Expanding Waache Wasome in Tanzania to Reach More Girls with Education

The Bantwana Initiative of World Education, Inc. is delighted to announce the expansion of Waache Wasome (“Let the Learn”), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Waache Wasome collaborates with the Government of Tanzania to improve the retention of adolescent girls and young women in formal and alternative education pathways, building protective assets, transforming negative social norms, and developing relevant skills among girls and young women, their peers, parents, and educators.

Under the expansion, Bantwana will deliver the following program elements:

Youth work-readiness: Bantwana will pilot a peri-urban intervention for out-of-school girls and young women in Arusha, drawing on Bantwana’s Siyakha Girls Empowerment program in Zimbabwe. (PEPFAR has included the Siyakha Girls model in their technical guidance for evidence-based DREAMS programming for economic strengthening.) This component will identify high-potential economic sub-sectors for young women, provide the requisite training in hard and soft skills, and place girls and young women into mentored and monitored internships, with the aim of securing full-time employment or transitioning into self-employment.

Social asset building for students: Delivered in a peer-led, club format, these activities develop agency and confidence among both girls and boys, helping them to understand the importance of girls’ education and address negative gender norms and practices at school, at home, and in communities.

Economic asset building for parents and caregivers: Community-managed savings and lending groups, and related business training and market linkages, strengthen the financial capacity of families, thus enabling them to cover school-related and other life expenses. The group structure is leveraged to layer on additional inputs such as positive parenting, violence prevention, and health information that improve family interactions and social resilience.

Improved teaching practices, learning, and school safety: Train teachers, administrators, and school boards to reduce school-related and gender-based violence (SRGBV) and implement.

WEI’s Dropout Early Warning System (DEWS) to identify and retain in school. The project also incorporates STEM learning opportunities, through academic and hands-on clubs that expand study and career interests for girls and boys in science-related fields.

Alternative education pathways for out-of-school girls and young women: Waache Wasome’s Out-of-School Support Group model offers these young women, many of whom are pregnant or teen mothers, a second chance at learning and growing. With mentoring and training in an encouraging environment, young women develop life and parenting skills, pursue alternative education and viable livelihood options, and rebuild their dreams.

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For Tanzania, which has one of the world’s largest youth populations (45% of its 60 million citizens are under 15 years of age), education has long been a national priority. Keeping Tanzania’s girls in school or in alternative education pathways and “letting them learn” so they can fulfil their potential is essential to individual and national well-being — and Bantwana is proud to be a partner in this effort.

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