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Choose life and build your rights - empowering women in Bugisi Mission in Tanzania.

The project is implemented in a semi-dessert area in the north-western part of Tanzania in the Shinyaga region at the Bugisi Mission. It is the most neglected region of Tanzania as regards the development and education, as it is the last out of the 26 regions of that country. The mission covers rural areas that are distant from the cities, where the daily lives are made difficult by frequent draughts and lack of access to water, domiciled mainly by the Sukuma tribe, the largest one out of the 126 Tanzanian tribes.

A significant challenge consists of the problems of women (project's target group) that are affected by social exclusion, as they are believed to be less intelligent than men. As a consequence, already very young girls exhibit low self-esteem and negative opinions about themselves, which creates a domino effect, influencing first their results in education, then the unemployment threat, leading often to poverty. The results of final state exams are troubling, because there are significant differences between the genders. Despite the official support from the Tanzanian government, women in that country take advantage of the civic freedoms and rights much less frequently than men, in particular such rights as the right to education or the ownership right. As it follows from the report prepared by the UN Development Programme in 2005, Tanzania takes 137 position amount the listed countries in terms of the Gender-related Development Index (GRDI).

During that project, appreciated in the 2012 Polish Aid Contest, a volunteer with the Society of African Missions having recognized that problem organised workshops for girls in Bugisi for the first time, which was highly appreciated by the local community.

Choose life and build your rights - empowering women in Bugisi Mission in Tanzania.

The project will be implemented between 23 June and 31 December 2014 in the Shinyaga region in Tanzania. The volunteer will stay in abroad from1 July 2014 to 3 December 2014. The project includes an educational initiative addressed to the Polish society. The project promoter (the organisation that sends the volunteers) is the Society of African Missions, SOLIDARITY Charity and Volunteer Centre, and the local partner (the hosting organisation) is the Society of African Missions, Bugisi Missions – Tanzania.

The project is a response to social exclusion and discrimination of women from the Sukuma tribe. Direct objectives include: training young women in health, hygiene, sexual education and preparing them for holding thematic seminars for the gorup of disfavoured girls from nearby villages; improving knowledge and skills of girls in the field of entrepreneurship and life skills in a vocational school; improving the self-esteem of the girls and stimulating their motivation to work on their own development and education.

The project contributes to: Priority 3 – support to socially disfavoured groups, Priority 4 – support to independent media, organisations and civic society as well as cooperation in education and youth issues as well as Priority 10 – education as well as professional and social stimulation, established under the Multiannual development cooperation programme 2012-2015. Also, it contributes to achieving the Millennium Development Goal no. 3 – Promote gender equality and empower women.

Choose life and build your rights - empowering women in Bugisi Mission in Tanzania.

The volunteer worked in the Shinyanga region in Tanzania form July 1st to December 3rd, 2014.

Within the project’s scope the volunteer has led classes on entrepreneurship and life skills in the Home Craft Vocational School. She organized weekend workshops for the group of Tuseme girls as a preparation for field seminars: there were eight seminars organized in the surrounding villages. The volunteer traveled to the villages in order to meet  girls which were young mothers. At the end of the project the volunteer organized the Sherehe ya Wasichana festival for participants of the project.

As a result of the project we could observe an increase in the number of Tanzanian leaders aware of women rights, who gained coaching skills and will transfer their knowledge to their peers from the poorest regions, as well as an increase in the number of girls who are interested in entrepreneurship and possess skills in the area of available solutions that can help them establish and operate their own business.   

Moreover, the number of girls and women in the Sukuma tribe that feel appreciated and motivated to self-development has increased. They have contributed and will continue to contribute to the strengthening of women’s potential in their environment as they have become aware of the dignity of women’s role, as well as have gained the knowledge about health care, family planning, prevention and treatment of common diseases. The number of women who are able to provide first aid has also increased.

Furthermore, in the Sukuma tribe the awareness of the both sexes’ mutual relations has increased. The involvement of the boys and men from the tribe has risen equally. The students of the Don Bosco School have created the Tuseme boys’ group.

In addition, an increase of the interest in the Tuseme girls’ group activity among the students of the Musoma town high school and Bugisi mission has been observed.