The Fun Run, which started and ended at The Green grounds located at Toure Drive, Oysterbay, is a charity initiative towards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and saw participants compete in 5km and 10km races.
Airtel Tanzania Director of Marketing, Isaack Nchunda, said that giving back to the community has been one of the company’s long time initiatives.
“The surrounding society means a lot to us, extending our hands to the less privileged is our concern and this time we have decided to support youths who have qualified for vocational training online studies but cannot pay their school fees,” Nchunda said.
“We understand that poverty in Tanzania is much influenced by un-employment, with inadequate access to quality education and lack of employability skills being the reason."
"Government statistics show that more than 70% of youths who are aged between 16 and 30 are unemployed, with more than 50% of them lack the necessary skills to employ themselves.”
“By supporting the youths’ to undertake vocational training, we are effectively creating jobs for them and in the process support the overall government’s strategy of building an industrialized economy.”
Nchunda noted that the country needs competitive and qualified personnel on vocational skills in a bid to have strong industries.
The Airtel TUNAKUJALI program involves Airtel employees, stakeholders, and the general public that buy participation tickets at 20,000/- each and thereby contribute towards the support of at least 1,000 youths aged between 18 to 24, who will qualify for vocational education training through VSOMO App online courses and perfect their skills in their areas of choice.
The initiative was launched in 2014 to allow Airtel employees participate in giving back to the community annually.
It involves identifying and undertaking projects in which the employees will give their time, funding, expertise and knowledge.
Airtel Tanzania Director of Communications, Beatrice Singano, said that VSOMO is an online distance learning programme offered by the Vocational Education Training Authority (VETA) in partnership with Airtel.
Since its launch in 2016, there has been at least 39,000 downloads of VSOMO App and a least 12,000 youths have already registered with over 115 youths having already completed their studies and received certificates from VETA.
“I take this opportunity to thank my fellow Airtel Tanzania staff for participating in this Fun Run, which will change the lives of our youth,” she said.
She disclosed her firm partnered with Dasani Drinking Water and Legthego Bank to make the event a success.
VETA Director General, Pancras Bujulu, said that the online training is one of the strategies adopted by VETA to increase equitable access to Vocational Education and Training.
The online vocational training short courses have been provided by VETA since 2016.
“The application provides flexibility in learning and has been beneficial to trainees who are far away from training centres or those who are mostly engaged in other activities but would like to get vocational training,” he said.
“Through the VSOMO App, trainees undertake theoretical training through their smartphones and only attend classes for practical session in VETA centres.”
Bujulu added that some trainees get challenges of affording to pay tuition fees, thus commended the FUN RUN as it will support them and definitely will increase access to Vocational training through VSOMO.
He expressed his gratitude to Airtel for the firm's commitment in supporting youths to acquire vocational skills. He expressed that Airtel is one of the companies which has been keen to see that Tanzanian youth acquire employable skills thereby become self-reliant and combat poverty.