Project Officer, Denish Otieno at Raleigh Tanzania ,who supported Husna in coming back to volunteer in Iringa for the past three months.
Images and words by Communications Officer, Rebbie Webb.