‘We can create the world we dream of”. My name is Seleman Yusuph Kitenge. I`m a Tanzanian young leader aged 25 years old. I`m the seventh born in the family of eight children. I finished primary education in 2004 and joined Azania Secondary school where I graduated in 2008. In 2009 I commenced my college education at Tanzania Public Service College and graduated with a Diploma in Public Sector Financial management. Currently, I`m a third year student at the Open University of Tanzania, pursuing a Bachelor degree of Arts in Sociology. I`m a Native Swahili speaker, fluent in English and a basic German speaker, I`m passionate about sustainable development, humanitarian work, media and communication, international relations, photographing, social activism and peace advocacy. I have previously volunteered as a Peer Educator for Don Bosco Life Choices Program, Azania Roots and shoots club as a Coordinator, Chairman and Founder of Tanzania Public Service College United Nations chapter and served as a Consultant to President of Tanzania Public Service college student organization.
I have been a part of model United Nations Department for Youth of United Nations Association of Tanzania since 2012 where I volunteered as a communication personnel and the organizer of several local and international model United Nations conferences where I served as the head of communication, media and publicity. I was also a member at AIESEC, Jane Goodall Institute, Don Bosco Life Choice, Sauti ya Vijana Tanzania (SAVITA) and Tanzania Gender Network Program (TGNP). In 2013, I was selected by the Federal Agency on Youth Affairs and the Ministry of Education and science of Russian Federation to represent Tanzania in International Youth Forum Seliger. This was the best moment and unforgettable one for me. It was my first trip abroad and due to financial difficulties my father had to sell his pierce of land just to ensure I won’t miss this opportunity just like the others I missed before for lacking funds. It was not only my father who fought to make sure I don’t miss this trip but also the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Madam Fenella Mukangara who was touched by my background and decided to offer her help. In God`s blessing the trip was a success and I was selected by Seliger Media report for a short documentary which was shown in the closing ceremony and made me a local star in the forum.
Few months later I was awarded a fellowship under World Peace Initiative Foundation whereby I attended peace training in Limuru, Kenya and became a Peace rebel. A month later, I got an opportunity to attend the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum in France and I was among the young leaders selected for the World Radio Day Jingle and had an opportunity to go on a study tour around European countries after the forum. This was like a dream come true because in my life I never thought I would reach this far through voluntary work. Recently I have been selected as an Ambassador in Tanzania for International Students Festival Trondheim (ISFIT) an organization which is based in Norway. Not only that but also I have been recruited as an intern at the UN Resident Coordinator Office for the United Nations Communication Group.
Despite of all the successes I got through volunteerism my road to success has never been easy. I was always criticized before by some of my friends and some of my family members for spending so much time working as an unpaid staff. Some went even further by calling me crazy but in spite of the discouragement and derogatory words I never gave up. To my father and mother I`m more than what my siblings and my friends think, instead they always had faith in me. Sometimes they say I`m destined to do big things. To me these words are like adding petrol into fire frames, because they motivate me to work even harder to achieve my dreams. I still believe that I have a lot to learn and give back to the community through volunteerism.
Lastly, I call for all youth around the world to not have negative attitude towards volunteerism because it creates professionalism, accountability and humanity. Also I urge my fellow youth to always follow their dreams and do what they think is right for them and their fellow human beings. As Interseliger`s motto once stated, ‘‘We can create the world we dream of”.