“Moral leadership requires a vision of peace and justice for the entire human family. This vision goes beyond our national borders to see the benefits of global peace and justice for ourselves and all people. It is directed by respect for ethical beliefs and values and for the dignity and rights of others.” – Dickson Kamala (Vice-Chairman, Tanzania Youth Vision Association)
In efforts to counter violent extremism among the youth, Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Tanzania is taking proactive measures to educate and support young leaders through workshops across the country.
Understanding the vital role that families play in creating connections and relationship patterns for life, GPF Tanzania has worked to connect young people to older community role models.
This mentorship model is part of GPF’s unique approach to strengthen the bonds of family amongst young people, which might otherwise be sought out in extremist groups. Most importantly, the expanded vision combined with a disciplined focus on the greater good helps young people to discover their identity, meaning, motivation and purpose in life.
National Vice Chairman for Tanzania Youth Vision Association (TYVA), Dickson Kamala, who is also the East Africa Community Youth Ambassador and a member of East Africa Anti-Corruption Youth Network, spoke at the workshop. He noted, “Leaders have great influence over others. Moral leadership gives life to others and enhances the lives of others; Immoral leadership takes away from others in order to enhance oneself.” He went on to describe a moral leader as one who leads to serve. “You can be someone who leads through persuasion, motivation, self-awareness, and the most important of all: serving people.”
Mentors highlighted the quality of discipline throughout the workshop. Understanding that it is not enough to have a dream alone, but to cultivate a character that allows youth to reach their highest goals, leaders provided workshop participants with practical advice on punctuality and responsibility. In turn, the youth felt empowered to become more effective in channeling their talents, high energy and optimism to make a positive impact in their local communities. Reinvigorated by the guidance on creating good habits, students felt a renewed sense of ownership over the challenges facing their country.
“Youth should be very punctual,” said one mentor, “Because every moment of youth is costly.”
Herman Kajiru, the former National Chairman for Youth of the United Nations (YUNA-Tanzania) agreed that time is of the essence, telling his fellow youth leaders that their future depends on what they do today. He encouraged the young people to rebuff actions that criticize and condemn others and instead be proactive in providing solutions and take on new challenges as an opportunity to grow as a leader. “If the youth understand their responsibility, a large amount of crime may be reduced in even one day.”
“Moral leadership requires a vision of peace and justice for the entire human family,” said Mr. Kamala, “This vision goes beyond our national borders to see the benefits of global peace and justice for ourselves and all people. It is directed by respect for ethical beliefs and values and for the dignity and rights of others.”
GPF takes a comprehensive view of the complex interactions between individuals and society, working above all to support families as the primary institution in which to transmit values and virtues to the next generation. This understanding undergirds the character development projects and programs as the best deterrent for youth radicalization and violent extremism.
Through ongoing workshops on education, leadership and entrepreneurship in communities and universities, GPF strives to raise peace ambassadors to usher in a dynamic new era of moral and innovative leadership in Tanzania.
The original post appears on Global Peace Foundation. Global Peace Foundation is an international non-sectarian, non-partisan, nonprofit organization, which promotes an innovative, values-based approach to peacebuilding, guided by the vision of One Family under God. GPF engages and organizes a global network of public and private-sector partners who develop community, national, and regional peace building models as the foundation for ethical and cohesive societies. Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon is founder and chairman of the Global Peace Foundation.