Apply to Join

No FGM in Tanzania

by Tanzania Development Trust
Play Video
No FGM in Tanzania
No FGM in Tanzania
No FGM in Tanzania
No FGM in Tanzania
No FGM in Tanzania
No FGM in Tanzania
No FGM in Tanzania
No FGM in Tanzania
No FGM in Tanzania
No FGM in Tanzania
No FGM in Tanzania
3 of the girls saved from FGM
3 of the girls saved from FGM

Thank you for once again for your generous support for the Mugumu Safe House.  Over the almost 4 years it has been running it has stopped more than 400 girls being subjected to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) against their will, and allowed many to learn a trade or continue with their education. It has been a great inspiration to  visitors and campaigners against FGM and early child marriage as a forthcoming documentary film will movingly show.

We are now having to consider the future direction of our support for the fight against FGM in Mara, Tanzania.  We have had a number of issues with Mara Diocese since a new Bishop was appointed.  We have had extensive discussions with him over the summer but I’m sorry to report that he has moved  Rhobi and the previous staff from the Safe House and installed a new director with no experience of FGM. We cannot be confident that the diocese will be effective in protecting  girls in the upcoming cutting season in December. We believe the  long term use of  the Mugumu Safe House is under review. The girls currently at the Safe House are being monitored by local officials from the district council and AMREF,  but we have heard that tragically one of the girls has died after a fall.  Local officials are currently investigating this.

We are continuing to try to reach an agreement with the Bishop, but are very doubtful of success in time to protect girls in the coming cutting season,

The Trustees, faced with this difficult situation, wish to keep alive the original vision of the Mugumu Safe House, and are continuing to negotiate with the Diocese of Mara, retaining sufficient funds to complete the building project in the hope that agreement can be reached.

However,  we understand that most donors would wish for their donations to carry on the fight against FGM, and have decided to use the remainder of the funds and future donations to a Girls’ Rights Fund to more directly support FGM outreach work by activists like Rhobi, particularly in the upcoming cutting season.  Funds  will be used to support staffing, outreach work and temporary shelter and food for girls at risk, operating in the same way as Mugumu Safe House did previously.  We shall, of course post reports about the work here.

Furthermore GlobalGiving conducts site visits to partners for additional monitoring and they will visit the project when they are next in Tanzania (likely to be next year).

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about this decision please do contact me.

Many thanks again for all your support in the fight against FGM in Tanzania.

 

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Safe House girls
Safe House girls

When the Mugumu Safe House was set up in December 2014 the surrounding areas were, like all of rural Tanzania, extremely poorly mapped.  This made the outreach work in the villages and rescuing the girls both very difficult.

Therefore we set up Crowd2Map Tanzania  a crowdsourced mapping project aiming to put rural Tanzania on the map. Since 2015, we have been adding schools, hospitals, roads, buildings and villages to OpenStreetMap with the help of over 2000 volunteers worldwide and 200 on the ground in Tanzania. You can see more about how maps help here. We are concentrating first on the areas where girls are at risk of FGM such as Mara.  With zero budget we have so far added over a million buildings and mapped over 70,000 sq kilometres.  Having better maps helped prevent 2257 girls from being cut during this year’s “cutting season” and the numbers dying was reduced from 12 to 4. We were recently awarded a microgrant by Humanitarian OpenStreetMap to train community mappers in 8 areas of Tanzania, and presented a community webinar for them.  We have also been featured on Al Jazeera, The Guardian and Missing Maps.  as well as setting up a Youthmappers Chapter at the Institute of Rural Development and Planning in Mwanza and Dodoma.  There is an update of our project here 

On 13th August, to celebrate the 13th anniversary of OpenStreetMap we hosted ab online mapathon in which hundreds of people from 45 different people participated.  We have also talked about Crowd2Map at conferences in Kampala and Japan, and next month Rhobi has been invited to present to the HOT Summit in Canada.  On Tuesday 22nd we are hosting this webinar to demonstrate some of the maps our Summer of Maps intern has produced - everyone is welcome!

