Community service

Examining the Community through a Magnifying Glass

 Community service

by Husseinali Walimohamed Datoo (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

Husseinali Walimohamed Datoo Husseinali Wallimohamed Datoo (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) is an Optometrist running a successful Eye care centre for almost 50 years now. He is a Board Member of the Optometric Council of Tanzania. Husseinali has been an active member of the community since his early days, taking a keen interest in the Ithnasheri Union and Jamaat affairs. He is fond of reading and writing.

Active participation stands as a cornerstone of any inclusive community, fostering a sense of belonging and shared responsibility among its members.

My journey of community service commenced at a young age.

Upon my return to Tanzania in 1979 from studying in the UK, Marhum Rafikbhai Somji invited me to join the EHIC Dispensary as a member, a gesture that spoke volumes of his confidence in me.

Over the years, my involvement evolved from volunteering in various community endeavours to holding the position of secretary at DSM Jamaat, undoubtedly the largest community. This experience has proven to be profoundly enriching, broadening my insight into the dynamics of community. However, my resignation, albeit unintended, marked a significant transition.

I came to realize that consistent and open communication within the community is paramount. This constant exchange of ideas and information influences decision-making processes, highlighting that participation extends beyond mere attendance at meetings; it entails ongoing engagement that shapes the community.

The post-COVID-19 era has ushered in significant changes, unveiling numerous challenges within the community. These challenges serve as a magnifying glass, revealing areas where improvement and adaptation are imperative.

Addressing these challenges demands approaches rooted in unity, solidarity, and compassion, necessitating governance models that prioritize the common good and take an intergenerational approach.

There is an apprehension among the community that indicates a strong aspiration to bring about constructive transformation. Active engagement in community matters is not merely preferred but essential. Building trust and promoting supportive leadership is crucial for cultivating a more united and dynamic community.

Women and young people are at the forefront of advocating for greater inclusivity and participation within the community. Recognizing the unique perspectives and capabilities they bring, and empowering them to contribute actively is vital for the community’s long-term vitality.

The existing Jamaat structure often grapples with broad definitions of day-to-day affairs, hindering progress and impeding the effective fulfilment of duties. Involving community participation is key to fostering more positive and responsive outcomes.

It is crucial to thoroughly assess methods of fostering participation and inclusivity, all while ensuring that present decisions take into account the enduring interests of upcoming generations. Empowering both youth and women is pivotal in revitalizing and redefining substantive involvement in communal decision-making, alongside establishing avenues for engagement and cultivating leadership capabilities, which are indispensable for unlocking their potential.

Currently, we are deeply engaged in the process of restructuring our constitution and streamlining procedures to support this effort. Additionally, we must undertake a thorough assessment and eliminate parallel entities to avoid duplication with a collective approach needed to lure the institutions to contribute their expertise in our community with meaningful participation of all segments of society in decision-making that can bring much-needed harmony.

Communities are dynamic entities, continually evolving to meet new challenges and opportunities. Every member should feel valued, heard, and supported in their endeavours, fostering a culture of creativity and contribution for the betterment of society. Ultimately, meaningful change hinges not only on expertise but also on a genuine desire to serve the community.

While acknowledging the contributions of Jamaats, it’s essential to recognize that there is always room for improvement and further action.

Effective communication and proactive leadership are vital in driving meaningful change and leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.

By embodying these principles, we can create a community that nurtures individual growth and collective well-being, while remaining steadfast in our adherence to the teachings of Ahlulbayt. A.S

Are we ready for the calling?




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