Govt spends 3.5pc of income for upkeep of GBV victims

24Dec 2019
Sabato Kasika
Serengeti
The Guardian
Govt spends 3.5pc of income for upkeep of GBV victims

The government says it is spending 3.5 percent of its national income for the upkeep of victims of gender based violence (GBV) in the country, the amount, it adds is very high.

Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania Director, Rhobi Samwelly speaking during a graduation ceremony for beneficiaries of tailoring training provided at the centre to victims of FGM.

This was said by the Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Ummy Mwalimu when opening 16-day celebrations against GBV that ended on Tuesday last week.

The minister said gender based violence are habits that are not inbuilt in human beings but are merely acts from the skewed family upkeep and bad traditions and called on the society to fight the vice.

She said once the society joins the GBV war, the government will be able to put to other uses the money it currently spends to fight GBV.

As the government intensifies war against GBV including female genital mutilation FGM, other stakeholders are also in the frontline supporting the government.

These include Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania based at Mugumu, in Serengeti District, Mara Region which accommodate children and girls running away from GBV and child abuse.

The institution has two safety with one at Butiama established in 2017 and has assisted more than 264 GBV victims.

CURRENT SITUATION

The Director of Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania Rhobi Samwelly says in Serengeti District there are still households that still quietly practice FGM and are not aware that the practices have been banned.

She says the households conduct FGM during every month of the year except in July which they believe is an ill-fated month, and what is even worse is that FGM is performed even on newly born babies.

She adds that it would be better for such households to change their views by realising that girls have their own dreams some; to become pilot, doctor, lawyer or other professions hence FGM is not an asset, but merely unspeakable cruelty.

“During the just ended celebrations against GBV and child abuse we in Serengeti District visited various areas to educate the society pleading those who continue to conduct the vice should stop doing so,” she says.

ACHIEVEMENTS

Rhobi says girls received at the centre acquire skills in mechanics, entrepreneurship, agriculture, law, English language, Maths and other lessons on the evil of FGM and mother health.

She says they also learn the adverse effects of FGM and given psychological counselling from Community Development officials as all these experts are found in the safety house.

They are also given training in various skills, basket-ware, soap making, sewing, making hand bags and many others.

She says girls learn to make natural fertiliser for home farming while others pursue education in various fields.

She adds: "11 girls are in primary schools out of whom have completed Std VII, 24 other are in secondary schools out of whom three have completed form IV.”

The Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania Director explains that one girl is at Upili and five are at Hotel Management College in Moshi, Kilimanjaro Region.

She says in addition girls have learnt and understood children’s rights, responsibilities and five girls have revived relegations with their parents that had been severed an d returned to their homes under special arrangement.

"The arrangement involves filling of special forms signed by the institution, parents, Gender Desk, Community Development Department to ensure the safety of the child and if a parents contravenes what has been agreed the law will take its course,” adds Rhobi.

She says in collaboration with their sponsor, Gisalle Portinier, they have made a documentary film titled “In the Name of your Daughter” that deals on the adverse effects of FGM which has to a large extent helped to spur changes in many households.

CHALLENGES

Rhobi says apart from these achievements, the Mugumu Safety House has several challenges including its small area resulting in having smaller dormitories compared to the number of girls.

She asks for sponsorship for the construction of their permanent centre at Matare where they own 20 acres of land.

Rhobi said this during graduation of six children who completed training in entrepreneurship and other technical skills held on November 29 this year in Mugumu attended by the Serengeti district Commissioner, Nurdi Babu.

"We plan to expand our operations at the centre by erecting buildings that would be used as hostels, classes for technical lessons, agriculture and livestock keeping and a library. Already we have in our trills 72m/- donated by our Canadian sponsors,” she said.

She said the sponsors include United Nations Fund for Population Fund Activities (UNFPA), the Canadian High Commission, Four Seasons Serengeti and Singita Grumet.

The Serengeti district commissioner Nurdi Babu promised he will direct land experts to start surveying the area for construction to begin.

Top Stories