By Naomi Yakawich
A young Tanzanian woman sat upright in her desk, balancing a pencil in one hand and her precious wiggling baby in the other, watching intently as volunteer teachers pointed to letters and numbers on the classroom blackboard.
A unique sight, classrooms like this one includes girls and women of all ages, some with multiple children scurrying across the room, who decided to take part in women empowerment workshops initiated by the women’s division of Global Peace Foundation. The two day workshop was just the latest in a series of programs empowering women through basic education and providing a safe and encouraging environment to advance their literacy and leadership capacities within their communities.
Young Tanzanian students were also active in the movement to help their families and communities recognize the unique value and vital role of women. International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8th, gathered 250 school girls at St. Anne Marie Academy for a day of inspirational speeches by exemplary women like Annastazia Anthony, a university student and an active member of student government. Following the program, girls attained higher marks on exams and became more active in extracurricular activities, even organizing a campaign for women’s leadership at the school to encourage girls to attain leadership roles.
GPF Tanzania representative Irene Ishengoma is committed to the ongoing mentorship and education of young women and shared plans to continue leadership and empowerment workshops throughout the year.