Protect Girls from FGM in Tanzania

by Tanzania Development Trust
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Protect Girls from FGM in Tanzania
Protect Girls from FGM in Tanzania
Protect Girls from FGM in Tanzania
Protect Girls from FGM in Tanzania
Protect Girls from FGM in Tanzania
Protect Girls from FGM in Tanzania
Protect Girls from FGM in Tanzania
Protect Girls from FGM in Tanzania
Protect Girls from FGM in Tanzania
Protect Girls from FGM in Tanzania
Protect Girls from FGM in Tanzania
Rhobi with Uhuru torch
Rhobi with Uhuru torch

We have been extremely busy this spring in Tanzania as 181 survivors are protected in the safe houses. Reconciliation is impossible so far with some families because the cutting season is still continuing in the community as Traditional leaders have announced. Food, educational materials and other basic needs are highly needed to support girls protected to the safe houses.



In May there were currently 96 survivors at Mugumu Safe house including 7 new girls. In June there were 102 girls with 6 new girls admitted.

There are currently 75 survivors at Butiama Safe house including 4 new girls in May and 79 girls in total in June. There were no new girls admitted in June.


As many of you know Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania now continues its program throughout the year out of necessity. Its aim is continuing to protect girls from FGM, sexual abuse and unsafe living situations within their family. At the safe houses the activities emphasize learning life time skills including these elements: traditional education, entrepreneurial skills, crop production, sexual and reproductive health care, psychological support for the girls and community awareness.




Here is a quick peek at what the girls are doing in regards to extra curricula activities.

Fabrication of soap: 9 girls are proficient in making soap and 200 pieces of soap fabricated in May. The Mugumu Safe house made 90 pieces of soap in June.


Sewing: Making bags, laptop bags and dresses


Knitting: using a knitting machine several girls were trained to use this machine and created 100 sweaters in May and 150 sweaters in June. Several girls have become proficient with the machine knitter.


Bracelet making: Learning the craft of creating colorful bracelets with beads, which will appeal to others. 10 students became accomplished bead bracelet makers.


Agriculture: Learning to water, care for and grow vegetables including sweet potatoes. In May the girls planted container gardens at the safe house. They have been learning about the challenges of farming from an agricultural officer and visiting existing farms to see first-hand these challenges involved in farming. Up to date, the students learn to manipulate agriculture and plant applications on their ipads.


Supporting Our Girls


Reconciliation work: The Hope for Girls and Women in Tanzania staff, in collaboration with Social welfare from Serengeti and Butiama District office, Police Gender desk officers and Community Development officers managed to conduct the reconciliation session meetings between parents and their daughters in various villages in Serengeti and Butiama, Total of 4 girls were reconciled and joined their families. Total of 170 girls stayed in the safe houses in the month of April and increasing to 171 girls in May


Counseling session: Hope for Girls and Women managed to provide counseling in April to 90 Girls where psychological support was provided to all survivors. 10 group counseling sessions were conducted and 19 individual counseling sessions were

conducted in Butiama and Serengeti.


Legal Issues: HGWT team continued to collaborate to work with the Police Gender Desk Officers and Social Welfare Officer on the management of ongoing court proceedings of the cases of the victims by ensuring that they get their legal rights.

At Mugumu center - in the court there are 5 ongoing cases.

At Butiama - in the court there are 4 cases progressing to the court.


Giving first aid and taking girls to the hospital: Matrons and social welfare from Hope managed to give first aid to girls. A total number of 5 girls were given first aid and 3 girls were taken to hospital for more treatment in April. In May, 3 girls needed first aid and 2 other young girls were taken to the hospital for more treatment.


Community Outreach


In April, Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania in collaboration with Police gender desk officers and Social Welfare Officials conducted a training for girls and boys on GBV (gender based violence) and sexual reproductive health, and the effects of early forced marriage. This took place at the Nyichoka secondary school with a total of 739 students participating in this training.


Collaborating with other groups is also extremely helpful for extending educational outreach and during the last two months Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania conducted 2 events. Firstly there was a quarterly meeting with Serengeti CHMT sharing about “implemented activities in the fight against GBV, success and challenges” in April and in May in collaboration with Serengeti District Council, organized a family day forum which involved parents, children, religious leaders, community leaders and traditional leaders. The topic was “How parents could contribute to good behavior to their children and prevent violence to children”. 50 people participated.


Additional News: This spring 10 iPad were given to girls that will greatly help with education and social skills via staying connected and the girls are also practicing yoga as part of health and fitness activities. There is now a new chicken rearing on the Hope land. The more learning experiences for the girls the better they will face the future as independent women.


