Upon an invitation by Fr. Angelo Munduni (sj), director of Radio Kwizera, African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN) in collaboration with Radio Kwizera oversaw a successful AHAPPY TOT in Kwizera, Ngara district of Kagera province. The training which started on 1st of November 2022 and ended on 5th of November 2022 brought together a number of participants who comprised of, Radio Kwizera staff and youth leaders from various deaneries from the diocese of Rulenge/Ngara.
Radio Kwizera is a regional community radio established in 1995 by the Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS), as a podium for the exchange of the information among the refugees, the organizations and Governments working with them. The aim of Radio Kwizera is to restore hope and socio-economic prosperity in northwestern Tanzania and its environs that host refugees from Great Lakes Region of Africa. It empowers its audience with values, knowledge, and skills they need to lead a peaceful and prosperous life.
The aim of the training was three thronged; first, to share AHAPPY program with Kwizera team as a tool to reach to youth across the regions reached by Radio Kwizera; second, to build the capacity of youth leaders and provide content, especially for accompanying the youth and guide them in addressing the challenges they confront daily; third, as part of AJAN’s effort to strengthen collaboration, networking and synergies with other Jesuits works in effort to create and expand reach and impact. Radio Kwizera has 22 million audiences across, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and beyond. This therefore becomes a huge platform for the AHAPPY program to reach the youth and members of the community listening to Radio Kwizera.
The training was officially opened by Fr. Pamphilus Kitondo Parish priest of the cathedral of the dioceses who doubles up as the youth chaplain of the diocese. Thanking Fr. Angelo for considering to bring the other youth to the training, he emphasized that the importance of the training, by calling on participants to take advantage of the training to form themselves for the community. Fr. Angelo in his opening remarks expressed his hope to work with the youth leaders as agents as channels to rise pertinent issues of concern in the community. A total of 45 participants in attendance were drawn from different faiths, (Islam, SDA’s, evangelicals and Catholics) and professionals. Catholic participants were youth leaders representing the denaries of Rulenge, Ngara, Chato, Bwanga and Biharamulo.
Closing the end of the training, Fr. Pamphilus said “I know you have received the best training, do not fail us. Go and teach and live the values you have learnt by example. Let what you have learnt not remain in your brains and books, it will be useless to anyone. Be our ambassadors, help other youth and the communities.” Father Angelo said that it has been his dream to see the youth actively engaging in and being interested to raise issues affecting communities and he hopes that the participants become the link between Radio Kwizera and the community. He challenges the youth to be very creative because creativity, integrity and wisdom are critical qualities when handling and communicating complex realities in the society. He added “hopefully, we will extend AHAPPY training to the youth in refugees’ camps next year God willing.”
At the end of the training Rosemary once of the participants shares her experience by saying, “nilijisikia furaha nilipoambiwa na mimi ni mmoja wapo kwenye semina itakayofanyika Radio Kwizera, japo nilikuwa sijui ni mada gani naenda kufunzwa lakini baada ya kufika pale nilijikia furaha saaana maana yale mafunzo yalikuwa ya maaana saaana kwangu mimi na wote waliohudhuria kongamano hili.” (I felt good when I was told I would be one of the participants of the AHAPPY Training happening at Radio Kwizera, even though I didn’t know the topics of discussion, but after participating in the session, I found the topics very inspiring to me and the whole group that attended.)
Throughout the training, participants demonstrated very positive attitude and readiness to work on the information received. Their interest to reach out to the community was demonstrated by the practical work plans outlining the actions each youth from every deanery prepared to undertake. Other creativities were demonstrated; one participant for instance, created a poem decrying the drugs traps of ensnarement the youth fall to. Fr. Angelo praised this creative attitude and asked the youth to come out more with such messages. He intimated that there was a BBC competition that was looking out for short stories for a cash price. He said he will be looking out for such opportunities to link more youth. It was agreed by participants and their mentors that the youth leaders will be reporting their activities and results to Fr. Pamphilus. The directors of Radio Kwizera too will make a follow up on the outcomes and outputs of the youth activities moving forward. AJAN continues to collaborate with Radio Kwizera and their collaborators in journeying with the youth.
More to follow>>>
By, Ms. Pascalia Sergon
Capacity Building Officer, AJAN