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

Dear friends and contributors to the NO FGM! 


THANK YOU!

In the dusty little town of Mugumu in Tanzania's Serengeti District you have helped create something wonderful: the Nyumba wa Salama, or Safe House for girls escaping from FGM. 'Escaping' is the right word. On February 27th under a blazing Equatorial sun and in front of a huge crowd assembled for the ceremonial opening, a slight teenage girl Grace* bravely told her story.


With six friends she had decided, (and quite against her parents' wishes) to refuse FGM. When her parents told her they were going to force her to be cut, she decided to escape. They contacted the Safe House and the leader Mama Rhobi sent a car to collect the girls, pursued by the angry parents. Sadly, the Safe House car broke down and the parents dragged out 5 weeping girls to be cut. Graceand one friend ran into the bush to hide. With tears trickling down her cheeks Grace bravely told how she and her friend walked for 20 km in the dark before they were able to flag down a minibus which took them to Mugumu and the sanctuary of the Safe House.


Salama means both peace and safety in Swahili and that's appropriate for what GG contributors have helped create is a place of safety that exudes peace, and where girls who have been traumatised can recover, but not forget. And put 35 Tanzanian teenage girls together and it's not long before they are singing and dancing.
I had you and fellow GG donors in mind as I told the assembled throng about GG and the kindness of Americans and Brits. All this about websites was outside the world of the girls most of whom have never before been in a building with electricity, but there was a great cheer when my wife lobbed them a netball we had brought!


As for websites, they will learn soon. The computer room you have helped establish in the Vocational Training Centre is well equipped and has an enterprising young teacher. The sewing and tailoring workshop is also well provided and the youngsters are already making attractive craft work to sell.


Have we finished? No! The kitchen and dining room are not yet built and the site needs a perimeter fence.
But you have helped create a wonderful haven of peace, and I hope you will feel pleased and happy.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Plan of the Dining Hall
Plan of the Dining Hall

All of us at the Tanzania Development Trust would like to say a very big thank you to the very many Trusts, Churches, Groups, Schools and Individuals who have helped to make our appeal a success- and just in the nick of time. By the end of November, when the FGM Cutting season begins in Mara, Mama Rhobi the Project leader tells us that 40 girls will come for sanctuary to the Safe House. They will find that the buildings of the Safe House and Vocational Training Centre (VTC) are complete, although the VTC will not open until January.

Donations have come from France, Germany (where two girls gave their pocket money), the USA (especially the Friends of Tanzania), and England. Here people have dug deep into their pockets, held special evenings, run fell races, sold their art work and ceramics, bought cards and artefacts and taken Mama Rhobi and this project into their hearts. Several Trusts have donated most generously; more than 280 individuals have given through GlobalGiving and Just Giving. In all we have now been able to transfer around £70,000 to Mara Diocese. But we haven’t finished and especially Rhobi’s friends in Bamford Chapel in Rochdale are going on fund-raising right through December.

 Mama Rhobi was here in late September and for three weeks in October- well, she nearly wasn’t! Her Visa was refused by our Government even though she was due to speak in the House of Commons! A massive campaign was mounted over a week with more than 30 MPs and ministers being contacted and the Government gave in. Rhobi’s tour was a huge success. She covered 700 miles and spoke to 17 different groups in London and the Home Counties, Yorkshire, Lancashire and Worcestershire  and to schools, churches, Soroptimists, a university and in Portcullis House, of the House of Commons and raised over £9,000 to date, with some more contributions to come.

 So that’s it then? Done and Dusted? Well, not quite. At the moment there is no kitchen, and all the cooking is going to have to be done in a garden shed, which doesn’t sound too good for hygiene or safety. The Diocese has decided to put the kitchen at the back of a rather large multi-purpose dining hall, and the two buildings together with water and electricity are going to cost another £28,000 ($45,000).  That’s a bit steep, you might say, and we at TDT did too, until Rhobi revealed what friends of Blackadder would recognise as a “cunning plan”!

The Safe House girls will be able to use the Hall for singing, dancing and making music. In addition, the Dining Hall, which even includes a stage, has been designed so that it can be let as a wedding venue.  Tanzanians adore large wedding parties, with plenty of loud music, dancing and doubtless many speeches. The income from the hall can then be used to help the running costs of the Safe House. Seen like that, it becomes a very good idea. So we are keeping the Global Giving Appeal open, hoping to raise this final amount.

