Catherine Tusajigwe Sadiki, Programmes Officer at the African Union Foundation, shares her exciting journey of serving Africa and giving her skills as part of the African Union Youth Volunteer Corp.

Volunteering helped me learn to be of service to others, servant leadership and the importance of investing in new ideas and networks.

 

I grew up in Tanzania surrounded by people who helped me reach for my dreams and achieve two degrees. I had role models who gave me moral support and encouragement, and shaped my destiny. To pay it forward, I mentor youth to focus on advancing their education and set goals. I also volunteered in an organisation that cares for children with disabilities.

 

The African Union Youth Volunteer Corp (AUY-VC) training programme enabled me to use my skills and experience to scale up my contribution to my continent. During the two-weeks training programme held in Accra, Ghana, I was empowered to recognise that the future is now and spurred on to stand up and be counted.

 

I always wanted to be in the development space and incorporate Agenda 2063 to harness the demographic dividend through investments in African youth innovations.

 

 

The African Union (AU) Foundation was a perfect fit for me because it focuses on mobilising resources to fund women and youth development and empowerment through skills and entrepreneurship programme and advocates for the African Union’s Agenda 2063, my personal interests

 

My role as a Programme Officer at the AU Foundation is to develop ideas for formal collaboration with all stakeholders, implement activities, monitor and evaluate their impact. I will also work closely with fundraising and communications teams to share information on the programme portfolios.

 

I bring my project coordination and management skills and look forward to fostering partnerships with other organizations to achieve a successful implementation of AU Programmes and have a better understanding of Pan Africanism and regional integration.

 

I imagined South Africa to be an advanced African country and I was concerned about crime. Apart from the hiccups of settling into a new environment, Johannesburg – my home for the next 12 months – has been good to me, despite the chilling cold, which I’m told will be gone by September.

 

My personal legacy project at the AU Foundation will be to raise funds to finance sustainable menstrual hygiene programmes for young girls all over Africa.

 

I went on to study at Tsukuba University in Japan, from 2014 to 2016, where I earned my masters degree in International Area Studies. It was a chance to learn, connect and to explore new opportunities.

 

As a young African who was fortunate to advance her studies abroad I decided to make a meaning contribution to Africa by investing my skills and experience to benefit my community. If I leave Africa in search of greener pastures overseas, my knowledge will be lost to my continent. I have a responsibility to work for my people so that they too can achieve a better life in their own countries in the spirit of : Ubuntu, I am because you are.