“I have to work hard to make sure that I am protecting these kids.”
Happiness Nasari is a social innovator living and working in Arusha, Tanzania. We first met Happiness during our Celebrating Children Workshop (CCW) in Arusha in 2016. At the time, she was working in a children’s day program and teaching courses on working with youth and families.
Attending the CCW equipped Happiness with the training and resources she needed to take the next steps in her work. When the opportunity arrived to lead a training for teachers and community leaders across the region, she and her team took the chance. What started out as one invitation quickly grew to many. Happiness now combines the human development, brain science and trauma training she received through CCW with the tools she already had for working with youth and families. She shared with us how after every training, teachers and parents ask her, “Where did you get this information?” They are amazed to learn so much about children that they did not know before. She is currently working on making it an accredited training to make it available to even more people in her community.
Occasionally Happiness is invited to teach youth directly, talking with them about setting goals, and finding purpose and direction for their future. She is also asked often to speak to parents, helping them understand the importance of showing their children love and affection and using positive discipline.
“Sometimes I meet with parents after the session to talk,” Happiness shared. “I give them homework and follow up. I can see if they are growing and still want to do better. Sometimes I give them books to read. I know this will affect the kids… They are watching you. I want to protect these kids.”
When meeting Happiness, it is obvious she is a woman who lives up to her name, carrying a quiet confidence and radiating joy. When she was young, however, she was extremely shy, not bold enough to talk even to her family. She sees it as her mission to help others find the same transformation she once experienced herself, and giving them courage through her story.
“The person that people saw before, they said, ‘She has no story to tell.’
“[But there is] something within me that I can share, and it can help other people.
What I am saying is this: God can lift you from nothing to something.”