Facilitator of the first Leadership training in Zanzibar

01 Nov Training the Leaders of Today in Zanzibar

EQWIP HUBs Zanzibar was chosen to facilitate leadership training for more than 1,000 Youth Council Members across Zanzibar. Lucky for us, one of our own EQWIP HUBs Volunteers, Hilary Duff, was able to attend. Read about the experience below!

“Sisi soteni viongozi.”

The Swahili words were written across the flip chart paper and stuck to the board with a wad of tape.

The translation? “We are all leaders.”

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On August 16, 2016, those poignant words were written for village leaders of the Zanzibar Youth Council, a team of youth advocating for the rights of 15 to 35-year-olds across the Zanzibar Archipelago.

On that day, 51 youth gathered to learn together in Mkwajuni village, a small town in Zanzibar’s North A District. They were the latest youth to receive day-long leadership training from EQWIP HUBs Zanzibar — a special request that came directly from the Youth Council’s Executive Secretary.

The council represents 10 districts and 380 villages on Unguja and Pemba islands, each with a group of youth representatives requiring training.

“These leaders have a lack of resources [available]. They’re elected, but they aren’t taught any skills to exercise their duties,” says Moh’d Nyange Juma, the Youth Development Officer from District North A. “This training will help them work with their members and teach them different styles of leadership.”

It’s EQWIP HUBs’ youth-focused approach and programs that appealed to the Zanzibar Youth Council. Powered by Canada World Youth and Youth Challenge International, EQWIP HUBs, is the first project providing leadership skills training on the island and the timing was right to launch a partnership with the council.

“EQWIP HUBs is approachable,” explains Shaib Muhamed, the EQWIP HUBs Zanzibar Coordinator. “There’s no bureaucracy and the training is free. It’s not complicated to register and even our office is located in a youth friendly space.”

Trainings for Zanzibar Youth Council members have been happening across Zanzibar’s largest island, Unguja, since June 2016.

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So far more than 1,000 youth have participated and had EQWIP HUBs facilitators educate them on the essential skills necessary to collaborate with their fellow leaders, and peers.

Of the total youth trained so far, more than half have been women. Gender representation is fundamental to the EQWIP HUBs project and a priority for the Zanzibar Youth Council — especially given that barriers to sustainable livelihoods are disproportionate for women on the island.

One of the most outspoken participants in the day’s session was a 27-year-old woman named Zakia Machano, a committee member from Kidoti Village Council. According to her, unemployment and lack of education are the two biggest issues in her village. She’s interested in how EQWIP HUBs works with youth in the community to give them the training they need to overcome those challenges.

Machano wants to see more women sharing their opinions and taking on leadership roles. She hopes more leadership training will be offered, so other local women receive not only the skills, but the coaching and confidence they need to begin speaking up.

participants taking part in the unconventional leadership and trust activities

Participant of the leadership training

The leadership training in session

“Once I know something I always want to talk. I can’t keep silent, but other women are different. They are shy and lack confidence. I want this to change,” says Machano. “This is the first time [we’ve] got training and we are excited to see how we can use it.”

The mid-August training session was by no means the end of the collaboration between EQWIP HUBs and the Zanzibar Youth Council. With more than 1,000 youth trained and hundreds of council members remaining, this is just the beginning of EQWIP HUBs’ mission to propel youth forward in Zanzibar.

– Written by Hilary Duff
EQWIP HUBs Volunteer

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