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The “Self-Reliance Project”

The 2 Day Challenge (2DC) is one of the central activities that every Kisa Year Two Scholar is excited about. It is a chance for them to lead a small community activity and put into practice what they have learned over their many months with Kisa.   “It is the moment of giving back to my community that gift and privilege I have been offered by Kisa as a trusted leader. It’s a time I face the world as a leader in a different way with new perspectives,” reported one of our Kisa Scholars. The 2DC involves different activities designed by Kisa Scholars as they address big problems in their communities in an achievable and sustainable way.  It is a way of giving back to their communities and another important step on the journey from a being Kisa Scholar to becoming a Kisa Alumna.


One of the 2DC projects earlier this year was the “Self-Reliance Project,” implemented by Machame Girls Secondary. Scholars identified that many youth in the communities surrounding their school seek financial independence though destructive means. With few obvious opportunities and little insight into their own potential, many fall into negative and even catastrophic ways such as apathy, thievery or transactional relationships.


Kisa Scholars decided to tackle these social problems by conducting a self-reliance discussion during Day One of their 2 Day Challenge.  Our Scholars were able to encourage and motivate youth by sharing new ideas that have been introduced to them during Kisa sessions. The discussion increased awareness that each one can use their own powers, hidden talents and sources rather than rely on those of others. They talked about the freedom of being self-reliant and the benefits of being independent.


Enriching the school environment by introducing important topics learned in the Kisa program to other students.


During Day Two, Kisa Scholars actively engaged with their fellow students in an enjoyable way by instructing them how to cook a variety of snacks. This is a common example of a livelihood activity for people in Tanzania. This is one of many ways to gain financial independence and takes away the need to rely inappropriately on others.


The Self-Reliance Project impressed many of the students and teachers. The fact that self-reliance can have a positive impact on the individual and community was a welcomed idea. One of the participating students stated, “We all have resources and power that can be used to better our lives in a healthy, positive way. We can be creative, independent and find solutions within ourselves.”    It begins with one person, one idea and a knowledge of one’s resources. On behalf of the school, the school president thanked the Kisa Scholars and promised that they will make use of the new knowledge and skills they received on these two days.


To read more case studies of the 2 Day Challenge over the last several years, click here.


Contributed by: Subira Manyama, Kisa Mentor & Alumna