Expand essential services to rural girls, stakeholders told

15Nov 2019
Felister Peter
The Guardian
Expand essential services to rural girls, stakeholders told

PARLIAMENTARY Standing Committee for Social Welfare and Community Development has called for stakeholders engaging on empowerment of girls to expand their services to remote areas where many children face challenges.

Juma Nkamia

The lawmakers suggested that since most of the children especially girls residing in rural areas face various challenges including access to secondary school education and lack of education on reproductive health and HIV/Aids.

Speaking in Dodoma on Wednesday during an introductory meeting between committee members and Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) on Learners Guide Program which is implemented by the organization, Vice Chairman of the committee, Juma Nkamia said girls in rural areas face many challenges compared to their counterparts in urban places.

“You must expand your services to reach girls in Tanzania’s rural villages, they are much in need of your services”, he said.

Ludewa Member of Parliament, Deo Ngalawa commended efforts by CAMFED in empowering young girls especially providing them with life skills.

He suggested for the organization to establish its own modal school where a good number of school completers can be accommodated. He said establishment of the school will enable girl-pupils from across the country to acquire the life skills for their future development.

Special Seats MP, Amina Makilagi added that it was crucial to reach girls across the country. She urged the organization to also include HIV/Aids education in their programs since youth are among the most affected group.

Makilagi said national data indicates that 40 percent of HIV/Aids new infections are in youth, of the number, 80 percent are girls.

CAMFED Director, Lydia Wilbard said the organization provides educational support to girls coming from poor families whereas it provides them with school uniforms, books, pens, boarding fees and disability aids.

The support is provided to pupils who have completed primary education and wishes to continue with secondary education.

She said they work to unlock new resources for girls’ education, unleash new potential through young women’s leadership as well as igniting new action to accelerate change.

According to Wilbard CAMFED operates in 32 urban and rural districts in Iringa, Morogoro, Tanga, Mwanza, Tabora, Shinyanga, Singida, Dar es Salaam and Coast region.

“We have introduced the ‘young women’s alumni network—CAMA’ which had 22,115 members by 2018”, she asserted.

She said the organization wishes to expand its services to all the district countrywide but it has limited resources. She said the demand is also high in urban areas where some of the girls do not have shelter. She said currently, the organization is funded by United Kingdom’s—Department for International Development (DFID).

Former Learner Guide beneficiary, Stumai Kaguna said: “My secondary school education was fully sponsored by CAMFED. I also benefited with trainings on life skills and I am now passing the knowledge to my fellows in Morogoro region.

Kaguna called upon the government to support efforts by CAMFED so as to reach many girls.

In her presentation, Kaguna said the organization has trained 1,875 girls, among them, 1,345 are active. She said the total number of secondary schools reached is 403 and 44,200 children within school environment.    

The Learner Guides work in partnership with schools, communities and district governments in creating a diverse network with the shared goal of keeping vulnerable children in school.

Started in Zimbabwe with 32 girls in 1993, In Tanzania the organization started operations in 2005 and was officially registered in 2006.

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