#16daysofactivism is celebrated by Hope

16 Days of Activism takes place annually from 25th November to 10th December. In 2019 6,000 organisations across 187 countries used this time to drive the call for the elimination of all forms of gender-based violence. Rhobi Samwell and the Hope team participate in the campaign each year along with girls who have escaped to the Hope safe houses. This helps to educate those in the local community about the dangers of the practice of FGM and to give the girls a voice.

This year, Mugumu Police Officer Sijali Nyambuche educated those gathered about the Law on marriage in Tanzania, which states that a girl is supposed to get married only from 18 years of age, not earlier. This was an important message to share with the community and the audience which included men, women and children.

Following Siyali’s speech, our heroine Rhobi Mwita, shared her story on escaping FGM. It is important for everyone to hear stories like this, particularly in communities where FGM is still happening. It provides hope for young girls who may be concerned they will have to go through it too, but it also shows adults and parents that FGM needs to end and that girls and women are now standing up for their right to make decisions about their own bodies.

Celebrating stories of success…

On Friday, a very special graduation took place at HGWT. Congrats to the girls who finished the course of entrepreneurship and tailoring at HGWT.

Our Guest of Honour for this graduation is the District Commissioner of Serengeti, Mr Babu. After an inspiring speech, he distributed tailoring machine and handed the certificates to girls who graduated today. Congratulations!

#16daysofactivism Opening of the gender desk police office

Jacklin Mahon, Director of UNFPA Tanzania, said in her speech: “UNFPA believe it is necessary to facilitate the construction of desk offices, to help eradicating genocide, child marriage, early pregnancy, rape, perverted practices, FGM and gender-based violence to facilitate sustainable development and well-being”.

She further encouraged the community in Tanzania: “Through this police gender desk opening I would like to call to the community to use these offices to provide information to eliminate violence in the community. If your brother or friend goes through sexual abuse, provide information so that he or she can be helped. I would like to thank the government through the Ministry of Health, Gender and Children, Police and Children’s Forum in Tanzania.”

Moreover, the Inspector General of Police Tanzania Saimon Siro, during the inauguration of Police gender Desk stated: “Since we establish the police gender desk we managed to reduce abuse cases compared to the past. For this year of 2019, we admitted 41.416 people all over the country. This shows now that the community has understood and is ready to cooperate with police to eliminate gender abuse in society. We decided to start here at Serengeti because they are so many abuse, as compared with others district.

Inspector General of Police Tanzania Saimon Siro

Siro also addressed the people of Serengeti, urging them to “change our perspective about women, we have to protect and not to abuse women by beating or cutting them. We have to educate our daughter and not cut girls, we have to love our daughter and not to marry our young daughters. Anyone who will do it, we shall deal with him according to the law of our country”.

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.

It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

For this campaign, Hope for Girls and Women in Tanzania plans to do the following:

  1. Community interventions through roadshows in rural villages on 25th November in Kitaramanka, Rwasereta and Sirori Simba in Butiama District. More roadshows and film screening will happen at Wegero village
  2. On 26th November, more roadshow at Buswahili , Kongoto and Baranga villages
  3. Screening of the documentary ‘In the Name of your daughter!’ to schools in Butiama and Serengeti (watch the trailer here!)
  4. HGWT, in collaboration with Police gender desk in Mugumu, will participate in the event of official opening of new building of Police gender office on 27th November in Serengeti and Butiama, where there will be a mapping event as well!

More events:

28th November: Official opening of the Police gender building at Butiama

29th November: Joining Hope Mugumu VTC graduation.

30th December: Roadshow and film show at Nyamimange Kwisaro and Kyankoma villages in Butiama District

1st December: mapping session in Butiama. In the evening, there will be a film screening in Kukirango.

Words of encouragement to HGWT by our visitors

Last week, HGWT were delighted to welcome Mr. Paschal Rubinga from UNFPA, Faidha Suleiman and Idd M Msangi from Gender desk police from Headquarter and Sophia Temba and Tafawa Baliwena from CDF.

They met Safe House Manager Mr Mseti and the rest of Hope staff. As usual, the visitors were welcome by traditional dance and talks with members of Hope.

Mr. Mseti explained the history and background of HGWT, as well as challenges and future plans, while the visitors could admire works done by HGWT like bags, soap and bartic made by Girls.

Finally, they visited the Hope Culture Centre, the dormitory for girls and classes, giving the girls a word of hope and encouragement.

In particular, Sophia Temba encouraged girls with these words:

Everyone here has been through many things but they keep going and keep moving to their dream. I want to encourage you to keep going to your dreams, and don’t afraid. Here at HGWT you are safe so make sure you became who you want to be. Anything that you are doing, make sure that it keeps you into your track towards your dream and don’t do anything that will get you out of the way of your dreams”.

New visitors from Canada

Hope were delighted to welcome Mr. Richard McMahone and Ms. Maria Bishop from Canada last week. The visitors met Ms Rhobi Samwelly and Hope staff. They were initially welcomed with traditional dances. Later, Ms Rhobi presented and shared the history and background of HGWT, as well as challenges and future plans.

Afterwards, our Visitor walked around our compound and had the possibility to see the work done by HGWT and the objects more recently produced, like bags and soap made by our girls. Finally, they visited the Hope Culture Centre, the dormitory for girls and the classes, and even managed to spend some time to talk and discuss with the girls there.

Entrepreneurship and mapping training at HOPE

Hope has managed to conduct entrepreneurship and mapping trainings last week for two days. They were conducted at Giraffe Hotel in Mugumu by Daniel, Anna Paul from Hope and Geoffrey from HOT. Below you can find some pictures of the event!

The groups was of 46 people,of which 36 were women from the surrounding villages.