Hi, my name is Evelyn Alinda Kaijage! In 2007, TFFT registered as a non-Governmental organization in Tanzania. The Foundation For Tomorrow is a multifaceted organization that beautifully blends together the welfare of the city’s community, while simultaneously breeding an internal family that functions off compassion and strength, which perfectly match the organization’s underlying principles.
I am proudly working at TFFT as an intern and have been doing so for the last six months. Since joining in April this year, I honestly couldn’t forecast what a revolutionary experience it would be. It has been day-in and day-out, non-stop, on your feet, robust, interactive and rewarding experience and it only levels up every day. I’m so thankful for this opportunity, it has been such an eye-opening experience to be hands-on within my community and I am constantly ecstatic to walk into the office and leave with more knowledge and to be learning more every day.
I have the privilege to work alongside an amazing group of people, specifically working under the scholarship department. I work in close proximity with Robin (TFFT’s Psychosocial and Health Program Coordinator) and Haruni (Academic Affairs and Student Support Coordinator). Not enough words can suffice to brag about what amazing people they are. Both are outstanding individuals with amazing personalities and admirable work ethic. Working with my team has been thrilling, especially during fieldwork where we are on the frontline of things and there’s a more tactile feel of the work we do and see a 3-dimensional impact of our work.
Within the Scholarship Program, I have contributed in numerous ways:
Firstly, my initial allocated task was handling the “Jambo” forms and sponsor letters for the scholars for the Whole Child Reports (a piece of communication for TFFT sponsors). This was such a fulfilling task for me personally, being able to work hands-on with the scholars gives you a rush of satisfaction that you can’t get anywhere else. Our scholars’ feedback to their sponsors gives a tactile insight into the true hardships of their lives, but it also invokes a feeling of genuine appreciation, which is overtly inspiring and empowering.
Another impactful task I took part in was planning for the parents and caregivers’ convention, which, although it challenged me because it was such a high feat we couldn’t afford to not achieve, it increased my grit and resilience to get my tasks done to the best of my ability.
Furthermore, I have had the privilege to facilitate some training with Robin on child protection and child rights. It was a blessing. I never thought I had the potential to work with young scholars and teens. I have always been shy of public speaking, just simply talking to a crowd or class presentations. Child Rights and Protection Trainings felt right hence it wasn’t a challenge, rather it was empowering and rewarding. Growth is on the other side of your comfort zone, so it forced me to venture outside my comfort zone and successfully flourish. I wouldn’t have done this without Robin’s trust and confidence in me. I will forever be grateful.
Subsequently, I have also had hands-on experience when distributing scholars’ pocket money, basic needs like school shoes, books, soap, stationary, etc. Scholars with special needs are also catered for, for TFFT truly prides itself of inclusivity and leaving no one behind. Through this, I have gotten to interact with scholars and formed strong friendships. Ultimately, it has been nothing short of rewarding.
To pin-point an array of peak moments would be an exhaustive list, so I will list a few that were the most memorable for myself:
My peak moments have to be:
Firstly, The Lunch Project (TLP) at Lemanyatta Primary School. It was a stand-out highlight because it really inspired me. Essentially, TFFT teamed up with TLP the school to build a kitchen for the school. The authentic testimonies given by the children and the teachers were heartwarming and it reaffirmed to myself that I am proud to be a part of this institution and constantly reminds you that working at TFFT is a unique blessing.
Another rewarding moment has to be a graduation I attended. It was such a special event and the scholar’s speeches evoked happy tears out of me. It was great sharing this milestone with them and even more proud, knowing I played a role in helping them cement this amazing stage in their lives. They are basking in the achievement of their hard work and efforts.
The Livelihood Strengthening Project Training for parents is another memorable highlight. In this program, the parents are trained on entrepreneurial skills and soap making techniques. Parents play a big role in a child’s upbringing so their development is also crucial. It is truly a beautiful sight to see. It unconsciously warms my heart that parents are also given a chance to evolve themselves in a productive manner that can serve both themselves and their families. Through the training, they are also taught relevant and important skills that will help their day-to-day life which ultimately has a long-lasting positive impact for themselves and really is the end-goal of this training program.
This internship has helped me realize my potential. But not only that, it has helped expand my horizons. It has always been my dream to work with children or women and make a difference in their lives, big or small. Working closely with the Scholarship Program team has me considering working with everyone in need regardless. Their utmost dedication and compassion for our scholars motivates me daily. Through staff meetings I have strengthened my interpersonal skills and teamwork skills. Learning and sharing staff meetings and staff lunches have developed our team relationships. The TFFT team has definitely become my second family and my home away from home.