Kiota has been working with our partner, Tanzanian NGO KIWOHEDE (Kiota Women’s Health & Development), for 10 years now, and we are proud to continue to do so.
The UN Convention on the Right of the Child states that all children should have the right to a childhood (including protection from harm); the right to be educated (including all girls and boys completing primary school); the right to be healthy (including having clean water, nutritious food and medical care); the right to be treated fairly; and the right to be heard. We agree, and KIWOHEDE works to ensure that these rights are realised for as many children as possible, across Tanzania.
KIWOHEDE works in, and with, poor communities in Tanzania to promote children, youth and women’s right to dignity and to lead healthy and safe lives without abuse or trauma. KIWOHEDE is based in Buguruni, one of the low-income areas in Dar es Salaam, and has rehabilitation centres for those affected by the worst forms of abuse in seven regions of Tanzania. KIWOHEDE is well regarded across Tanzania for its work, particularly in preventing, withdrawing and supporting young girls at risk of prostitution, hazardous domestic work and trafficking, and others who face severe exploitation. In addition to direct work with individuals and communities, KIWOHEDE works at a policy level, and works hard to ensure that their values are institutionalised in governmental work, and accepted in communities.
Kiota provides project specific funding for strategic and/ or difficult to fund but important pieces of work. To date, we have provided vital funding for water provision, community health training projects, infrastructure projects, and most recently, education.
Enabling the right to education, and to a childhood: Our current work
We are currently funding a pilot secondary education project in Bunju, an area to the north of Dar-es-Salaam, with the aim of improving the standard of life of the students, who have all experienced multiple disadvantages.
Time and time again, young people supported by KIWOHEDE have expressed desires to attend school, and KIWOHEDE has always worked hard to make this possible. KIWOHEDE has developed partnerships with primary schools, so that those who have not completed primary education, where appropriate, can attend a mainstream primary school. Others are supported to attend adult education, or enrol in KIWOHEDE’s vocational training projects. Sometimes KIWOHEDE was able to find sponsors for individuals to attend secondary school. However more young people want to attend secondary education than there are sponsors for, and some do not meet the academic entry requirements for mainstream secondary education. To Kiota and KIWOHEDE, it does not seem fair that because of the circumstances that young people are born into, they are left with no options but to reach adulthood early, often meaning that they are more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. We want to ensure that poverty and vulnerability are not barriers to accessing quality secondary education, and offer opportunities for those who want to continue learning to be able to do so.
K is an orphan and living with HIV. She is 16 years old. She joined the Bunju class, and whilst she was keen to learn, she could not think about the future, as she felt she would soon die because of her HIV status. Through counselling and medical care received at the KIWOHEDE centre, she was encouraged to remain positive. She now wants to finish school and become a journalist.
Secondary education classes at Bunju teach Maths, Biology, English, Kiswahili, Geography, History and Civics. But the model of education at Bunju is about much more than formal education. It is one of holistic support. As at other KIWOHEDE centres, the Bunju centre offers all students psychosocial counselling to assist them in dealing with their experiences and circumstances. There is also a vocational training element, running in parallel with the secondary education, and life skills training is offered to all on site. For those who need it and/ or who are in danger or crisis, residential support is offered, and clean water and nutritious food is provided. Kiota funds a daily meal, in response to the realisation that many attendees weren’t eating before class, and struggled to concentrate as a consequence. A large vegetable plot contributes food for the table and provides opportunities for students to learn practical skills, as does learning to cook nutritious meals for the centre attendees. Any surplus provides an opportunity for students to develop entrepreneurship and small scale business skills. Sport, dance and drama enable the students to develop social skills and have some much needed fun.
Since 2010, we have supported 116 students. Help us to support more young people.