My wife Ann and I will be there for the formal opening on February 27th 2015.

Best wishes to all our donors

Rhobi with UK students who donated over $1000
Rhobi with UK students who donated over $1000
Evening Standard Article Oct 15th 2014
Evening Standard Article Oct 15th 2014
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Nearly finished- end of October 2014
Nearly finished- end of October 2014

Dear generous supporters of No FGM! Safe House and Training Centre, Tanzania 

"I was brought up with my six sisters and five brothers in a straw roofed hut in Mara Region of my country, Tanzania. When I was 13, I gained entry to Secondary School- the only child from my village ever to have done so. But before I could attend, my parents told me it was time for my circumcision or FGM as we now call it. I thought of running away to the town, but I knew nobobdy there. How could I survive? One of my schoolmates had died from bleeding after FGM. My parents told me that I would not die- they would choose a good operator. When my time came, my loss of blood was so severe that I became unconscious. They tried to revive me with traditional medicines but failed. My parents and relatives were weeping because I had died- but then after a time I regained consciousness. When my parents came, I said to them 'Look what has happened to me- Will you promise not to force my sisters to go through this' and they agreed. From that day, although still a child, I became a campaigner against FGM. If there had been a Safe House, I could have run there- but there was nowhere." 

That was Rhobi Samwelly talking to a group of trainee nurses and midwives at the UK's Worcester University. One of those, who in her training  as a midwife has seen much of human pain and joy, described how she had been moved to tears by Rhobi's brave account of what had happened to her. Rhobi went on to explain how her personal experience had been reinforced by reserach she had done which showed that more than half of Mara's girls still face the trauma of FGM, despite it being illegal. So it was that her Diocese backed by the Mara Health Department determined to build a Safe House and Training Centre where girls could not only be protected from FGM but also learn skills in computing, tailoring and joinery which will enable them to be independent young women, able to earn salaries or start businesses.

Rhobi was talking on the 700 mile (1,120 km) tour she made round Britain this October to give information and raise funds for the Safe House and Training Centre. Her visit was paid for by two of our members, so no money came from the project and the tour raised £6,547 ($10,535)

The 'Cutting Season'  will be in December 2014 (it's every 2 years and in the long school holidays so parents can conceal what has been done). So the Safe House must be open at the beginning of December. All the structure is complete, but we still need money for furniture and Training Centre Equipment.  We are determined to raise it all by Christmas- the best possible present for the girls of Mara.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Mama Rhobi in Lancashire
Mama Rhobi in Lancashire

Dear generous supporters of No FGM! Safe House and Training Centre, Tanzania 

"I was brought up with my six sisters and five brothers in a straw roofed hut in Mara Region of my country, Tanzania. When I was 13, I gained entry to Secondary School- the only child from my village ever to have done so. But before I could attend, my parents told me it was time for my circumcision or FGM as we now call it. I thought of running away to the town, but I knew nobobdy there. How could I survive? One of my schoolmates had died from bleeding after FGM. My parents told me that I would not die- they would choose a good operator. When my time came, my loss of blood was so severe that I became unconscious. They tried to revive me with traditional medicines but failed. My parents and relatives were weeping because I had died- but then after a time I regained consciousness. When my parents came, I said to them 'Look what has happened to me- Will you promise not to force my sisters to go through this' and they agreed. From that day, although still a child, I became a campaigner against FGM. If there had been a Safe House, I could have run there- but there was nowhere." 

That was Rhobi Samwelly talking to a group of trainee nurses and midwives at the UK's Worcester University. One of those, who in her training  as a midwife has seen much of human pain and joy, described how she had been moved to tears by Rhobi's brave account of what had happened to her. Rhobi went on to explain how her personal experience had been reinforced by reserach she had done which showed that more than half of Mara's girls still face the trauma of FGM, despite it being illegal. So it was that her Diocese backed by the Mara Health Department determined to build a Safe House and Training Centre where girls could not only be protected from FGM but also learn skills in computing, tailoring and joinery which will enable them to be independent young women, able to earn salaries or start businesses.

