NGOs in Tanga embark on parliamentary-like techniques to sensitise you

02Dec 2016
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
NGOs in Tanga embark on parliamentary-like techniques to sensitise you

SEVERAL measures have been taken in various parts of the country to empower youths so that in turn they embark on doing what is good for the society.

A workshop organised by New Age Foundation (NAF) and funded by the Foundation for Civil Society to empower youths on Public Expenditure Tracking Survey taking place in Mkinga District, Tanga Region this year.

There are some areas where stakeholders have embarked on forming non governmental organisations (NGOs) and community based organisations (CBOs).

Yet in other places, people have embarked on forming small groups which they sensitise or train, and it becomes the turn of those trained groupings to train others.

For all these, the aim is to see to it that perfected projects that are on hand in a particular society are carried out to impact on the lives of the people.

While in the Lake Zone’s regions of Mwanza and Mara, formation of NGOs and CBOs to educate communities on the kind of activities being performed remains the common course, in Tanga Region, the methods being used are different.

In this coastal part of the country it is familiar for people to meet in small gatherings near their homes where they discuss issues of the day.

It is because of this that New Age Foundation (NAF), formerly known as, Tanga Youths Development Association (TAYODEA) decided to strike a niche in this in mobilising youth for societal action.

The orgsanisation embarked on parliamentary-like techniques to bring together youth when discussing matters pertaining to their societies.

NAF Executive Director David Chanyeghea tracing the history of the organisation says it dates back to the year 2000 when it was set up solely to help the community, organise, motivate and empower the youth economically and socially.

However, just like many NGO’s of its nature, they were short of finances to run their activities.

It was in 2005 that the foundation started to look for grants from different donors, including the foundation for Civil Society (FCS) to set up an office and work with the community in the capacity building programmes by imparting knowledge to the community.

Through working closely with the youth and youth forums in Tanga youth parliaments composed of representatives from each district and ward were formed to discuss the communities own goals for development.

Chanyeghea contends that the organisation have since been focused on conducting training on HIV/Aids to protect youth from infections.

In this endevour, it was found necessary to incorporate FCS so that the trainings could go the levels of members of the family and the community on how to start and run business.

He adds that the work of NAF is not only limited to that. The NGO mobilises the youth to work together, form groups and share knowledge and experience to how to eradicate poverty, he says.
He added that through FCS, they built Youth activists to motivate each other to conduct agriculture activities, to own farms other than staying at home, hence the youths were trained.

To do this, says the Executive Director, they stressed on the need for development of youth polices - that youth have the right to understand the policies for easy access of accounts of their local government and all project expenditures.

Chanyeghea further stipulates that with the FCS, they are currently implementing a new project from October 2016 to March 2017 dubbed Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) in Mkinga and Pangani districts, to make sure the community understands their rights in all matters relating to local governance and policies as well.

With all this done, what has been the output of their work, but more important than that is can it be measured?

According to Chanyeghea, about 100 people including the local government officials were trained on how to handle well public expenditure so that they could help their communities understand better how to enforce their rights in Mkinga and Pangani districts.

Further to that, at least eight people were selected from each group to follow up at local government authorities to ensure there is proper use of government funds for the required transformation in Tanga Region.

In the course of discharging their work, says the Executive Director, the youths in the region have gained more confidence in the fight for their rights.

Youths have formed groups to follow up on government expenditures in a move to avoid embezzlement of public funds.

Youths have also been trained on how to conduct various income earning activities such as agriculture, retail business, carpentry and transportation of goods and passengers.

Ally Omary, a beneficiary of NAF through FCS, says that he has the confidence to stand and train fellow youth in carpentry, and is able to start a retail business.

Said Bakari, another beneficiary, adds that NAF has empowered him with knowledge on how to carry out economic activities and manage his expenditures, besides monitoring the local governments, and that he is a proud carpenter and a trader of cabinets and curtains.

Chanyeghea says due to the good work NAF has been doing, it won trophies through FCS for best performance. He would not mention the years when he snatched the trophies.

Nevertheless, underlining all this good work is also challenges which have been pooling back the stakeholders’ feet.

Executive Director Chanyeghea says ignorance of the youths is a great challenge as most of them only attend the training to listen and leave. Not often do they take what they have learnt into action though most of them are active.

Chanyegea says that FCS is among the most helping organisations but adds that NAF needs more financial support for the welfare of the youths and the community in general.

NAF expects to increase the number of trainees in capacity building meetings, the number of beneficiaries who could teach and train the community on various issues relating to economic empowerment and HIV/Aids awareness.

And it is based on this trajectory that Chanyeghea anticipate to extend the foundation’s services to more people in the rest of the country.

Top Stories