In Tanzania , too many girls are out of school.
In the Suorthern part of the country, 40 percent of girls who start primary school drop out and fewer than 30 percent of students then go on to attend secondary school.
Unlike boys, they’re given very few opportunities to further their studies. As a result many girls in local communities in Tanzania are illiterate.
Unfortunately, girls who are not in school are more likely to be exposed to sexual exploitation, trafficking, and unwanted pregnancies, which can harm their chances to lift themselves out of poverty and can be having lasting negative effects on their health.
And studies have shown that girls generally perform better in school than boys, especially given the enormous challenges they go through. If they are given the opportunity and time they need to concentrate on school work, the benefits to their communities – and even countries – could be huge.
The problem is clear. So what are organizations in Tanzania doing to solve this pervasive problem?
We have been working on literacy, affordability, inclusion, and technology in communities in Tanzania . We hope to give girls the chance to learn, and in turn inspire other young girls to follow their path in the future.
Our lofty goal: 80% of girls receive a primary education by 2018.
And our innovation is simple: Including parents in on important conversation about how education can transform the lives of their daughters and their communities. Educating parents about how keeping girls out of schools hurts both the girls and the family has been a key component in ensuring that girls can – and do – attend school. In order to make schooling affordable, which is one of the greatest barriers for girls to attend school, and we think to give scholarships to girls excelling in academics.
In addition, the Tanzania Women and Youth Development Society (TWYDS)focuses on opportunities that matter most to the students. For example, they can study development issues, social sciences, or anything else they are interested in as a way to keep them engaged and to keep them coming back to the classroom.
With academic counseling the opportunity to do student exchanges, young girls are encouraged to participate in society and stay in school.
One unique way TWYDS hopes to combat illiteracy is through establishing an audio-visual center that is free to all women and girls. This center will be connected to the Internet, so women and girls can access effective tools for learning.
While using computers and new online programs are unique ways that will engage girls and keep them in school, it’s also just plain smart. Computer literacy is an important component to learning, as these types of educational programs will make learning more accessible and less elite. Additionally, computer literacy can help their job prospects in the future.
While it is a challenge, TWYDS believes in a better future for girls and women – free of violence, and filled with education and learning. And they’re working every day to make that future a reality.
Women Empowerment programs – Overall Goals Objective of this program
To increase household income, farm yield, reduce malnutrition in children and improve living conditions of women in rural communities through literacy and education programs. Acknowledging that women have the potential and the capacity to lead, build and develop, we intend to bring to light their invaluable contributions to the general good and growth of society.
(a) Strengthening the evidence and knowledge base to address gender/women’s issues in economic . Empowering them to have control over their own produce and use this to confront the challenges they encounter on a daily bases.
(b) The provision of vocational training in income generating activities like marketing, tailoring, market gardening and managerial and technical capacity building to enable them to run a business; Also help in activation of value chains in the transformation of primary less expensive products to more valuable products such as converting cassava to Garri which has high demand in the market.
(c) To provide women with basic equipment to start a job and support them to become organized in community-based working units to effectively manage and run their businesses.
(d) To establish women’s associations in tailoring and marketing/business units, to represent women’s interests, provide them with technical, administrative and logistical support and promote their products (including the manufacture of detergents like for local name sabuni ya miche ) in the formal market.
Help them acquire financial independence and be able to make their own decision on issues that affect their lives since they do not have to rely on the men for their needs.
• Making fertilizer inputs available to them and on time means improving farm yields and eventually making it possible for them to sell excesses and raise enough for health needs and other domestic requirements.
• They will also have the ability to save for future use thus reducing dependence on the men who sometimes treat them as subordinates.
• Have enough to eat and feed families.
• Sell and raise enough money to invest in other lucrative agricultural activities such as tailoring, knitting, marketing and including diversification as well as on non agricultural activities.
• Have enough money to buy the required equipment and tools.
Studies have shown that women who have been given these opportunities have had their lives transformed in less than three months. If we embark on a massive campaign to involve a larger number of women then the effects will resonate over a wider sphere and many more lives will be transformed. This means improving the lives of 200 families will bring a huge boost to the lives of all those involved.
Sadly, it has been noticed that women have a higher mortality rate than the men. This is because they are involved in more physical work than the men. Trekking huge distances to farms sometimes under rain or intense heat of the sun and returning with heavy loads on their heads still to feed the family. All these together with the pains they have to go through as nursing mothers reduce their resistance considerably and make them vulnerable to disease.
Addressing these problems require a global concerted effort and not the effort of one man. Let’s join hands together and move towards a better future. We can do it. We need just to change our minds…..