Those who sponsor students abroad use every opportunity to keep in touch with the old and knew alumni. I should confess that it is not easy task to keep in constant contact with your Association. Sometimes there are many hitches in fulfilling your commitments to keep with their schedule especially if you are employed. I have experienced in my own Association that I belong to, a number of important events often take place while I cannot attend.
It is a pity but always good to learn why it is happening and perhaps review the situation. Of course there is always an opportunity cost in everything we undertake. There is always an element of sacrifice that one has to take to achieve his or her objectives. But even more important is for the alumni to keep a close watch on their associations. It is important to consider where it was and where it is heading to.
This can be achieved through constant consultations with its members. Recently the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) held this year’s Alumni Association of Tanzania (KAAT) Annual General Meeting in Dar es Salaam. The event was jointly organized by KAAT and KOICA and attended by more than 80 participants with different professions such as Economists, Medical Doctors, Nurses, Lawyers, Lectures, Engineers, Agriculture Specialists, Statisticians, etc.
These alumni came from various Ministries and Organizations of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, who benefited from various training that the government of Korea has continued to extend to the country. During the meeting it was time for such professionals to sit together and discuss various issues. The occasion gave an opportunity for members to review the KAAT activities, to elect new executive members and to plan future activities.
Also the members established six KAAT zones and kick off a regional workshop and share various ideas and experiences. They are all sharing the same experience of joining KOICA Training Programme which is held in Korea for the purpose of the technical cooperation between Korea and Tanzania.
KAAT is a non-profit making association formed by Tanzanians who studied or attended training in the Republic of Korea under the sponsorship of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). KAAT was first established in 2003 with 95 members to date there are almost 500 members.
Through the Training Programme, KOICA has been inviting Tanzanian officials to participate in various courses in Korea including Masters Programme with the main focus on the areas of Health, Education, Good Governance, Rural Development and ICT since 1992.
Other KOICA programmes include World Friends Korea volunteers and the Project-type Cooperation. But the product of all the good work that the alumni are doing including contributing to the body of knowledge that they acquire during their training abroad cannot be ignored. For example there is a system of all alumni submitting their report on lessons learnt while under training in Korea.
It is also mandatory for them to make presentations of the situation in their country, which helps the training organizers to understand the prevailing conditions in countries where such students come from. One of the many products that alumni offer to the communities is the newsletter which is a product of the good work that alumni are doing to the community. Please keep on changing lives in the societies is what we can recommend to you.
You as an alumni whether with KOICA or any other organization ought to have to keep sending your thoughts and accomplishments that you think it’s worth sharing with fellow alumni in Tanzania and around the globe-news. These include articles, job opportunities, research opportunities, success stories with pictures or a nomination for your fellow alumni who you think is doing great and needs to be recognized.
It is upon the alumni to remember that when we were in Korea, we represented our countries as emissaries. In everything that we were doing it was reflecting the nation. But it was not only ending in Korea. When we come back people here also want to see our contributions to the society. Can I make a deal that the forthcoming Alumni gathering that will be held in Dar es Salaam will not see me absent.
Just simple commitment followed by action plan that I will do whatever it takes me to allocate time for this event. Once it clicks in our mind we will always find time, space and energy to attend. It always starts with the question why can’t I always make it? If it sinks in your mind that the dividend of any training is networking, you will always feel obliged not to miss such events.