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RYLA a success!

Another Rotary first brings pride to the young leaders in our community.
Another Rotary first brings pride to the young leaders in our community

Tanzania’s first ever Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) were held at St Jude’s last month.  

Almost fifty bright and promising students were selected to participate in the training and awards day. Students came from seven schools in the region, nominated for their leadership skills and commitment to service.

The day began with icebreaker games designed to encourage students to interact and communicate with each other.  

Leading the way: Miriam interviews District New Generations Chair, Francisco Ssemwanga.
Leading the way: Miriam interviews District New Generations Chair, Francisco Ssemwanga.

Then it was time for the Rotary formalities, with inspiring speeches from District Governor, Jayesh Asher and District New Generations Chair, Francisco Ssemwanga – it was a real coup for the students to meet such high ranking Rotarians and community leaders.

It will come as no surprise that our Community Service Year interns got involved. When it comes to leadership and service, our capable interns put their hands on the (Rotary) wheel, and they did a great job facilitating the day.

Miriam, who oversees our youth Rotary clubs at St Jude’s, made an inspirational speech about her passion for entrepreneurship and ran a highly successful creative workshop. 

Making use of refuse: Student representatives think 'outside the box' in the creative workshop.
Making use of refuse: Student representatives think ‘outside the box’ in the creative workshop.

The workshop involved using everyday materials (from fabric off-cuts to empty water bottles and cans) to create something genuinely useful. 

“I took away from the workshop how one can use the resources you have; even using something worthless to create something useful that can serve the community,” Samson, Form 1, said. 

A helping hand: Workshop facilitator, Miriam, supports a student during the interactive session.
A helping hand: Workshop facilitator, Miriam, supports a student during the interactive session.

Next up was the great debate, where teams of students discussed ‘Who can help the community the most?’ 

The conclusion? That the young generation are the most beneficial to the community. 

Daudi, another St Jude’s Community Service Year intern, served as a great mentor for the debate. Daudi is volunteering as a teacher at Njiro Secondary School and brought some of Njiro’s budding young leaders to the awards day.  

Building bridges: Beyond St Jude's intern, Daudi, brought students from Njiro Secondary School to RYLA.
Building bridges: Beyond St Jude’s intern, Daudi, brought students from Njiro Secondary School to RYLA.

When asked, Krupa and Maahiya, from Jaffery Academy Secondary School, said the debating was “by far our favourite activity of the day,” as it allowed them to “interact with different students, hear different opinions and learn teamwork skills.” 

The day closed with a presentation ceremony, where each of the 48 students received a certificate for successfully completing the Interact Tanzania Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. 

Leading the way: Our Immediate Past Interact President, Lisa, recites a poem before the debate.
Leading the way: Our Immediate Past Interact President, Lisa, recites a poem before the debate.

Immediate Past Interact President and St Jude’s student, Lisa, said, “the highlight of the day was the speech from Mr Francisco, on the importance of not waiting for opportunities to come but rather seeking them out, and that one is not required to do something big to make a difference but rather do anything, no matter how small.

It was a jam-packed day – mix in some yummy rice, poetry recitations and brilliant dancing, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for an extremely successful RYLA event.

Help our students make a difference to others, by making a difference to them – sponsor one of our bright students! 

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