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.
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