Benedict Aloysius is President and Chief Executive Officer of Ahadi For Excellent Development, a youth organisation he founded while studying at University of the Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial Academy.
Facing an education system that promotes job seeking over job creation, Benedict found himself needing two to five years’ work experience. He volunteered at several youth organisations to gain the experience he needed to seek employment.
He became interested in community development and later pursued a three-year degree in Community Development. While studying, he would mobilise fellow students to raise money for orphans or help out in communities.
He then established Ahadi For Excellent Development, a youth organisation dealing with social and economic challenges in Tanzania through voluntary work. The organisation has, among other things, spearheaded the Supporting Young Girls Project.
The project sought to reduce absenteeism from school of girls. A high number of girls were missing school because of the lack of sanitary wear. The campaign educated girls about how to work out their menstrual calendar and provided free sanitary pads.
At the heart of the campaign was also the recognition that Tanzania was an unequal society that favoured a boy child over girls. Benedict recognised that lack of sanitary pads was further disadvantaging girls.
The organisation also initiated the School Renovation and Beautification Project in Zanzibar at Kiembe Samaki where two classes were renovated. The project was premised on the belief that a good learning environment and good teaching environment stimulate the performance of students which will help them achieve their dreams.
The School Renovation and Beautification Project was accompanied by social activities such as sport, education tools, science experiments and gender sensitisation.
Due to increasing unemployment rates among the youth in Tanzania, and growing ethnic divisions, Ahadi For Excellent Development, pioneered the In Peace Dialogue Issue. Benedict developed the project by organising an intercultural dialogue youth camp in Kigamboni to encourage and promote a culture of tolerance and peace building.
Benedict’s drive for social change is fuelled by the pain of growing up in poverty. He is mindful of the help he received from people he would never be able to repay, hence he is passionate in giving back to communities and extending the chain of giving.
Benedict believes in loving the storm and facing his challenges head on, knowing that these will make him emerge stronger and better than he was.
He believes that every challenge is an opportunity that requires a strategic outlook. He attributes this belief to the success of the organisation. In five years’ time, Benedict plans to have branches all over Tanzania. The organisation currently has a presence in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.
Given that youth are the largest group size in Africa and they are faced with the most challenges, Benedict believes that the solution to change Africa also lies with the youth.
He teaches youth to believe in themselves and challenges them to look within for solutions to problems they face. Benedict’s principle is, “Yes, yes, yes”. “The first yes stands for I can. Second yes represents I am doing it, and the last yes represents, I did it”.