Celebrating Five Years of Advancing Girls Education in Tanzania
Our Bantwana Initiative’s Waache Wasome (“Let Them Learn”) project is celebrating five years of empowering adolescent girls and young women to envision and achieve educational and life goals. On December 7th, stakeholders gathered in Arusha, Tanzania, to recognize the project’s achievements, the legacy it will leave behind when it closes out in 2022, and the impact that will be sustained in years to come.
Since 2017, Waache Wasome has worked in 108 secondary schools and their surrounding communities to help keep girls in school. Bantwana implemented a comprehensive approach that reaches adolescent girls and boys at the individual, school, family and community levels. The project targets harmful gender norms, seeks to reduce school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV), foster a student-friendly learning environment, and help families and communities overcome economic and cultural barriers to girls’ education.
School-based Protect Our Youth (POY) Clubs have given boys and girls a space to discuss gender norms and SRGBV and to develop essential life and communication skills to protect themselves and prevent harmful practices. For girls whose education has already been cut short, Out-of-School Support Groups have facilitated similar discussions and life skills—while also incorporating income generation skills and early childhood care knowledge for teen mothers.
Among many achievements, project interventions have benefitted over 50,000 students and upskilled 2,400 teachers, helped more than 15,000 parents and caregivers build economic resilience, and engaged the government at all levels to ensure that girls’ education and child protection will be prioritized after the project ends. (For more data, please refer here.)
Most significantly, Waache Wasome is leaving behind a set of essential tools, approved by the Government of Tanzania, that can be accessed and used by schools throughout the country. These include:
- A set of SRGBV Teacher Training and POY manuals (for facilitators and participants) as well as an illustrated set of “discussion posters” for use by POY Clubs .
- World Education’s signature Dropout Early Warning System module, which the government has adopted and integrated into its online School Information System so that schools can identify and support students at risk of dropping out.
World Education was honored to host Dr. Donald J. Wright, US Ambassador to Tanzania, and Deputy Minister of Education, Science, and Technology, MP Kipanga Juma Omary as guests of honor. “By addressing the constraints Tanzanian girls face while in school and in their communities, they are more likely to complete their education. This leads to better health for them and their children, increased employment opportunities, higher incomes, and a reduction in poverty for their households and communities,” Ambassador Wright stated.