A Special Thanks to Donors


Thank you kindly for all your support this season. Your contribution is enabling us to accomplish monthly room and board plus life skills for the girls in the safe houses as well as helping us make progress in the fight against FGM.

Girls at safe house doing yoga
Girls at safe house doing yoga
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We have been extremely busy recently as it is the traditional time when girls become targets for FGM. Hope for Girls is struggling to keep ahead of the families who have the intent to cut their daughters; HGWT is struggling to educate, to protect those taken in and to fund the ongoing Safe Houses.

 Yet there is much success to share!

420 girls this season have been helped by the Hope for Girls project to keep them from being mutilated and has helped to educated their families to value their daughters and their health. Psychosocial support and counseling has been offered to all these girls as well as another 147 girls in the community. During this period, the 2 Safe Houses have been home to young girls homed away from families that still wish to practice FGM. While here, the young girls are getting an education which allows them to work towards completion of their schooling series. In addition they are taught skills such as tailoring, hotel management and hospitality, which are marketable skills especially as tourism is one of Tanzania’s main industries. The girls are also learning about modern methods of growing vegetables. This skill will offer life skills and another option to generate income and currently provide nourishment for themselves in their Safe House community and for their future families if necessary.

Some families are not yet open to change. This is why the Safe Houses offer a place: to live without constant fear, with comfort, with food, shelter and water, here there develops a supportive community and friendships. The young girl’s education is maintained and the community encourages the girls to aim for a higher education level which will benefit the community in the long term. 164 girls are now staying in the safe houses. 55 girls are supported with secondary education and full room and board including psycho – social services. There are 59 girls in the younger age category. A healthy, safe and happy girl can become a healthy woman raising healthy and successful children.

Ghati comes from a family of 7 children. She is holding on to the dream to become a doctor! At 16 years old she is continuing her education and is looking for a brighter future than had been the traditional destiny. Communities in Tanzania are in urgent need of trained health care professionals including women doctors who understand the tribal situations and can reach out and help at all levels of sanitation, malnutrition, vaccinations and teaching against tribal customs that are dangerous and illegal such as gender based violence.

One of the biggest challenges is how to spread the word against the horrors and dangers of FGM and to put pressure on tribes, governments and businesses to stop this illegal practice. Rhobi Samwelly has been traveling within and beyond Tanzania to share her message and to garner support for her safe houses. Rhobi spent 6 months in France last year and is building an on-the-ground team of nearly 20 people in France willing to aid in the project of Hope for Girls Tanzania. The movie In the Name of Your Daughter produced by Giselle Portenier has been shown and viewed by over 500 people during summer and fall 2022 at private gatherings and to local groups and has had a huge effect at drawing people in to help in the fight against FGM in Tanzania and now in France.


Rhobi, winner laureate of the Marianne Initiative Award by French President Macron, has the intention to meet up with this year’s recipients of the award in order to continue to share her message with others. The Marianne Initiative Award has been granted to women who are fighting for human rights and especially women and children’s rights, health and education.

Some statistics for this season:

420 girls were helped in both safe houses

255 girls were reconciled and unified with their families

165 girls were not able to go home for security purposes.

55 girls supported with secondary education

59 girls supported with primary education

41 girls were supported with tailoring skills and hotel management and hospitality training.

500+ viewed the In the Name of Your Daughter Film in France

2528 Kg of vegetables were harvested and used for the girl’s meals

79,871 People were reached in Butiama and Serengeti outreach

One unfortunate consequence of our activity to save the girls from the cutting season is that the tribes have extended the cutting to every month of the year. The young girls are not safe in the countryside in the families who are still insisting on this practice. This means that the search and rescue must continue during the whole year, as well as providing solutions for long-term safe housing. This will require more year round work, patience and fortitude going forward. Any and all help to share the word against gender-based violence is very welcome, including organizing viewings of the film and supporting us via GlobalGiving.

We thank you very much that you have been supportive of our efforts this season! Please keep following us on our sites and via GlobalGiving.

 Hope for Girls and Women








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community outreach
community outreach

 Since 2017, when Rhobi founded the organisation “Hope for Girls and Women” to shelter and support people escaping of gender based violence like FGM 3972 girls have been rescued and now have new opportunities to build a better life.