Mapping involves remote mappers tracing roads and buildings from satellite images to produce a base map that people on the ground in Tanzania can add local knowledge to.  Anyone with an internet connection can help!  There are instructions here and please contact me if you would like more information, or if you are interested in organising a mapathon for your school, college or workplace.

Many thanks

Janet 

Serengeti mapping task
Serengeti mapping task
Mapping Training
Mapping Training
Mapping villages
Mapping villages

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Neema
Neema

Thank you for your continued support of Mugumu FGM Safe House,  This is my first report since taking over as UK Project Officer from Julian Marcus who has retired due to issues with his eyesight, but remains a great friend to the Safe House.  

In this report I want to tell you about a member of the Safe House Team, Neema, the deputy and Social Worker.

Neema writes; “I am a 22-year-old Tanzanian young woman. l completed my University studies in September last year and joined the Safe House as a volunteer in early December last year and was later employed as a social worker in February 2017. What inspired me to join the Safe House as a volunteer was the good work being done by Mama Rhobi in fighting FGM in our local communities of Kurya, Ngoreme and Maasai. Having come from the Kurya community where FGM is practiced and being lucky not to have undergone the cut, I wanted to help other girls like me to escape and be free from FGM and I must say the courage these girls show inspires me every day.”

When I asked Neema what she had done since coming to the Safe House, she highlighted:

  • Receiving girls who come to the Safe House and taking them to the police-gender desk; I have received and continue to receive many girls who come to the Safe House and take them to the police- many of whom have different cases other than FGM, some are given assistance there and others who have complicated issues are kept at the Safe House as the police seek ways of helping them;
  • Counselling and Mentoring; I have been involved in counselling the girls on several occasions, and this is necessary because of the trauma many girls are going through, some being rejected by their families and also adjusting to the daily conditions at the Safe House among others;
  • Returning the girls who ran to the Safe House during the 2016 December cutting season; As a social worker, together with the District Social Development Officer, the Police gender desk and the Safe House staff, we have been involved in going to the girls' homes and educating them on FGM then reconciling them with their families. The girls whose families show difficulty and are not ready to accept their daughters, we bring back to the safe house as we plan another visit to attempt reconciliation;.
  • Teaching Secondary School Students: This was especially during the December cutting session when we had 241 girls at the safe house and I helped teach Chemistry, Biology and English. I also continue to do this for the girls who are currently at the Safe House when free during the evening hour;
  • Translating; I have been a translator, something I have loved doing and continue to do it for different visitors that come to the Safe House

I think you can see why we feel so happy that such a skilful young woman, mature beyond her years, has joined the team- indeed Neema has been in charge at the Safe House while the Director Rhobi has had to be in Dar es Salaam with her young son who needs heart surgery.

Other great news is that after the months of water problems, the Safe House now has its own bore hole and water tank which is a huge relief to everyone.  We now have a new website and a great team of Social Media volunteers to develop our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and now including a new Swahili Facebook page - so please follow them to get more regular updates, and share with your friends.

The Crowd2Map initiative to map those areas of rural Tanzania where girls are at risk of FGM to help people like Rhobi to better protect girls is going very well.  We have now mapped over 1.1 million buildings.  Anyone with an internet connection can get involved and there is more information here. 

The long term aim is to make the Safe House as sustainable as possible, by increasing their income generating capacities.  They are already making beautiful tailored goods and jewellry which they sell on site and at a few events in the UK.  We want to expand this, including via online sales in the future.  To start market research for this we have developed a short survey, and would very much appreciate it if you have time to fill it in.  

I will be visiting the Safe House next month to see directly the great uses to which your generous donations are being put, and will be posting updates on social media, and my personal blog here. 

With gratitude from me and everyone at the Safe House..

Janet

Using the new water tank!
Using the new water tank!
Would you like a dress like this?
Would you like a dress like this?
Stylish shirt made at the Safe House..
Stylish shirt made at the Safe House..
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
WE are fighters, not victims
WE are fighters, not victims

WE ARE NOT VICTIMS! WE ARE GIRLS WHO SAY NO TO FGM! WE REJECT FORCED EARLY MARRIAGE! WE HAVE A RIGHT TO GO TO SECONDARY SCHOOL!

