Two years ago, Tiffany Iza Safari could barely express herself at school, even in her native language, because she didn’t have the confidence to do so.
The now 17-year-old says this denied her the opportunity to hang out with her peers, and share her concerns, especially in and out of class.
Safari, a student at Groupe Scolaire Notre dame de Lourdes Byimana, says that many young people are not confident enough yet they have different and interesting ideas.
With the help of, ENHA-Girubuntu Organisation, (Education for Nation and Humanitarian Africa), the youngster can now express herself better, with skills she got in public speaking.
ENHA-Girubuntu is a high school and university youth-led organisation where students are committed to their skills and abilities to perform, and support their country through different educative initiatives.
The organisation aims at expanding to change the EAC region and Africa at large.
Chryseis Nshuti Ineza, a 21-year-old beneficiary, says in this time, it’s weird for one to not be informed on current issues, especially with the use of the internet and social media.
However, she says there are some details and issues that require more than just learning from social media and other online sites.
In her case, for instance, she says although she was aware of gender inequality before, she didn’t know how to create awareness on the issue as a young person.
“I’m glad because apart from understanding my rights, I can also help other young people out there on how to address the problems in their daily lives,” she says.
Ineza says through the organisation, she has gained skills in humanity i.e. proper ways to associate with people — listening to opinions, and most importantly, not judging — skills she says are necessary for anybody.
At her age, Ineza, a university student, says she now knows how to handle responsibilities, juggle more than one task at a go, as well as plan for her future.
More about the organisation
ENHA-Girubuntu started in 2009 by high school students through clubs. At the time, they were dealing with high schools and universities.
According to Freedom Kabarere Felicien, founder and advisor of ENHA- Girubuntu, the passion came from the issues they used to discuss through different clubs at school.
This led them to think of how they can continue with it, but more importantly, how to keep other young people informed about different issues.
Two years down the line, the organisation extended its services to society where they carry out community activities done in different districts through public events in universities, since their main target is to educate and inspire others.
Basically, the organisation focuses on empowering youth through social change activities and education, especially humanitarian activities.
According to Egide Tumusifu, ENHA-Girubuntu deputy secretary-general in charge of education and capacity building, they do this to re-build the country and to play the main role in sustainable development activities.
“We took our commitment on how we can contribute to the development of our country regardless of our age, which prepares us to be responsible leaders in the future,” he says.
The organisation also works on various issues such as gender equity and equality for family conflict management.
Peace building activities are carried out in different districts, including Huye, Karongi, Kayonza, Muhanga, Gisagara, Musanze, among others.
Tumusifu says students discuss issues that affect them, including drug addiction, early pregnancies, genocide ideology, sexual harassment, among others.
Mentors are invited to help out in handling different topics and also guide and counsel students, be it on career choice or how to go about different issues in their lives.
Through the organisation, Tumusifu says young people are able to learn about gender equality.
He says ensuring equal access to opportunities to enable students to fully participate in the learning process is vital, a thing he believes is carried forward even after school.
Apart from that, Kabera says learners are also taken through understanding the laws that govern society, for them to be able to know how to address themselves as young people in society.
On top of this, students are taken through the importance of different government policies and how they are beneficial to them at the moment and in the future.
The students share the knowledge gained with other youth and most importantly, in the communities they hail from, thus educating the community at large.
Within the organisation’s programmes, students have small group trainings in public speaking, among other ways to boost their confidence.
Tumusifu says all activities are prepared by and for students, which he says helps build their skills to be good future leaders.
Meanwhile, during this time when schools are closed till September to curb the spread of COVID-19, the organisation is using an online platform to continue educating and sharing ideas through WhatsApp groups.
Before, they used to organise training and conferences for students in different learning institutions.
“The groups are different, depending on where the members come from, where objectives and ideas are shared among ourselves with tasks allocated to every individual,” says Ineza.Follow Lydia_AtienoM