In late August, the Tanzania YES Alumni Association (TAYAA) held its second annual general meeting. This brought many new and exciting changes for the group, including finalizing the association’s constitution, discussing alumni activities, and, most importantly, electing the new TAYAA Executive Committee.
The newly elected Executive Committee is made up of alumni dating all the way back to 2008. They include President Shughaib Yussuf Abdi (YES 2008-2009, Tanzania, hosted by ASPECT Foundation in Scranton, PA), Vice President Miriam Stanley Laizer (YES 2009-10, Tanzania, hosted by IRIS in Washington, IA), General Secretary Hudhaifat ali Hamdan (YES 2014-15, Tanzania, hosted by CCI Greenheart in Lake Stevens, WA), Assistant Secretary Doreen Malavanu (YES 2012-13, Tanzania, hosted by YFU USA in Greenbelt, MD), Treasurer Saidi Shaban Machinga (YES 2008-09, Tanzania, hosted by IRIS in Boone, IA), and Vice Secretary Saidi Ali Abbas (YES 2011-12, Tanzania, hosted by ASSE in Bend, OR).
“My core tasks are to reconnect all alumni and make sure that we are having as many active alumni as possible,” newly elected President Shughaib Abdi stated*. “The other issue is to activate all our social media to create better partnerships with other organizations internally and outside the country.”
In addition to these main focuses, Abdi hopes to better regulate TAYAA by establishing new rules and regulations. He also plans to open an active bank account for the organization.
“If finances permit, we will bring routine awareness to Tanzanians by visiting some of the regions in Tanzania and talking to them about the importance of volunteerism,” Abdi said.
Developing projects in the areas that alumni reside has always been difficult for returning YES alumni. To help fight this problem, one group attended a Project Planning and Management workshop in Zanzibar while others attended a Leadership Training workshop in South Africa. Representatives shared about what they learned at these workshops and how to create successful alumni activities and programs to help local communities.
Getting alumni together in Tanzania can be a challenge, so the turnout of this year’s meeting was a success. With the help and devotion of the newly elected Executive Committee, TAYAA hopes to continue holding annual meetings to further develop its organization and the good work that YES alumni in the country can provide.
*Please note quotes were changed to better communicate Abdi’s comments.