Ben Missani, the Community Development Officer of Same District, believes that if women are educated and empowered they will be better equipped to stand up for their rights. When girls and young women are given access to school and information, a community can expect positive change.
Key to this, Mr. Missani says, is communication. “There is a liability in Same District as we do not have our own local media. There is not a local radio or TV station here.” However, this doesn’t stop him and others from wanting to educate the community on matters of health and human rights. “Many more people have mobile devices that can help communities to connect to services. We can build community through virtual support.”
Empower Tanzania has been helping to “share knowledge in affordable ways,” which is a goal of Mr. Missani that he’s pleased to see being implemented. Monthly, our team prepares a widely read newsletter specific to our Reproductive Health & Relationships Program. The publication is prepared by our staff in Tanzania, along with two medical professionals (one in the US and the other in England), and covers a wide array of topics from debunking common health myths to consent to communicable disease to basic health information. It also features a “Frequently Asked Questions” section and profiles educators who are going above and beyond for their students.
Through several methods of distribution—and for not a lot of cost—these newsletters are reaching over 11,000 people each month.
First, the newsletters are distributed through mobile phones. The information is shared through social media (Facebook and Instagram), as well as the popular messaging tool, WhatsApp. The newsletters are also printed and distributed to the 19 participating schools through the Same District and (as you can see in the pictures) are met with great excitement.
In this powerful way, Empower Tanzania is providing crucial public health information with the goal of educating—and empowering—the community through accurate information.
“We can do wonders if we continue to do what we’ve begun in Same District,” Mr. Missani reflects. “Empower Tanzania has an ambitious approach and it’s promising. We can commit together to prepare children to advocate for themselves and ensure children’s and women’s rights throughout our district and beyond.”
Click HERE to learn more about the Reproductive Health & Relationships Program, to read the most current issue of the newsletter, and to access the archives.