53% of Tanzanian women are not paid for their work.
29.3% of Tanzanian women aged 20-24 believe wife beating is acceptable of they deny their husband sex.
44% of young Tanzanian women are mothers or pregnant with first child by the age of 19.
For development be successful and sustained in Tanzania, we must empower and support our young women.
I heard about Restless Development, by then SPW when I had just finished form six, in 2008. Becoming a volunteer has so
much affected me to a person I am today. Restless has empowered me in making right choices concerning my reproductive health and help others do so. It has also encouraged me to take my chances boldly, speak out, work in partnership and take up the spirit of volunteerism. All these have helped me become a better person in every aspect of my life.
I am now a finalist at UDSM taking Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering and Information Technology and also part of Ex-Volunteer Network, Restless Development. I want to become a software engineer.
In a family where I come from, girls and boys are given equal opportunities. I encourage parents to be supportive to their children especially in helping them achieve their dreams. They should give girls equal opportunities as boys because they can be as capable and able as boys.
While still very young Hadija lost her parents. She was forced to drop out of school, and when her cousin tried to make her sleep with men for money, she ran away to another relative. There she was raped, forced into a relationship and had a child. She was then abandoned by the father and forced into transactional sex.
At the beginning of 2011, Hadija joined a Restless Development youth group working in Temeke. She cites this as giving her courage and enabling her to understand life. Even though her sister insults her, she now feels certain in what she wants.
Through a former volunteer at Restless Development who asked whether we knew of any relevant young people, we introduced Hadija to another NGO. This organization is funding her through a 2 years programme to finish secondary school, as well as a 6 month class in hotel management. With her growth in confidence she insisted that Robert allow her child to visit her, and saw her for the first time in years last month.
I am the Director of Restless Development in Tanzania. I love what I do, and sometimes can’t believe that I was able to do this so soon.
I come from a working class family in the UK, and was the first in my family to go to university. Financially, it was tough, we didn’t have a lot of money – my mum was the main breadwinner as my dad had a long-term illness. I started working at sixteen, and have not stopped since.
What has helped me to succeed: working really hard, learning how to make good choices, and committing to them. From 16, I focused on getting practical experience, by doing office work during school and university holidays, and working at weekends to earn a living. I always put a timeline on how long I would stay and what I would have accomplished by the time I left.
There have been challenges along the way. Like many women I have faced inappropriate comments and behaviour from male colleagues, particularly whilst I was in junior positions... I never let them go, not because I thought it would help me, but because I realised that other woman might be less lucky.
When I was living in Mvuleni street in 2009, I was desperate and had lost hope of life. I had been raped by three men. And I already had a child whose father refused to take responsibility. My chapatti business gave too little to feed my daughter. I ended up engaging myself in multiple sexual relationships as a way of earning extra money.
One day, a group invited me to attend their meeting. Their agenda interested me and sought for more information which led to my joining SPW Umoja Dada. With this group I received trainings on SRH, HIV/AIDS, peer education and livelihoods. Restless Development facilitated these trainings and even provided us with four tailoring machines which inspired us to learn more about this trade.
Since then my life has changed, I now make a living through tailoring. We train young women to make batiks, tie and dye and jewelry. We provide peer education service to young women. We provide them with necessary information on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH), Livelihoods and gender equality. We also provide free condoms so that they can practice safe sex.
*Names changed to protect identity
LEARN MORE OR GET INVOLVED
Tel: +255 (0)718 251412 (cell); +255 222 745 5303 (office)