A total of 39 girls were registered – 23 of the 39 completed the project on 13 May and the remaining 16 are continuing with the training program due to a late start time. Participants came from the neighbourhoods of Mikocheni, Msasani, Gongo la Mbota, Yorubo Buza, Kigamboni and Kibamba. Sessions were conducted Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM.
The staff’s initial assessment was that the majority of the participants had little to no vocational or business skills, and they were ill informed on other subjects like gender equality and HIV/AIDS. Lack of self-confidence and self-esteem caused them to exhibit shyness and immature behaviour, including an unwillingness to cooperate with one another.
Through character development training, the girls were able to develop the self-confidence and self-esteem necessary to eliminate their shyness and embrace mature behaviour. They were able to develop a vision and purpose for their lives that encouraged personal ownership for one’s own direction in life, a break with the traditional attitude of disadvantaged girls and women in Tanzania. The participants were able to speak to their peers with an authority and confidence that they lacked prior to the training, and they developed good study habits that were completely absent in the beginning.
The business-training portion of the program taught them how to create a business plan and appropriate market their products. The girls formed a business team with a group of other participants, and they were instructed on the necessity and value of working and cooperating together using a combination of business and character development curriculum. Basic accounting skills were taught in order to assist the business teams with bookkeeping.
Vocational training focused primarily on sewing, hand embroidery, decoration and batik and tie-dye. The girls were encouraged to embrace their creativity when it came to creating products.
Classroom instruction methods included lecture; class discussion; practicum; role-play; debate; brainstorming; group and individual assignments, including homework; and quizzes and exams. In order to encourage the development of expression and self-esteem, the girls were heavily encouraged to participate in class discussions and group activities.
The final component of the program included two workshops with the parents of the participants. The first workshop explained the methodology of the Chipua program, whereas the second workshop focused on the girls’ business plans. The purpose was to encourage the involvement of the family in the girl’s advancement and education in order to increase the program’s effectiveness and better insure the longevity of its benefits.
The second phase of the project includes the implementation of the group business plans and monitoring and evaluation activities by Chipua staff. Chipua participants will receive weekly visits from the staff where they will evaluate together the success of their business, the use of the knowledge covered during the training program and ways in which Chipua can help to continue enriching their lives.