In December we wrote about the African Bold Leaders, a group of twenty young people and four instructors from Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa who spent four weeks in Denver and Washington, DC. The Bold Leaders program run by Critical Mass Leadership Education brings students to the U.S. for conflict resolution, civic education and leadership programs. The students then bring what they have learned to their home communities and implement projects utilizing their new skills.
Recently we received an update on one of those Bold Leaders, Mustapha Rashidi, who is now back in Tanzania. Peace Corps Volunteer Mirinda Gormley invited Mustapha to guest write on her blog Tanzania Tales. Below is what he wrote about his experience in the U.S. with the Bold Leader program:
On beginning of October I received application form from African leadership program (BOLD LEADER SHIP),through U.S Embassy in Tanzania, this program was funded by U.S state department. The reason for my trip was to participate in Bold leaders program, which was aimed in increasing leadership skills. Also to have good utilization of basic human resources such as voice, creativity, tears, as well as listening skills as how life depending on. The first plane was from Tanzania to Ambstardam, it was very express and interesting plane, they provided us a delicious food whenever we wanted, their announcements were very clear.
We arrived in U.S on 30th of October, despite of studying but we went to ski, swimming, walking and climbing Colorado rock mountain. When I was there I noticed so many different between Africa and America, some of them are Environment difference, when America is cool and Africa is hot, also Education system ,American gives high priority to Education more than Africa; also social difference where by American youth get more support than support we get African youth in Africa, also Economic difference this can seen by looking infrastructures in America, the living condition of American and availability of social services, Also we have political difference where by America is more Democratic than Africa.
Voice from American and American environment inspired me a lot, the lessons I get there are to know that every one is a leader and every one is responsible on making positive changes in the community, also no age factor in making positive changes, either Elders or Young people all together are responsible in impacting the community, also I get to know who I am right now is I am going to be on the future,(my future is determined by my present),also I get to know humanity, as well as to stand for the people who cannot stand by them selves, to give voice to the people who are voice less, also to stand for the victims of my Nation .
Due to these lessons I was released that my Tanzania now is in good hand of me and to have desire of working to my dream about future Tanzania ,Tanzania had problems before, but hopefully we have no problems any more I am looking for the solution. That is what want to do starting projects which help people to have aces in Education, because I believe on Education to be only the solution to our problems. Also I am studying hard in order to become a good president on the future who will care about the people and fight against Diseases, poverty, and Ignorance hardly, also to be a father of humanity and fare to my people.
Ms. Gormley also gave an update on what Mr. Rashidi is up to now:
Mustapha continues to live in Makong’onda as my counterpart/best friend/son until he is able to go to high school in the Spring. He is the counterpart for many of our projects, and he is trying to train and find others who can teach in the future, when he leaves for school and I leave for places unknown. We are all incredibly proud of Mustapha (his home village of Mapili had a town meeting so that Mustapha could tell them about life in America, the entire village showed up) and I know that if he is lucky enough to get into high school, he will do great things.
The Bold Leaders program will host another class of emerging African leaders in April. To get involved visit www.boldleaders.com and keep in touch with the Bold Leaders by joining their social network.