CSO empowers children to report acts of child rights abuse

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Increased community involvement inspired by the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) grantee in Tanga region - the Tanzania Livelihoods Skills Development & Advocacy (TALISDA) - has empowered young children to be able to report any possible acts of child rights abuse, as never before.

The CSO has overseen this empowerment through the formation of child rights groups.

Giving testimonies on the new empowerment, pupils of Kweisewa Primary School who are members of the TALISDA child rights group say they are now proud to be able to report of any child rights abuse acts since the formed groups have given them a new avenue and dimension for their rights. 

Speaking of their club, Rehema Juma, a standard seven pupil from Kweisewa Primary school says: “We as children sometimes encounter a lot of challenges, but don’t have a forum to express independently what might have been facing us. We are now proud to be able to speak out, since we are already aware of our rights and now have a place where we can start reporting such issues.”

She says through the child rights club, the children have had an opportunity to dialogue, and possibly report atrocious issues to their matrons or patrons, who then forward matters of action to the wider local community, which also, has been empowered to ensure child rights protection as per the 2009 Law of Child Act No. 21.

CHAWATA want end of stigmatization among people with disabilities

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Society has been urged not to hide People with Disabilities (DWPs) and if they are unable to provide the necessary support and care to the latter the best option is to refer them to responsible care centres.

Secretary of Chama cha Watu wenye Ulemavu Tanzania (CHAWATA) in Mwanza region, Vincent Ludomya, says different stakeholders including local government officials from the village level are obliged to understand the challenges faced by DWPs and be ready to provide them with the necessary support.

CHAWATA is a national umbrella organisation for people with disabilities and for a couple of years it has been receiving funds from the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) to implement various projects related to the protection of the rights and engagement of people with disability on policy issues.

Ludomya says a recent research study conducted by guest researchers in association with CHAWATA has discovered that most DWPs hail from relatively poor communities.
He says, poor communities are at a higher risk of giving birth to children with disabilities such as those with mental health challenges, bowlegs and other disabilities – to the extent that the low level of household incomes leads to failure in even sending the children to hospitals for early postnatal care.

He however mentioned some of the factors leading to various forms of disabilities, including drug abuse among partners, smoking, genetic hereditary diseases as well as possession of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) among expectant mothers.

Ludomya however said statistics show that between 2009 to 2014 more than 216 children from different parts of Mwanza have been reported to DWPs centers.


Lindi women helped to acquire land for economic use

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Over 40 women in Lindi rural district have been enabled to acquire land ownership rights following awareness on the 1999 Land Act No. 4 & 5 conducted by the Lindi Support Agency for Social Welfare (LISAWE) through funds from the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS).

It is said the acquired plots of land will now be used to facilitate the women’s access to loan facilities as a means of improving their welfare through entrepreneurship.

These achievements were made known in early October to participants of the FCS joint monitoring tour of projects in Lindi region, who among others, wanted to know more on the land rights project that primarily targets women, with an objective of ridding the latter of extreme poverty.

Explaining to participants of the joint monitoring tour - comprising of some FCS Board of Directors, the Management and representatives from the FCS Development Partners and the Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children - the executive secretary of LISAWE, Prisca Unga, said following their intervention – between 2012 and 2014 a total of 109 women were inspired to apply for land ownerships and 40 of them had acquired their land certificates.

“So what else have you done to help these women to transform their livelihoods through land ownership,” asked Zabdiel Kimambo from the Department of International Development (DFID).

In response, Ms. Prisca said: “We have always told the women that their possession of land certificates is a means to guarantee them access to loan facilities for their entrepreneurial goals. The message has sunk, but we are yet to establish the exact monetary figures accrued as a result of land ownership.”

Also, following awareness on land ownership targeting district council officials, the project has also inspired the construction of 4 new land registries in villages of Mkwajuni, Nyangao, Likwaya and Mputwa. Ms. Prisca says the registries have eventually become pivotal in the documentation of all land related matters, and hence ease the process of accountability on land ownership.
 

Youths’ jewelry making turns wastes into wealth

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Over 30 youths in Tandale and Mwananyamala wards in Kinondoni district, Dar es Salaam region are increasingly becoming self-reliant through jewelry making done by recycling some waste products such as water bottles, papers, sawdust. Thanks to an intensive entrepreneurship and business skills training extended to them by a local organisation, the International Youth Development Program (IYDP).

Before indulging in jewelry making and other entrepreneurial skills facilitated through the Youth-to-Youth entrepreneurship fund that is coordinated by the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) with the support from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the youths in the area had been battling with an acute unemployment challenges that had just rendered many of them jobless.

Nassoro Mgeni (16) one of the beneficiaries of the project says: “I can make ten products per day which I sell TZS 500 each with an average of TZS 5,000 per week. For me this is a lot of money to cater for my personal needs and sometimes I buy breakfast for my family. I no longer bother my parents asking for petty cash.

“I am happy to say that I now feel more different from other youths in my area. I also teach my fellow youths to acquire the skills that I have got,” adds Mgeni who is a standard seven leaver.

Another beneficiary of the project, Wema Makundi says before joining entrepreneurship training at IYDP she was lying idle at home but after the training on making jewelry, briquettes, decorations, soaps, bracelets, she is able to earn up to TZS 10,000 a day. Multi-tasking has also landed Wema a permanent slot at the IYPD as a person in charge of the Youths Entrepreneurship Facility project.

Thus, apart from being an enabler of income generation to the youths in Kinondoni area the IYDP has in turn played a pivotal role in conserving the environment by turning wastes into wealth.
   

PETS exercise inspires Masasi farmers’ access to input vouchers

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On the 8 October participants of the joint monitoring tour of the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) projects were informed of achievements made as a result of Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) whereby over 50 farmers from each targeted 58 villages in nine wards of Masasi district, Mtwara region were enabled to transparently access input vouchers for buying fertilizers and other farming inputs, including maize seeds.

Explaining to participants of the joint monitoring tour - comprising of some FCS Board of Directors, the Management and representatives from the FCS Development Partners and the Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children - the Rural Oriented Sustainable Development Organisation (ROSDO) John Bakari, said through ward development committees the organisation managed to identify and reach a total of 14,192 citizens in Masasi district - leading to the formation of nine PETS Committees in nine wards.

Giving a detailed account, an agricultural officer at Namanja ward, Salum Natosa, said: “The PETS committees have enabled transparency of the input vouchers distribution. The subsequent farmers’ demand for the display of all information pertaining to who exactly should benefit from the input vouchers in village/ ward noticeboards has in turn compelled the district executive director and other ward agricultural officials to act prudently - with fears that any acts of collusion with the vouchers’ agents might get exposed.”

Thus, through ROSDO, the FCS funded project that is to be implemented up to year 2015 seeks to improve the capacity of citizens in 18 wards of Masasi and Nanyumbu districts, as well as monitor the funding of agriculture sector for improved agricultural development.

Thus, the joint monitoring tour at ROSDO was prepared to enable the Development Partners get a feel of projects being implemented by the FCS through their basket funding.




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