Empowering young minds: Help to Help Boot camp equips MUST students for success

This was in a 6 days event held at the Pharmacology Lecture theatre. 

Help to Help

Help to Help is a non-profit organization that bridges the gap between students and the job market in East Africa. They use crowdfunding and partnerships with companies to fund university education for promising young people. They operate in Tanzania and Uganda, with their headquarters in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Help to Help has been recognized with both the New Thinker and Sustainability Talent of the Year awards.

Taking the tagline: Change Makers, Connected for change

Their Motivation

Help to Help believes in transforming developing countries through education by empowering the younger generation. They achieve this by:

  • Offering scholarships funded through crowdfunding.
  • Connecting students with local companies for job opportunities.
  • Providing career development workshops to equip students with in-demand skills for the workforce.
  • Helping students build their networks and develop a positive attitude towards the job market.

The Bootcamp at MUST 

The Help to Help chapter at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) held a six-day boot-camp led by project coordinator Ms. Naomi Shimba from Tanzania. The boot-camp featured a variety of activities and presentations from experts in their respective fields. Ms. Epifania Mhagama from Tanzania moderated the event, keeping the atmosphere lively and engaging.

The Dean of Students, Mr. Emmanuel Kyagaba, officially opened the boot-camp. He emphasized the importance of focus for the sponsored students, urging them to maintain good academic standing. He also advised them against examination malpractice, highlighting the potential consequences for themselves and the institution. 

Mr. Kyagaba encouraged the scholarship recipients to appreciate the opportunity, acknowledging the challenges faced by many students who struggle to afford tuition. “As a sponsored student what reason would you give to have a CGPA of 2 and below?” He  told the beneficiaries of help to help to appreciate and take the given opportunity as a deal breaker in their life. “ Many students are struggling with tuition, selecting who qualifies is a big challenge.  The economic crisis seems to have affected several  families  especially after the pandemic lockdown.” “ some students go ahead and collect tuition through fundraising from  friends and University staff”. He praised the students for supporting each other financially and emphasized the importance of integrity within the scholarship program. He concluded by encouraging the students to strive for excellence, maintain good character, and avoid taking advantage of the system.

Ms. Sheila Niinye Twinamasiko

The International Relations Officer, Ms. Sheila Niinye Twinamasiko, spoke about how her office connects MUST to the global community and supports international students and faculty. She also encouraged the students to focus on their studies, avoid distractions, and trust in God.

Angella Nakato Muyingo  engaging students

The Public Relations Officer, Angella Nakato Muyingo, led a discussion on career development. She started by asking 6 students to share how they got to know about the scholarship.   5 of students  had known about help to help, 5 of these it through friends beneficiaries and colleagues only one had visited their website before she even got admitted to MUST. She highlighted the importance of reading announcements shared, utilizing social media responsibly and encouraged the students to actively seek out opportunities, including volunteering. Other Facilitators included: Ms Naomi Shimba, Namutebi Bernah and Sumaiya Nalukwago.

Other organizations that participated were: Soar Research Foundation, Must Grants office, Mbarara Doctor’s Plaza, These deliberated on a wide range of topics, including:

  • Building a career and avoiding pitfalls
  • Trending jobs in the labor market
  • Self-leadership and personal values
  • Identifying and seizing opportunities
  • Maintaining the Help to Help scholarship (avoiding misconduct and maintaining academic performance)
  • Research and career opportunities
  • Interview skills
  • Tips for submitting high-quality semester and graduation documents
  • Business Model Canvas
  • Success strategies
  • Life skills: overcoming challenges and perseverance
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Crafting a competitive CV in the digital age
  • CV writing and interview practice
  • Professionalism and strong work ethic
  • Pitching a business idea using the Business Model Canvas
  • Visit to the Innovation Hub
  • Gender equality awareness

Support and Acknowledgement

The boot-camp acknowledges the support of:

  • Ms. Assumpta Nakalema, a MUST graduate and a beneficiary of  (2022-2024). She graduated  in Information Technology, currently working with Soar Research Foundation and volunteer for Help to Help.
  • Mr. Victor Ndyomuhesi,  a beneficiary of  2021-2024 graduated in Electrical Engineering,currently works as an electrical engineer for the Coca-Cola Plant in Mbarara. 
  • The workshop facilitators.
  • The University administration through the dean of students’ office. 
  • The donors who contribute to the scholarships.

The regional and national coordinators of Help to Help.“ Asanteni wote

 

Succeed we MUST