Recently I was honored to be part of a unique philanthropic action of Flaviana Matata when she donated 500 life vests to the government agency – Marine Services Limited in Mwanza. What struck me was that this young girl was taking a different approach from her peers and even others. Usually our philanthropists who would raise funds from others or be guests of honors and buy auctioned items etc. But the fact that Flaviana personally ordered the life vests paid for everything until the delivery of the life vests to Mwanza makes this action unique. It shows a very focused and personal involvement in her charity activity. And that got me thinking.
If Flaviana would not have acquired the true spirit of volunteerism from her time as Miss Universe Tanzania she would probably have continued to look at any charity activity as simply making an event and raising funds. So philanthropy is volunteerism taken to a higher level once the individual is in position to spend not only his/her time but money as well. But the dedication, involvement and focus have to remain in order to make any philanthropy matter.
One of the most important thing that we need to instill in our young ones is the spirit of volunteerism. This has to be nurtured and cannot be forced. It is important also that when steering the young ones toward taking on volunteer actions that they should have a personal dedication to the given cause. We cannot force them to be active in environment when they do not understand or truly identify with the cause.
But most importantly is that we need to make them understand that volunteerism does not involve any financial or material gain. It is done for achieving the objective of the cause and nothing more. The earlier we instill this in them the better – before they learn what money can buy and before their head is filled by us that ‘nothing is for free in life’

Maria Sarungi Tsehai
Maria Sarungi Tsehai

An activist and advocate for change in Tanzania. Promotes positive change and education particularly for women. Known for launching the #changeTanzania hashtag on Twitter.

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