GIRLS EMPOWERMENT THROUGH SPORT Tanzania, Nationwide
ScfC is delighted to be working in partnership with UK Sport’s International Development through Sport (IDS).
IDS and Schoolchildren for Children are working together to support the Girls’ Empowerment through Sport project in Tanzania. This project helps to fight gender inequality and empower girls by using sport as a means of providing them with opportunities to develop leadership and life skills, access peer-led health education, particularly around HIV/AIDS and reproductive health, and participate actively in the development of their communities.
The project will reach over 3,705 disadvantaged girls and young women aged between 9 and 25 years, including in- and out-of-school girls, orphans and girls with disabilities in high-density and deprived communities with limited resources for youth.
The project will be funded and managed by IDS and ScfC and delivered by local partner EMIMA, a Tanzanian non-governmental and not-for-profit organization that uses sport for youth and community development.
In cultural contexts where girls have little say in how and when they will practice sex, and where girls are often prevented from becoming involved in activities and structures in their communities other than according to traditional roles, the education and empowerment of girls to make their own decisions and to challenge gender stereotypes in their homes and communities are critical if the girls of Tanzania are to have a brighter and healthier future.
Sport has shown to increase girls’ critical life skills, such as decision making, confidence and communication skills. This increased confidence enables them to make independent decisions, to say ‘no’ in matters of sex and to challenge the attitudes of others. Sport, as a structured activity, also creates a safe and supportive environment within which girls can access knowledgeable peers to discuss and deal with issues that profoundly affect them, such as physical/sexual abuse and HIV/AIDS.
The ‘peer-to-peer education’ and ‘training the trainer’ approaches that underpin the project are critical to its sustainability, empowering project participants to take charge of their futures and share their skills and knowledge with others in their communities. The value of volunteerism among the girls is also key to the project’s sustainability, reflecting the philosophies of ‘empowerment’, ‘ownership’ and ‘active citizenship’.
The project is based on the ‘peer leader’ approach encouraging girls to take on leadership roles, building a sustainable network of female role models. By using a cost-effective ‘training the trainer’ model the project enables young female leaders and educators to pass on their knowledge and skills to other girls through sporting and educational activities, which are organized and run by the girls themselves.