The project took off in May 2019 and still going on. Two of the facilitators and other support team members took part in recruiting the beneficiaries to be, for this project. They showed a great deal of resilience in the face of heat, sun and the rain. Will post more later. For now these snap shot to indicate how dedicated the team working at Chipua is.
With a new projects comes new hopes for new girls. We are always hopeful that with every project, we implement new strategies and ideas, and hence a new horizon. Life is always ever changing, evolving, and with every day comes new hope and strength.
This project of Chipua involves 20 of the most disadvantaged girls from different neighborhoods in Dar es Salaam. All eager to learn and all thirsty for knowledge. It started in November 2017 and it is intended to be completed by end of March 2018. Although we might extend it a little bit, depending on what the girls need.
The current project offered by Chipua started in May 2016, and takes place in Tandika. Tandika, a suburb situated on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, has a high population and also a high unemployment rate. Why did we choose Tandika? This is a question worth answering. While we were working in Mbagala last year, some residents of Tandika found out about our services through word of mouth. This led to consultation with the local government in Tandika and consequently they requested us to offer our training in their community. The local government has been very supportive, providing a classroom in a local school as our training base with chairs, tables and a chalk board.
Initially there were about 180 women at the beginning of the project. However as the training went on and weeks passed by, their numbers dropped down to a steady number of 70 participants, which was expected. The class has now divided into two groups, the first we identified as mamas and the second group of younger participants as the girls. The Mama’s group come together on Mondays through to Wednesdays and the girls work together from Thursdays to Saturdays.
The project has taken off beautifully with committed trainers, and the participants that are very serious and hard working. The training is free of charge in order to make it possible for the most disadvantaged to attend the training, otherwise the burden of paying even small fee would otherwise hinder many from attending this vital education. Some of the subjects offered are human rights / women’s rights, nutrition, health, equality of genders, book keeping, the english language, business management. Vocational skills like soap making, embroidery, and room decoration are also included.
In addition, the project aims at empowering the participants to become financially self reliant. In order to reach this objective, participants have been practicing running soap making businesses in 4 different groups. As a result they are learning business management, team work and collaboration skills. In the past few months all groups have made soap, and have been able to put the money generated into more businesses.
Both groups are exceptionally motivated and eager to learn. So much so that they also bring their babies and young children with them as they acquire their new skills. Every discussion is infused with laughter and at times intense debate as they collectively form a more robust understanding of the topic at hand.
14 girls from amongst the participants are identified to continue with the next training after this project, and become facilitators for the forthcoming projects in different areas and regions. These 14 girls study longer hours and expected to excel in all subjects.
In the coming weeks, the participants will use the group money generated and break up into smaller groups of 2-3 to initiate small scale businesses under our supervision. We will be monitoring their progress and will closely follow up the process to and make sure they succeed.
On Sunday 15 of November over a 100 of Chipua project participants took part in a whole day celebration, marking the UN Human Rights Day, and the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women. The girls and women organised the program which included songs about women's right, dramas depicting violence and mistreatments of women. Also talks on their vision for future and how they want to go forward.
I visited the group in Mbagala on Tuesday. Mbagala is far from city centre, but it is vast and highly populated. The group in this area have managed to work with the local government who has allowed them to use the facility of the local government for their activities and trainings.