Wataalam Group braces school committees in Gairo

The Wataalam Group, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) based in Gairo has managed to transform school operations in the district by providing training to teachers on best governance practices. The CSO received funding from Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) to implement a project on Public Expenditure Tracking Systems (PETS) in Education.

Through that project, Wataalam Group managed to train school committees’ members on how to discharge their duties effectively. Previously, teachers and citizens in Gairo District had little understanding on roles and responsibilities of schools committees in supporting school management.

The Head Teacher of Kitende Chigongwe Primary School in Chigongwe ward, Mr. Amiri Saidi Kichombaki said that his school had a school committee which was not aware of its responsibilities and as a result teachers had to perform all school activities.

“It was difficult to seek assistance from the school committee without members asking for allowances. But as a result of the training conducted by Wataalam Group, things have changed,” he says.

Mr. Kichombaki says that school committee members have changed their attitude and they have realized the need to participate in the school’s welfare. He added that school committee members attend meetings without asking for allowances.

According to Mr. Kichombaki, the strengthened school's committees have helped teachers to focus more on academic issues and it has had a positive impact on the performance of students in Gairo. Also, citizens have increased their participation in supporting schools’ welfare.

In Chigongwe ward, citizens have started to build two teachers’ houses and two classrooms without any support from the government. In addition, citizens have started making bricks that will be used to construct more teachers’ houses.

Report GBV cases, Bunda women urged

Women in Bunda District have been urged to report cases of Gender-based Violence (GBV) in order to develop a just society. Speaking in Bunda recently, the Executive Director of the Tanzania People Development Organisation (TADEPO), Mr.  George Thomas said, GBV cases are rarely reported due to lack of knowledge on GBV, and his organization has managed to educate local leaders on rights of men and women.

TADEPO received grants from Foundation for Civil Society and implemented a six-month project on GBV with a special focus on issues facing women and girls in Bunda District. According to Mr. Thomas, TADEPO has managed to conduct various GBV awareness campaigns and gone as far as to support the Bunda Police Force Gender Desk. The desk is now used as the bridge towards prosecuting GBV cases and also providing training to the society on changing their attitude and behavior.

According to Mr. Bajumaa Said, a member of Unyali Ward, TADEPO interventions have empowered women to the extent that they voice up their concerns and have realized their rights. “Previously things were different. Men used to make orders and do whatever they wanted. Violence, abuse, and victimization for both women and children were high in this ward; but since we established Anti-GBV committees in our villages, men are now taking precautions before attempting any evil deed,” he said.

Edward Nyakinoti from Mihingo Ward said, some community members have started to realize the need to change their behavior and respect rights for women, children, and people with disabilities. He further added that GBV cases are very high in his community and he wanted TADEPO to continue providing them with education on minimizing these GBV cases.

Mr. Stephen Jackson Ochieng from Namhura Ward noted that TADEPO interventions have helped men and women. “In Mara region, GBV cases are many; and through different film shows that were brought to our villages, now many people realize the need to change and women are now voicing their issues once victimized,” he said.

Experts: Creativity, self-confidence and right information are a must, for youth to shine in EAC integration

Youth entrepreneurs in Tanzania have been cautioned to be creative, self-confident and acquire right information in order to compete with their counterparts in EAC.

This observation was insistently made during presentations by various outstanding individuals who spoke during the Tanzania Youth Caravan campaign conducted in five regions from 14th - 23rd July, 2017.

The campaign drew participants from government and the private sector. More than eight speakers, including inspirational leaders, stood on the podium and at outdoor meetings to appeal to the youth to heed the advice. The participants included: the ministry of foreign affairs and EAC, Immigration Department (Ministry of Home Affairs), and the business licensing body BRELA (industry and Trade), commercial banks, Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), and Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA). Others were The Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce (TWCC) and the Small Industrial Development Organization (SIDO).

An official from the Immigration department explained to the participants about Tanzania Laws governing citizens’ migration from one country to another, requirements for youth entrepreneurs to follow, all established laws, rules, and regulations regarding movement were emphasized.

The Immigration officials outlined the three types of travel documents that can be issued by the ministry of Home Affairs to Tanzanians: a temporary one-year passport which costs TZS 10,000/, an international passport which costs TZS 50,000 and the EAC passport which can be obtained for TZS 15,000.

TWCC’s Mwajuma Hashim urged the youth and women to join her institution as a gateway to accessing loans, markets, and a union that could impact business in the region.

She added, “TWCC also provides the opportunity for Information-sharing through SMS, phone calls, website, meetings or business events/training and social media. We also solicit different opportunities for our members from different trade-supporting institutions, its partners, international and national supporters, and government institutions. We advise our members and women on business-related issues and train them on various business matters including starting up a business, scaling up a business, especially on market access, export strategies as well as international trade procedures and opportunities.”

