Abdallah, community gatherer at SHIPO, had the honour of representing Tanzanian youth in the 2022 DAKA Exchange Program as a climate change activist and environmental enthusiast. He was one of 10 youths selected for the program. The initiative links educators, social workers, and environmental and climate change activists from Hamburg, Germany and Tanzania. This was his experience:
I was pleased to discover that Hamburg is almost entirely green when I arrived. When I asked my hosts how they do it, they responded that the main factors contributing to the city’s green status are tree conservation and city planning. Because Hamburgers value nature, the necessity of conservation has been emphasized in all engineering and building designs, and each person is taking personal responsibility for it.
We spent the first week looking at some similarities between Tanzania and Germany with our Hamburg colleagues (Dar es Salaam – Hamburg in particular). We were able to investigate certain ongoing projects, such as waste management programs, educational programs, and community centres, and their functions in transforming social problems into workable and long-lasting solutions through cooperative systems.
Experiences from Week Two.
The second week’s activities were primarily focused on indoor workshop learning and practical workouts on a variety of subjects, including sustainability and education, climate change, decolonization and system changes for former German colonies in Africa, and mental health in relation to current affairs of crisis, COVID-19, and climate injustice. As we applied our daily community intervention activities, we were also given coaching on facilitation strategies, public speaking, and appreciative inquiry procedures during the learning sessions.
Night of networking and presentation for personal activities.
We had the opportunity to interact with and network with invited experts, Hamburg City employees, teachers, and other stakeholders during this session. As a young climate activist, I was humbled to be given the opportunity to exhibit the work I love to do the most in my category. On that day, I discussed how community involvement and cleanups might help to address the issue of improper trash management. People gained knowledge from my presentation regarding waste and brand audit (WABA) and data exchange among the crucial community stakeholders.
Take home learning and opportunities.
1. I discovered the importance of community centres and open playgrounds in preserving urban environments and ecologies. I believe we can engage the regional authorities of Njombe within the “Multi-stakeholder climate action plan” to explore that and to incorporate it into their urban planning initiatives.
2. Networking with Hamburg-based transformational leaders who work in the permaculture, composting, and recycling businesses. The establishment of an upcycling centre, where residents of the neighbourhood drop off their used and/or unwanted items like clothing, books, shoes, and other home necessities, was one of the best ideas I’ve ever seen. When people in need pass by the shop, they can choose the items they need and donate any small sum of money they can afford or wish to.
3. First week of November the colleagues from Germany will also visit Tanzania, and it was advised that all youths from Tanzania who visited in Hamburg should also meet in person and have sessions for 10 days in order to make them (participants) from Hamburg to explore more about Tanzania and learn as we did in Germany.