HGWT earns praise for fighting against FGM, gender violence in Serengeti

A non-governmental organisation known as Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania has been commended for its efforts in fighting against gender violence and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Mara region, By Amos Lufungulo (Diramakini) Mara.

Gender Violance Education Coodinator, Mr Emmanuel Good Luck (right) engages and mobilizes primary school students in Serengeti District during the campaign conducted by Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania (HGWT) in oder to building them capacity on how to prevent and bring attention to domestic and gender based violence including FGM. (DIRAMAKINI).

Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania in collaboration with government their running special campaign to educating primary and secondary schools students on how to overcome FGM.

These initiative come after, numbers of report reveal that, every year, thousands of girls and women are subjected to genital mutilation/cutting, a dangerous and potentially life-threatening procedure that causes unspeakable pain and suffering.

This practice violates girls’ and women’s basic human rights, denying them of their physical and mental integrity, their right to freedom from violence and discrimination, and in the most extreme case, of their life.

Female genital mutilation/cutting is a global concern. Not only is it practiced among communities in Tanzania,Africa and the Middle East, but also in other communities throughout the World.

Recent data reveal that it occurs on a much larger scale than previously thought. It continues to be one of the most persistent, pervasive and silently endured human rights violations.

Serengeti is among the districts in Mara region where FGM and gender violence are still rampant despite a national campaign against the outdated traditions.

Through FGM campaign, Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania expecting before December 2020 to reach more than 60 schools in Serengeti district.

Rhobi Samwelly is the Founder and Director of Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania.With the support of different organizations, Rhobi established two safe houses where girls are able to seek shelter and safety during the cutting seasons, which now take place four times a year. One center of Hope House in Serengeti district and other Safe House at Kiabakari in Butiama District, Mara Region.

Rhobi established Hope for Girls and Women as an independent non-profit in 2017, with the aim of providing services including the development and maintenance of two safe houses, counseling sessions to train women in life skills.

Also reproductive health, maternal health and care of newborns, supporting girls as mentioned above, as well as engaging government officials, local clan leaders, church leaders, teachers, parents and girls to implement a multi-prong strategy to end the practice of FGM in Tanzania’s Mara region.

Recently,Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania has established the campaign that will reach to 60 schools including Secondary Schools and Primary Schools in Serengeti District for the aim of providing education to students on how to fight against with FGM before December where by some clans from Kuria tribe use that month to practice that, preparing them for marriage, although the government and HGWT are working closely to eradicate that harmfully practices to enable them to study so as to reach their future dreams.

The commendation was made recently by a resident of Serengeti district, Esther Pius when speaking with Diramakini Reporter.

Esther said it would be easier for students to understand the negative impacts and to shares knowledge with families, to discover acts of gender violence and FGM, stressing that the existence of the families (community) would help force people stop practicing many outdated traditions.

“We only need these information on the effects of gender violence and FGM to keep providing the education to our community. I thanks HGWT for their great job of educating student and others on how to overcome FGM. They should not get tired until such cruel acts have been stamped out completely here in Serengeti district,"Said.

Said, the campaign will rise up the awareness for students on how to eradicate FGM due to it's negative impacts in health and in studies for girls child which lead them to drop from schools and others to be married before the maturity age of 18 years.

Adding that,is the right time for every one to stand strong and say FGM is enough and girls must be empowered.

While, Ashura Maritine said, through that campaign students will be able to take action by reporting in their areas those who conduct FGM at Police Stations, Village Offices, Community development office, and she insisted that, she believes the government must take action quickly for those who practises that
after being reported.

"I thanks sister Rhobi and The Government in Serengeti District for conducting this campaign in collaboration before December, I knew that some people from Kuria tribe are waiting schools to be clossed in order to practices FGM for their daughters and this period many clans inluding Walinchoka, Wanyabasi and Wairegi will practises that in secret, through this education I believe both boys and girls will not accept such kind of gender violation,"said Neema Michael.

Paul Matiko said that, Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania has positive impacts in Serengeti since it was established in 2017.

"Their doing good job, it has been conducting different programs to educate people to stop FGM including villages meetings, using Media, face to face education and other different ways to send the message to the community," Said Matiko.

Neema Getera is the Student at Ngoreme Secondary School said that, she is ready to fight against FMG by educating her fellow and her community about the negative impacts of FGM for the benefit of the future generations, and advised the society to take action quickly by reporting to the government who are practicing FGM and forcing early marriages to students who are still with their studies.

Mr Emmanuely Good luck is the Education Officer for Gender Violance from Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania said, the campaign target to increase awareness to all students.

He said they are conducting in collaborating with Community development officers, Police gender department, and advised the community to protect all girls child against any kind of violation as the government has been insisting all the time. Adding that, the campaign it will be ended on next week.

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