On March 8th, it will be INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY and this month also we are taking part in GlobalGiving's 2017 Girl Fund Campaign and any kind donations made to our project up to March 13th could qualify us for additional funding. We are also hoping to demonstrate the Effectiveness of our Project.

Our girls will be marching through Mugumu on March 8th, holding banners saying "Get rid of FGM", "Our bodies are our own", "We have a right to go to Secondary School". Last year our procession was led by our then youngest girl, Lucy* aged 10, and this was her story: 

I was in Standard 3 when my father tried to force me and my sister aged 12 to be cut and ready for marriage. My eldest sister who was already cut advised us not to accept. She told our neighbour who took us on his motorcycle to Masinki village where we found a Safe House volunteer. We are happy because the Safe House helped me and my middle sister to continue with our studies. I am in Primary School Standard 4 now, and my sister has started Secondary Education."  Lucy's sister is one of the girls in the attached picture, very proud of her new uniform and setting off to secondary school for the first time.  (*Name changed to protect her identity).

My wife and I have just returned from the Safe House- an inspiring and heart-warming visit. We were privileged to meet these strong and determined girls and young women, each of whom has made her own decision to reject what they see as the old-fashioned and harmful customs of their people. But in making that decision they have known that they may have to face beatings, hostility and emotional blackmail from their parents (“You know we are poor. The man who will marry you will give 10 cows! 10 cows! Think what that would mean to our family).  On Sunday 29th January, Mama Rhobi our Project Director, took me to visit a village, 40 km from Mugumu, called Maji Moto (literally ’hot water’, named after local thermal springs). The Land Cruiser took 1½ hours over rocks I never thought a vehicle could manage to reach it. Then Rhobi told me that this year’s youngest girl, just 8 years old had walked from Maji Moto to Mugumu. What a child!

It was a very great pleasure to be able to go and thank supporters of the Safe House and Vocational Training Centre. This year the police, led by Commander Matthew Mgema have been quite superb and very active in arresting the cutters in the villages. Another star is WPC Sijali. She comes from the local Kurya tribe herself and speaks KiKurya (the tribal dialect) and is able to explain their duties to parents who are weak in Swahili, the national language, and who also may be illiterate. We were also glad to thank the excellent committee from the local Mosque, which has provided food and soap for girls, irrespective of faith. Indeed, the wonderful co-operation between Christians and Muslims is a mark of Tanzanian society, which believes in ‘UMOJA’ – Unity. It’s a lesson to us in the West.

Two years ago, GlobalGiving made a special grant for the food-growing project at the Safe House. This is going very well, led by Mama Bibi, a trained horticulturalist. Some more land has just been acquired, and now, to everyone’s relief, that the rains have come, the crops are growing well. They make an important contribution to the girls’ diet.  Thank you, Global Giving.

It was my 74th birthday, and the Safe House girls and staff gave me a great party, but it was also an occasion when I could present a plaque which will hang in the new Dining Hall which Global Givers have helped to build. It records thanks to all Global Givers, and some by name. To all of you I say a big ASANTENI SANA- Thank you very much!

Free from FGM, we can go to Secondary School
Free from FGM, we can go to Secondary School
Brave, but too young to have to flee from home
Brave, but too young to have to flee from home
Growing crops in our shamba (vegetable garden)
Growing crops in our shamba (vegetable garden)
Aubergines give a great lift to our lunch
Aubergines give a great lift to our lunch
Mama Rhobi, Police Commander Mgema and WPC Sijali
Mama Rhobi, Police Commander Mgema and WPC Sijali
Thank you, Global Giving and other donors
Thank you, Global Giving and other donors
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Film-maker Giselle with the girls
Film-maker Giselle with the girls

A CHRISTMAS PRESENT FOR TRIZA….

