That is why we focus the majority of our resources on educational programs that improve the lives of women and the most vulnerable children of society. Below are just a few examples of how we work.
“Most Vulnerable Children” is the phrase used by the Tanzanian government to describe children at the highest risk in rural areas. Typically lacking family support or basic access to education, they are the target of Empower Tanzania’s education program in the community of Msindo. The Msindo Most Vulnerable Children’s Program provides two hot and nutritious meals each Saturday, tutoring, and instruction in basic life skills such as hygiene and nutrition, gardening, and animal husbandry. Our donors also provide uniforms, shoes, and workbooks for primary school, enabling children to attend school during the week and changing the course of their lives forever.
In 2010 in the remote Maasai village of Nadururu, women were dying in childbirth at a stunning rate of 30%. With the nearest health facility over 20 km away and no transportation, there was virtually no prenatal care. If a problem developed during childbirth, the mother-to-be began walking with the hope of reaching the hospital in time to deliver her baby. More often than not, these pregnant women would die along the way. Several generous donors provided the necessary funds for Empower Tanzania and the Maasai tribe at Nadururu to construct a clinic, train ten women as birth attendants, and create an ongoing relationship with the nearest hospital—three hours away by car. The birth attendants provide basic prenatal care and identify problem cases early so they can be referred to the hospital. Everyone in the village participated in the success of the clinic: the men who provided sweat equity in helping with facility construction, the women who were selected to train as birth attendants, and the women who volunteered to cover the birth attendants’ daily chores while they were away at training. With improved prenatal education, cooperation among all the villagers, and a linkage to the health system, lives have been improved. What we learned during the implementation of this project was duplicated when we later built a clinic in the Maasai village of Pangaro. These clinics was handed over to complete local control in 2018.
The Same Learning Center was established in 2017 and offers enhanced English instruction to 80 students from primary schools in the area of Same Town. The students meet at a newly refurbished learning center after school to work with highly skilled English teachers to improve their reading skills in English. On Saturday, the students receive additional tutoring participate in daily living instruction such as animal husbandry, growing crops, and gardening. The goals of the program are to 1) increase the academic success of the underserved, impoverished students of government schools in the Same Region by providing English language tutoring and academic support, and 2) increase the number of students who pass the Form 4 exam and move on to secondary school.
Empower Tanzania works with women who are victims of domestic violence by providing support groups, counseling, and microfinance opportunities. What began with one group of ten women has multiplied to a ten sites serving ten women each and a full-time employee devoted to the program. When you educate a victim of domestic violence, you empower her to change her life and the lives of her children.