 Thanks to generous donors like you, Hope runs:

  •  Two safe houses, providing basic needs such as food, clothes, sandals, bed sheets, mattresses, and also health checks, medications, counseling sessions and other activities like yoga, music, dance and social events
  •  Access to formal education, uniforms and education materials
  • Community forums to build awareness about women’s rights
  • Partnerships and Collaborations to ensure girls in danger can be found quickly - We use OpenStreetMap to map Mara region and empower Tanzanian women - named as “Digital Champions” - to monitor their villages and report cases of violence using smartphones.
  • Reconciliations works encouraging and counseling parents to receive back their girls after fleeing from FGM. This process involves police gender desk officials and social services. Families are required to complete legal documentation confirming their daughters will be treated well and allowed to continue their education..
  • Classes and sessions of vocational training to support women’s entrepreneurship and learn skills such as tailoring.
  • Organising talks to persuade cutters to stop FGM - We work with ex cutters such as Mama Mohabe, who decided to drop her tools and now helps to create awareness to the community on the effects of FGM. She was considered a traitor for a while but after reporting this to the police she is now at peace and happy with her new life.
  • Outreach work to share stories and informations about FGM subject and other types of gender based violence locally and globally - We recently showed to community boys the award winning film “In The Name of Your Daughter”. It explores the impact of FGM in Northern Tanzania and the work that we do to prevent it.

 Since our last report we have:

 -219 girls and women supported at the safe houses;

-139 families trained to commit to not cutting their girls;

-146 remote villages monitored in Mara region of Tanzania using the app OpenStreetMap, helping a lot to report girls and women at risk to the relevant authorities

-More than 21 awareness events engaging the community about women’s rights

-More than 100 girls managed to have Formal Education and Vocational Trainings

 Top priorities of the next period

 -Girls rescue camp to protect who are flee from FGM

-Enhance supporting education

-Enhance the reconciliation process between girls in the safe houses and their parents

-Fit families training to support stay with girls and children with light cases to their homes and promote continuous parental care.

 Thank you for your help and generosity!

tailoring class
tailoring class
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Many girls in our community have avoided gender-based violence due to the necessary interventions and resources provided through your support. Our Digital Champions have reported at least 36 cases in June alone, and, according to our latest reports, 86 girls reside in our Mugumu Safe House while 59 girls reside in our Butiama Safe House. We have continued to support their education and entrepreneurial endeavours such as tailoring, soap making, and pad distribution.

Our community outreach programs continue to educate locals on the risks of female genital mutilation and attempt to reconcile girls with their families. In June, we counseled parents not to cut their daughters where a total of 140 girls were identified as at-risk in Serengeti.  Our school club programs continue to build a network of students and teachers as well. We have created awareness to a total of 10,500 boys and 12,109 girls during our latest outreach to 22 schools.

Research, community sensitization, and training have also been equally as important. We have been pursuing a Fit Persons program in which we have identified and trained 30 people to provide continual parental care to girls who have been estranged from their families. This program is in its early stages, though in the month of June, 5 Fit Persons have received 5 children.

Female genital mutilation continues to be an urgent issue that festers in our community. We received information that 13 clans plan to start cutting in June, September, and December 2022. These will be conducted in private so we are working with our local partners such as Digital Champions, school districts, and anti-FGM groups in order to intervene.

Your donations make a huge impact in the lives of those in rural Tanzania. Thank you for continuing to support our work and being a part of our more global community.

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Dear Friend,

Thank you for continuing to be a part of our global community. Our work in local Tanzania wouldn't be possible without this incredible network.

Our latest reports have shown that 52 girls are staying at Butiama while 84 girls are staying at Mugumu. We're continuing to support their education either through formal education (primary and secondary school), vocational training, or hotel management and hospitality. Our counseling sessions have also been successful, with each girl having the choice of joining individual or group sessions. We've developed a home garden in Mugumu and Butiama through our ongoing agricultural activities. We have also been educating girls on reproductive health, and through that process, we have started producing pads. We purchased 6 sewing machines and have created over 200 pads so far. Our Digital Champions have reported at least 7 cases of gender-based violence, and at least 12 cases are being processed through legal systems.

We've conducted work beyond our safe houses as well. In celebration of International Women's Week, we hosted a virtual careers event that brought together a number of women working across industries, including aviation and wildlife. We have also hosted an event for mapping regions of Tanzania to support our local rescue operations. We are always looking for new ways to continue growing our network, expanding our horizons, and championing gender equality together.

We are continuing to facilitate rescue operations, community education, and reconciliation. We've made many strides but these practices are still embedded in our local regions. We hope that you continue to be a part of our journey as we strive to end female genital mutilation in its entirety.

Thank you!

Rhobi Samwelly
Hope for Girls and Women

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Career Mentors
Career Mentors
Career Mentors
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Tanzania Development Trust

Location: London - United Kingdom
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Twitter: @tanzdevtrust
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London , Greater London United Kingdom
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