OUR LATEST ACTIVITIES
EBLI celebrated International Women's Day by asking the young women enrolled in the secondary education program to identify their future dreams. The below photos capture their professional aspirations. EBLI is deeply committed to promoting the rights of women and fostering a community culture that places tremendous value on the health, safety and wellbeing of all women and girls. #HerVoiceIsMyVoice
For the third year in a row, EBLI proudly welcomed visitors from Friends Across Borders (FAB), a mission outreach program run by Maryknoll Lay Missioners. This group of nine was visiting from the United States of America to see the work being done by Maryknoll Lay Missioner, Michael Leen, who is Head of Economic Empowerment at EBLI. Two other Maryknoll Lay Missioners in Mwanza, Tanzania accompanied the group on this visit, including Michael's wife, Ashley Leen, and fellow lay missioner, Steve Pope.
During the visit, the guests learned about all of the work being done at EBLI, with a particular focus on the economic empowering activities being carried out by Michael Leen and other EBLI staff members, such as Lucy Metha who unfortunately was unable to join us this day. Additionally, the guests toured the facilities and met with young mothers currently studying computers and also those who are enrolled in the secondary education program. Finally, a few brave souls from the secondary education class stood up in front of the guests and practiced their English, offering short snippets about their life. It made us proud to see our students speak with such confidence and conviction in front of the guests.
After visiting the EBLI office, the group traveled to the Mahina neighborhood to visit the businesses of Suzan Silas, a young mother who previously completed EBLI computer literacy and business training. There the group had a chance to interact with Suzan, see her businesses firsthand, and even enjoy a lunchtime meal in her restaurant.
Many thanks to Maryknoll Lay Missioners for providing EBLI with lay missioner, Michael Leen, and for the wonderful opportunity to interact with the participants of the FAB program! Karibuni tena - you are welcome again!
Two EBLI staff members - Project Manager, Rose Edward, and Social Worker, Gertruda Swai - continued legal and behavior change process (BCP) trainings in Mwanza-area secondary schools by conducting a three-day workshop 4-6 August 2016 in Mapango Secondary School. The legal aspect of the training covers topics such as child rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, forms of sexual abuse and sexual offenses. BCP training is closely linked with solutions focused approach (SFA). Some 50 students attended this most recent training, all of which are members of a Kijana Chagua Maisha ("Youth Choose Life") student-led club at Mapango Seconday School. Rose and Gertruda were assisted by two young mothers who have passed through EBLI computer literacy and business training, including Neema and Pudensiana.
This training aims to support youth to actively know and demand their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and equip them with the skills to choose and maintain a healthy lifestyle, avoiding casual sexual behavior patterns that put them at risk of pregnancy and school dropout.
During the training, many of the students identify examples of daily violation of child rights despite the presence of the law of the child. In other words, times when society failed to take responsibility to protect children. Society contributes to the harm of children when it sees acts of violence yet fails to report it to the authorities. Teachers, parents and guardians all have a role to play in keeping children safe.
As a result of the training, the students increased their awareness and knowledge of their basic rights, responsibilities and roles as minors. Most are already working very hard to help provide for the their families, many of which are living in vulnerable and poor conditions. It is up to the rest of us to ensure the protection and healthy futures of our children.
Legal and behavior change process (BCP) trainings were carried out at Bugarika Secondary School in Mwanza, Tanzania. EBLI staff members Rose Edward and Gertruda Swai led this training over the course of three days 28-30 July 2016. About fifty secondary school students were in attendance. This training focused on sexual and reproductive health and human rights (SRHR) issues, particularly as it relates to pertinent teen issues. Like all of our BCP activities, this training aimed to help empower young people to choose healthy futures for themselves, putting aside unhealthy and destructive behaviors such as casual sex, and alcohol and drug abuse. The goal is for every student to reach his or her potential and thrive.
Project Manager, Rose Edward, along with social worker, Gertruda Swai, led a child protection policy training at the office of EBLI on 23 July 2016. This training, which was attended by approximately sixty secondary school students, sought to educate young people about their laws and rights as citizens, particularly as it concerns issues of sexual abuse and gender based discrimination. All of the attending students are members in a Kijana Chagua Maisha ("Youth Choose Life") student-led club in a Mwanza-area secondary school. During this training, some necessary but difficult topics were discussed, including the issue of rape. Students were able to speak from experience about the matter, and even cited specific examples in which a young woman was raped by one or more men, and reporting it to the police. This child protection policy training makes it clear that such behavior is entirely unacceptable and that all humans have worth, dignity and should be respected.
EBLI initiated and oversees student-run clubs in ten secondary schools in Mwanza, Tanzania under the name of Kijana Chagua Maisha ("Youth Choose Life"). These clubs serve as a positive peer pressure environment for students, and provide a form for discussing teen-related topics, aiming to empower youth to avoid destructive behaviors and choose healthy futures.
Each year, as new students enter the club and assume leadership positions, EBLI endeavors to provide a training on leadership for the members. The goal is to equip the students with the skills required to effectively run and manage a school-based club. Today and tomorrow EBLI will be facilitating this leadership training, guided by a solutions focused approach (SFA) that not only puts the students in charge of the training agenda, but also leads from one step behind.