Triza is a 15 year old girl from Tarime in North Tanzania. She tells her story:

One day last month my mother went to the market and came back with 4 pieces of material. When I asked her why she had bought so much she said it was for a Christmas outfit. After a week, she still hadn’t taken them to the tailor… On Saturday 5th November, I overheard my mother asking my father for some money to buy a hat and a mat. I kept quiet. On the way to the shop I met my friend Mary who told me that her parents had already prepared her for the cut and she told me that my parents were also planning to have me cut. I pretended that I was happy with the information.  Later at home I decided to ask my parents about it. My mother denied it but my father got very angry and told me that Yes it was true and that I must undergo the cut.  I refused. He said he would kill me if I didn’t agree to be cut.  I then decided to go to my Aunt for help.  My aunt advised me to stay with her and promised to help me.  After a week my Aunt brought me here to the Safe House.

Triza is just one of the 120 girls who have arrived at the Safe House this ‘Cutting Season’ and at the time of writing, it’s still early December. It is predicted that more than 250 may come, all showing the courage of Triza and defying threats and violence to stand up for their rights as young women and against illegal FGM. Conditions are going to get very cramped. Helen Carey, my colleague Project Officer for our Tanzania Development Trust is at the Safe House now, and writes that sometimes 4 girls are sharing a mattress. But don’t think that results in doom and gloom- far from it. Please go to the Safe House Facebook page on the link below and scroll down to the 2nd December and watch the happy singing.

FILM STARS: And there’s more to be happy about: also on that Facebook page and in the picture I have posted you will see a white woman with the girls- that’s Giselle Portenier, a multi-award winning Canadian human rights journalist and film-maker. Giselle is at the Safe House to make a documentary film ‘In the Name of Your Daughter’, which will certainly be shown on the BBC and other major channels. Google 'In the Name of Your Daughter' and you can find out much more. If the film is anything like the trailer, it will be very moving and influential. Giselle is making a Swahili version also which Rhobi, the Safe House Director, will be able to show in the villages, campaigning against FGM, using a generator and portable screen and equipment. I’m sometimes asked: ‘Is it right that you people (mostly white) in the rich countries should be interfering with the ancient customs of black Africans?’. Of course the answer is that this is a Tanzanian campaign, led by Tanzanians with the support of their Government, Health and Education Departments, churches and mosques, against a custom regarded by all authorities as illegal and severely detrimental to women. We are just helping.

 IN THE NICK OF TIME: We can also be very happy that although it has been delayed by rains and the need to dig a great Septic tank, the Dining Hall to which you Global Givers have contributed so generously, now has a roof to provide shade from the burning sun and it’s a very large space in which girls can sit. OK- no windows yet, and the kitchen isn’t finished- hence the big piles of firewood. There are a lot of mouths to feed and there will be more. But as I told you in the last Report, we have now raised all the money necessary to complete the building.

 KEEPING GOING: In a way, we have done the easy bit, raising money for buildings. But Trusts and Charities shy away from anything that involves on-going expenditure like food, materials, bills, pay and certainly they don’t like bras and pants! So all your donations are now going into a fund to ensure the running of the Safe House and so that, as far as possible, Rhobi and her team can concentrate on caring for the girls and educating them, and carrying the fight against FGM into more and more villages.

My wife Ann and I will be at the Safe House in late January, and we’ll be conscious that we represent so many of you who believe as we do in NO to FGM! Thank you all, and whatever your beliefs, I wish you much happiness at this coming Christmas season.

 

Julian Marcus

Chair, Tanzania Development Trust Safe House team

Helen Carey and SH girls
Helen Carey and SH girls
Inside the new Dining Hall
Inside the new Dining Hall
We have a roof
We have a roof
So young to have to flee their homes
So young to have to flee their homes

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Tanzania Development Trust

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @tanzdevtrust
Project Leader:
Janet CHAPMAN
Ms
London, Greater London United Kingdom
$108,484 raised of $120,000 goal
 
2,369 donations
$11,516 to go
Donate Now Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.