Officials from BRELA underscored the need for youth entrepreneurs to register and obtain business licenses as vital documents needed when applying for bank loans and other benefits. They said BRELA supports cross-border youth entrepreneurs by issuing business licenses and by approving business names at the price of TZS 15,000.

“The message on this leaflet is clear, it calls upon you to follow proper procedures for doing business along the border and within EAC states but for Tanzania, please ask for more information so that you do legal business,” said the presenter.

The presenters from TBS highlighted the role of the institution in ensuring standardization of products, and appealed to the youth to ensure they produce high-quality products to attract the market of more than 150 million East Africans.

TBS has resolved to support youth entrepreneurs through the creation of awareness of standardization. This is done through essay competition for secondary schools to mark this year's World Standards Day. The purpose was to impart knowledge to the young men and women on the importance of standards in their lives.

Dr. Eliamani Laltaika from the Nelson Mandela University of Technology inspired youth participants with his vivid living examples but warned them to change their mindset and think positively. “Change the way you think. Even if the government supports you, if you do not change, you will not succeed unless you change your mindset”, he cautioned and inspired the gathered youth in Arusha.

Wote Sawa: Respect CDWs contribution

The community is advised to be more responsible in handling issues facing Child Domestic Workers (CDWs) by respecting their contribution in the society.

This advice was provided by the Executive Director for Wote Sawa Young Domestic Workers Organisation, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) based in Mwanza that implemented a unique project titled “Creating a Free Community from Gender Based Violence and Harmful Traditions” that focused on CDWs rights in Nyamagana District.

Ms. Angela Benedicto said her organization has managed to engage 350 people: 154 CDWs, 155 employers, and 41 members of the Local Government Authority (LGA).

“During the inception of our project some employers thought this project wanted to create difficult conditions on their side, but after implementing it, they have realized that CDWs have a great role in the community hence need to be protected and respected,” she said.

Ms. Angela said she had a dream of bringing change in how the community treats CDWs after her experience working as a domestic worker in her childhood. “I thought I would have a role to play to stop offensive behavior to CDWs and through this project we have played our part,” she said while thanking FCS for funding that project.

Wote Sawa was visited during the Joint Monitoring Visit prepared by FCS to grantees based in Mwanza.  Through this visit, it was learnt that the organization has managed to identify and recruit Child Domestic Workers and train them on their rights and responsibilities. The organization also rescued and provided temporary shelter to CDWs and managed to reunify others with their families.

“You are doing a great job and your interventions have made us learn a lot,” said Mr. Stephen Shayo, an FCS Board Member, during the visit.

This project was implemented in Nyamagana District in four wards, namely: Nyamanoro, Igogo, Mkuyuni, and Butimba. They have managed to form two school clubs and four advisory committees.  To encourage reporting of incidents of abuse, the organization has registered a free Hotline number, 0800710066, through which they had received 45 cases of abuse up until the time of the visit.

NGO engage the community through Radio Talk shows

According to Farm Radio International, a charitable organization which supports rural radio broadcasters in 39 African countries, radio remains one of the best communication tools for the rural areas. It is ideal for low-income populations and sparsely-populated areas, since radios are affordable and broadcasts can reach a wide audience.

By understanding this reality, the Amani Girls Home (AGH), a Mwanza-based NGO, has managed to transform the Sengerema District community to practice qualities of Good Governance through Radio Talk Shows. Formerly, the community engagement in public service delivery was rare and local leaders had little touch with citizens.

There was no common reporting of public projects and the community was not provided with public expenditure reports. After realizing that gap, the AGM introduced a project titled[K1]  “Enhance Social Accountability for Enriched Suitable Advancement”. It received funding from the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS).

Through the project, they managed to transform the community through public dialogue which mainly took place through Radio Talk Shows.  Themes of these Radio Talk Shows were on community responsiveness on public service delivery and accountability of Local Government leaders. The project was implemented in Ngoma, Katungulu, Kasumire and Nyamatongo wards.

The AGH Program Coordinator, Revocatus Sono, says the AGH aims at transforming the community after realizing that the community is less responsible and local leaders are hardly accountable.

 Through the project, they have managed to increase citizen awareness. Villagers now attend village meetings in big numbers; they are more involved in planning for development projects and getting feedback on the implementation of various projects in their areas.

"They are now more aware and are asking for public fund expenditure reports," Sono says and adds that the leaders are now more responsible to their citizens. Before the implementation of the project, they were neither giving feedbacks nor issuing reports to citizenry. Now the people do read to them when they are pasted on the village office board. They also organize and conduct public meetings."

FCS team also attended a radio session in Sengerema with Mr. Vicent Bushaiga in the company of the District Development Officer, who thanked the FCS for supporting the project.

"Citizens and leaders now understand their responsibilities. The project should be continuous and cover other wards which have not been reached yet," says Mr. Vales Isac, the field officer from AGH.




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