Tahira Zaffar (Taz) is an Active Citizen in Greater Manchester.
What or who inspires you, and why?
My parents inspire me, especially my father, who has always encouraged me to pursue my career and take on challenges in life. I want to make a difference in my community and to provide sustainable support for young people. My career in social work and being part of the Active Citizens programme has allowed me to fulfil this.
How did you hear about Active Citizens?
I saw an advert for participant recruitment at my work place. The programme seemed interesting and I wanted to find out more so I went to the launch day. There I met many other participants, everyone was so enthusiastic and I knew I wanted to join and be part of the journey.
Did you notice a change in yourself as you went through the Learning Journey?
Yes, from the first training session to the social action project to the ISV trip, I learnt a lot about myself. For example, I learnt how to express my own views and expand on my thoughts and ideas for my social action project.
What skills did the training give you?
It’s given me communication, project management, organisational, training and volunteering skills. It has also allowed me to make better judgements and decisions. It’s strengthened my understanding of valuing the differences and similarities in communities, people and nations.
Has it changed your relationship with your community?
I now have a far better relationship with my community, as I understand them more and what’s best for them. I now play a more active role in the community; attending more social events and important community meetings. I’m more actively involved with the young people in the area and I encourage them to get involved in their community and make a difference.
I believe that if you are passionate to help your community then this is the best programme to get involved in.
What would you say to anyone who is thinking about becoming an Active Citizen?
It’s an amazing programme that allows you to understand yourself more and gives you the opportunity to be an inspiration to others. You also get to better your local, national and international community and meet other people who are attending study visits.
What are your plans for the future in relation to social action/Active Citizens?
I would love to expand my social action projects and train to become a facilitator.
In fact, ADAB has been awarded the next phase of Active Citizens and they’ve asked me to participate as a co-facilitator so I can learn more on how to facilitate the programme and continue to stay involved. I am extremely excited about this new role, and I feel I am more than able to carry this out, because of all the skills I have gained.
If you could have an unlimited budget for a social action project, what would you do?
I would like to continue the project that we’ve started around domestic violence and mental health. I would also like to create our own group, get it constituted and work under the umbrella body of ADAB. This will allow us to grow as a group and continue the progress that we are making with our client group.