International Women’s Day

Empower Tanzania received an invitation to participate in the Celebration of International Women’s Day from the Community Development Department of the Same Council. The motto of the day was one we love. It translates to this: “Towards the industrial economy, to strengthen gender equality and the empowerment of rural women.”

The event was well attended by women from across the district.

Empower Tanzania staff Efrancia and Catherine, along with 10 women from our Beyond Gender Based Violence support groups from Mahuu, Kisima, and Stesheni, participated in the celebration. They set up an Empower Tanzania table to display the gorgeous products made by our entrepreneurs and enjoyed the opportunity to speak to all the participants about gender-based violence and how our program has helped to change the lives of 100 women who are now survivors of gender-based violence. Continue reading

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

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:

Continue reading

Water Party 2017 Success!

On November 11th, 500 people  gathered in downtown Davenport for the 9th annual Water Party, an event that for the third year in a row has benefited Empower Tanzania water projects. It was an incredible night of music, wine, beer, an whiskey tasting, small bites by a favorite local chef, music, and friends. Partygoers bought raffle tickets, tried their hand on the wine pull, shopped for Tanzanian jewelry, and bid on silent auction items and art. Through their incredible generosity, Water Party 2018 raised over $58,000 for clean water in Tanzania!!! Our efforts will focus on the village of Njiro. We are so thankful to all who made the party happen, attended the event, and donated so generously!

Continue reading

Meet Rahema

Children: Calvin (15), Frederick (12), Ntiwe (8), Stephen (5)

“I was married and lived in Arusha where I had a small business. My husband would take all the money and get drunk. Then he would come home and beat me. I was married for 14 years before I divorced him. I came back to Hedaru to start a new life, but I was depressed and stressed worrying about my children and didn’t know what to do . I joined the Empower Tanzania Gender Based Violence support group. I had group and individual counseling and learned new skills. I am comfortable now and have new friends. I have a new life. I had nothing, but I am now capable of earning money to buy a house and land. I will do this by next year. Empower Tanzania has helped me to a much better life.”

This is Part I of a three-part series on our BEYOND Gender Based Violence program. Check back on the blog for more stories of incredible women like Rahema. Learn more about the program by clicking HERE.

Cell Phones In Tanzania

IF THEY’RE SO POOR, WHY DO THEY HAVE CELL PHONES?

Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world, with incomes averaging about $2 per day. Poverty is ever present with a population that has electricity in only 10% of homes, with over 40% of children so malnourished that they are stunted physically and mentally, and with only 40% of homes able to access to safe water. Millions of dollars in aid go to Tanzania from governments, non- governmental organizations, and private donations.

Yet when you visit and observe, it seems as though everyone is using a cell phone. Isn’t this an unnecessary luxury in such a poor country? This is a question we get asked a lot. Our response? In a word, no.

Continue reading

10 Steps to Water at Pangaro

Clean water solutions are incredibly complex and require intense planning, organization, management, and fundraising. Here’s a brief primer on how we delivered on our promise of clean water in the village of Pangaro:

1. Acknowledge request from the community for a clean water source. After learning about the need, Empower Tanzania made a commitment to the people of Pangaro and asked that the community form a water committee.

Click on the photo to watch a video explaining the need.

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!

Continue reading

Notes from the field…

Note: We often ask our volunteers and supporters who travel to Tanzania and observe the work we do to share a bit about their experience. This reflection comes from Frances Murray Taylor who traveled to Tanzania as part of a small cohort in March of 2017.

I observed the training sessions for the women of the Improving Women’s Health Program. It was uplifting to see the more than 30 women who came, some with young children, to attend the training sessions. As each woman was introduced to the group of us representing Empower Tanzania, she gave us a snapshot version of the progress made in her community. The areas mentioned included family planning, money management, improved health, and enabling programs in the schools. I was told that two years ago, about half of the women were involved in community organizations but today more than three quarters raised their hands when asked how many were ward councilors in their communities. Because of this effort, almost 700,000 people had attended the training sessions they conducted using the information that they had learned. Malaria has dropped, more babies are being vaccinated, and hand washing has become a priority. Continue reading