Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The future of Africa depends on youth who dream BIG, meet Miss Catherine Fidelis, A young Tanzania and most promising African young leaders

When we speak of changes, we don’t mean transforming Tanzania to be a developed nation like America in a single night dream, but we speak of small but powerful efforts taken by young Tanzanian who see and dream that one day we will be a really independent country with good governance, quality social service, improved infrastructure and utilization of country’s resources in a way that can benefit every individual.
Miss Catherine Fidelis (Second ) from right with students who are part of Fahari ya Kuwa Msichana Program
Today we are honored to have on board Miss Catherine Fidelis, a young Tanzania, feminist and activist who holds a bachelor degree of Economics in Project Planning and Management from Mzumbe University. Catherine is also a prestigious fellow of Vital Vices LEAD program and a winner of 2014 MoremiInitiative Leadership Development Program (MILEAD) emerging young African promising leaders Fellowship. She is a co-founder of Fahari ya Kuwa Msichana Program at The Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots Tanzania. Catherine is passionate on youth empowerment especially girls and women since she believes it is each woman’s responsibility.
“It was a process to realize my passion and still I am exploring, since 2009 I started being active on community engagement and in years of service I came to be drawn on girls and women issues, but I could say the true realization was in 2013, Yes! Two years after I have started Fahari”.
Fahari ya Kuwa Msichana is a mentoring program for girls between 11 – 24 years of age in primary, secondary school and universities under Miss Catherine, where girls get to participate in two days’ workshop. In this workshop girls who are in Universities and in Secondary and primary schools are brought together where those from Universities train and mentoring the Youngers. The goal is to make girls realize that the development of women and girls in their communities is individual girls’ and women’ responsibility.

The program started in December 2011 with a help of international volunteer Erica Hall after witnessing that girls in Roots and Shoots Clubs and other extra curriculum clubs were not actively participating in leadership roles. Thus, the initiative was to get girls share their experience with their peers and those older than them to boost their morale to use their potential. The program has reached more than 500 girls since it has started. 

Apart from Fahari project, Catherine has actively been involved in Peace building programs after attending a two weeks training in Rwanda on Peace Building and online course on Global Education: The Intercultural Dimension. Catherine believes that peace is undeniable subject since more than ever, Tanzania has been on verge of conflicts, terrorism threats and unsettlement with the majority perpetrators being young people and victims being girls, women and children. These are small signs that need to be addressed before they escalate to more violent conflicts.

Catherine’s most successful story is her education background;
“I am always proud of my education background, I always tell people my education never cost my parents more than 2000USD from primary to university, I studied in government schools, from primary school to university and yet I have managed to achieve most of my dreams that mostly think are for those brought up with a silver spoon on their mouths. But it is about determination, perfection and passion”.

Everyone’s dream has to be natured by someone, on Catherine’s side there are different people who influenced her to be who she is:
“There are several people who are my role models but most are my parents and especially my mother. She has been an inspiration all my life. She realized the value of education; she made sure school was a priority in my life. She was always keen about my progress in school, and she made sure to support me to get the positive exposure and network that will develop my skills. Being a housewife she seek out advice from friends on carrier opportunities. She was never aggressive in dealing with me but she wanted me to prove to her I was bold enough, mature enough and wise enough in making decisions. With her example I am inspired to make every girl realize that education is the first step of empowerment and mothers have a great role to play.”

Life without challenges looks like life without vision. For one to grow and who they want to be they have to face some challenges to test their abilities. Catherine is still facing some difficulties on her ways, she says:
 “My challenging situation is to get girls understand the essence of the Fahari program, mostly they are distracted and they want tangible products not service and at times it gets frustrating when you feel unappreciated. I am restructuring the program to be very simple and fun for them to concentrate and participate regularly”.

Catherine believe that everyone has to succeed, if not today, in a near future, but the best way is to seek for advice and mentorship from those who have succeeded, her advice to everyone is that,
“there is no magic to success but it starts with setting goals, discipline and endurance. Myself I am still seeking advice from others”.

See more about Catherine here. 


Post a Comment