The LEAD Tanzania National Youth Conference (Leadership Experience and Development) is a week-long conference designed to educate and empower youth, both boys and girls. Peace Corps Volunteers, secondary students, and counterparts come together from different regions all over the country: Mbeya, Songea, Njombe, Iringa, Dodoma, Kilimanjaro, Tanga, etc. The week is filled with non-stop learning and confidence building. The conference includes team building activities, food security topics (nutrition and home gardening), Zinduka malaria and HIV/AIDS lessons, a sexual health lesson and condom demo, goal setting and vision boards, guest speakers and a university visit, science competitions, a gender debate, action planning for taking the conference home, movie, game, and art nights, teach-backs by the students, and a talent show.
Each day the students are exposed to a variety of different topics and participate in hands-on activities and lessons. The highlight of the week is career day, with guest speakers teaching on the importance of goal setting, a visit to Sokoine University, and hearing from current university students who come from similar places as the conference participants, and who have found success. Over the course of the week, friendships blossom and the students are exposed to the experiences of their fellow students from all over the country. After the conference, the students are clearly motivated by their new depth of knowledge and understanding, by the opportunities they now know exist for them, and by the fact that they travelled to a new place and now have new friends scattered across the country. Truly, it is a week they will never forget.
Check out the video of the LEAD TZ 2016 Conference!
And the inaugural LEAD TZ 2015 Conference!