Women in Politics

Many in the United States would say that in order for historically oppressed groups to gain equal status, they must be part of the conversation and have a seat at the table. As a result, policies will change and progress will be made. Political empowerment is a  game-changer for women, and because of this, we’re seeing an upswell of women running for elected office in the United States.

A similar narrative is playing out in Tanzania. We recently surveyed 33 of our Community Health Educators (CHEs) who are part of our Improving Women’s Health Program and found that 85% currently hold a government position and 2/3 have increased their involvement in government or community organizations since they entered the program. They hold these positions in addition to their work as CHEs. (You can see a full list of the women and the positions they hold here.) We celebrate this development! Here’s a look at five of the Community Health Educator’s and the positions they hold: Continue reading

Teen Pregnancy in Tanzania

Education Programs Director Yoeza Mbonea Mnzava has been involved in working on a solution to the on-going and critical issue of “early childhood pregnancy” in the Same District. Out of the five districts in the Kilimanjaro Region, Same (where Empower Tanzania is based) ranks first in childhood pregnancies for girls in primary and secondary schools based on data collected in 2017. Currently, government officials and local partners (like Empower Tanzania) are working together to seek solutions. One solution is to provide education to both parents and students.

Same District (pronounce sah-may) is highlighted in red. The Empower Tanzania office is based in Same and it is where we conduct most of our programming.

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5 Reasons Reusable Menstrual Pads are Rocking Rural Tanzania

Empower Tanzania has partnered with Days for Girls to offer a much-needed solution for women and girls in rural Tanzania. During menstruation, girls and young women living in rural areas of Tanzania have no choice but to use rags instead of cost-prohibitive feminine hygiene products. This leads to many problems, including excessive school absence. In fact, the United Nations estimates that 10% of girls in Sub-Saharan Africa miss up to 20 percent of the school year due to her menstrual cycle.

We have a found an exciting solution. Our 100 Beyond Gender-Based Violence Entrepreneurs have learned how to produce reusable menstrual pads. The product is then sold through the Empower Tanzania network of Community Health Workers and Community Health Educators, a sales force that has the potential to reach tens of thousands of people per month! The products are made of soft, colorful, absorbent flannel with a special waterproof barrier and attach to the underwear like panty liners. They last around three years and provide a much-needed, multi-faceted solution. Continue reading

From the Field: A Report from Chief Kiboko

We love sharing reports from our program managers, participants, and stakeholders in Tanzania. What follows is from Chief Kiboko (pictured below), a Maasai chief, longtime partner, and advocate for social good. We have worked closely with Chief Koboko over the years as we have established and implemented the Community-Hospital Alliance Program. Below is an exciting glimpse of his most recent report from the field:

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Insight on Business: An Interview with Phil Latessa

Executive Director Phil Latessa was featured on Insight on Business. Listen HERE.

“If you have never heard of Tanzania it’s not much of a surprise to us. Tasmania yes. Tanzania, not so much. That is about to change. Meet Phil Latessa the Executive Director of a non-profit called Empower Tanzania. Here you will learn more about this very poor nation in east Africa, what this organization does with and for the people, how Phil works with village leaders, tribal leaders and government officials to assist with medical care, education and economic development. Why Tanzania? We asked and got an answer and think you should know more.”

Meet Habiba

Children: Husein (20), Fatuma (17), Paulina (14), Abdallah (12), Juma (11)

“My husband died and his family didn’t help us. They chased me from their family, so I started a new life with my children. Nothing helped and I was discouraged and I felt that I was inferior. Then I went to Empower Tanzania and attended their seminars and counseling. The counseling helped me become confident; I know that I can do more. Empower Tanzania taught me skills and I have started a small business and now I can feed my family. I am energetic because of Empower Tanzania and I no longer feel inferior.”

This is Part III of a three-part series on our BEYOND Gender Based Violence program. Click HERE to view Part I and HERE to view Part II.  Learn more about the program by clicking HERE.

Women’s Empowerment Event is a Huge Success!

On a cool summer in August, over one hundred Empower Tanzania supporters  gathered at Vivian’s Diner & Drinks in Des Moines to celebrate the work we’ve done and to help launch us into an even better, more ambitious tomorrow. Board members, staff members, volunteers, founders, and friends all gathered to share stories, bid on silent auction items, drink sangria, and eat a fabulous dinner curated by Vivian’s staff. Not only were we given the privilege of the sharing  stories of the people we serve in Tanzania, but together we raised over $10,000 for our women’s empowerment projects in rural Tanzania!! We are so grateful to all who attended and all who donated. So often we spend our time looking ahead to what we’ve yet to do, but the Women’s Empowerment Event allowed us to pause and celebrate the work our teams in the states and in Tanzania has done so faithfully over the years. To view an alum of photos from the event, click HERE.

Our incredible volunteers made this night happen:

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Dear Friends (A Letter from Tanzania)

Dear Friends,

Today I have decided to share with you some few stories and experiences about our beloved students in the Same Learning Center (SLC).

We have been working with our students for about two months. I have learned a lot from them. The fact is that these children are from very vulnerable families and have a long history for their short lifetime. I have used a lot of my time to get to know them individually and try to understand the details of their life. Continue reading

Meet Four of the Most Empowered Women in Tanzania

If you’ve followed Empower Tanzania for long, you know that we provide  tremendous opportunities to advance the rights of women across the globe. Why? Because we believe it’s important to empower women and to lift one another up. Projects that benefit women are crucial and we’re grateful to our staff, program managers, and donors who are exceedingly generous with their time and resources. We’ve spent nearly a decade educating and empowering women across the Same District of rural Tanzania. Allow us to introduce you to four of the most empowered!

Nietiwe

Nietiwe is a successful farmer in our Integrated Farming Program. Her training, skills, and hard work pays for her four children’s school fees, healthy food for her family, and even a motorcycle to use to gather fresh grass for her livestock!

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