Rhobi was talking on the 700 mile (1,120 km) tour she made round Britain this October to give information and raise funds for the Safe House and Training Centre. Her visit was paid for by two of our members, so no money came from the project and the tour raised £6,547 ($10,535)

The 'Cutting Season'  will be in December 2014 (it's every 2 years and in the long school holidays so parents can conceal what has been done). So the Safe House must be open at the beginning of December. All the structure is complete, but we still need money for furniture and Training Centre Equipment.  We are determined to raise it all by Christmas- the best possible present for the girls of Mara.

Evening Standard article, 15th October 2014
Evening Standard article, 15th October 2014
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Nearly up to lintel height
Nearly up to lintel height

Dear generous supporters of NO FGM! Safe House and Training Centre, Tanzania

JUST A FEW DAYS UNTIL  “GIRLS SAY NO!”

There are just a few days left to get your tickets for our major London event, “GIRLS SAY NO- celebrating Tanzanian successes in beating FGM ” at Westminster Central Hall on Thursday October 2nd. This will be a wonderful evening with inspirational speakers including Dr Ann Marie Wilson who knows more about FGM in Arica than anyone else, student activist Muna Hasan and our own Mama Rhobi Samwelly. There’ll be music from Freddy Macha and his band. Food and soft drinks are included in the ticket price of £20.00. So please come and support the Safe House project and have an excellent evening. You can buy tickets on-line at https://mydonate.bt.com/events/whall/174692or you can get them on the door. However in that case phone Ann Marcus on 020 8668 5230 by Sept 28th as we need to know the numbers for the caterers.

BY THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH: A REFUSAL OVERTURNED

Mama Rhobi, the leader of our Safe House and Training Centre Project, arrives on September 27th for an information-giving and fund-raising tour. The visit has been paid for by two of our members and there is no cost to the project. But it nearly didn’t happen! On the 18th August Mama Rhobi heard that her visa to come to the UK had been refused. The grounds given were that “she did not have a strong connection to Tanzania and that her income was low”.  No strong connection? Born there, educated there, married there, a mother there, in full-time employment there, backed by her Diocese and Bishop……… The fact (and much more besides) that she is due to speak to a committee of the House of Commons was ignored. Many of us wrote at once to our MPs (thank you if you were one who did) and after a highly anxious wait, the decision was overturned. If you would like to know why Mama Rhobi is such a passionate campaigner against FGM, you can read all about her at http://hiaragirlpower.blogspot.co.uk/

WHERE YOU CAN MEET MAMA RHOBI – IF YOU WANT MORE DETAILS PHONE 020 8668 5230

Sun Sept 28th     Blackheath, South London

Wed Oct 1st        Winchmore Hill, North London

Thur Oct 2nd       GIRLS SAY NO- Westminster Central Hall, London

Sun Oct 5th         St Peter’s Church, South Croydon, London

Mon Oct 6th       Woking, Surrey

Thur Oct 9th       St Thomas’ Church Huddersfield, Yorkshire

Sat Oct 11th        Askham Bryan, Near York, Yorkshire

Sun Oct 12th       Halifax Minster

Sun Oct 12th       Bamford Chapel, Rochdale

Mon Oct 13th     Worcester University

Wed Oct 15th     London, House of Commons – if you wish to attend, phone Julian Marcus on the number above

Sun Oct 19th       Sanderstead, South London

HOW’S THE FUND-RAISING GOING?

Overall, we need a bit over £70,000 (costs have risen) to build and equip the Safe House and Training Centre. So far, thanks to you and many others, we have raised £48,150. So we are almost on 69% of what’s needed. As you can see from the latest photo, most of the shell of the buildings is already in place and roofs will soon be going on.  The next lot of money will go on plumbing, solar power, water harvesting and furniture and equipment. Our dream is to get the buildings mostly finished in the next 3 months. 

 

Thanks for your help so far!

Rhobi with colleague and TDT's Janet Chapman
Rhobi with colleague and TDT's Janet Chapman
Rhobi with Kurya mothers and children
Rhobi with Kurya mothers and children

Attachments: 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
$108,950 raised of $120,000 goal
 
2,379 donations
$11,050 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.