I have just returned from a field visit to Tanzania for the first time as Chief Executive for African Initiatives. I wanted to understand first-hand what we do, with whom and how! It has really helped me understand how the projects and partners we work with are connected, and what more we could be doing. I cannot wait to return in the coming months!
I met with all our partner teams (more on that in a minute), and most exciting of all, I visited people who are directly impacted by African Initiatives’ and our partners’ work: students; teachers; head teachers; district education officers, who we work with through our education programme; peer educators (sex workers and vulnerable adults); and lastly, but by no means least, those living with a disability who are reached through our health and well-being, and livelihoods projects.
Overall, I could see the continuum of support we provide to vulnerable girls, young women and people living with a disability in the rural north of Tanzania: from primary level children by focussing on getting them into school and improving learning outcomes; to supporting healthy behaviour in older students (helping to keep them in school by reducing gender based violence, as well as improving understanding of their rights and available services related to sexual reproductive health, family planning and HIV/AIDS); through to providing livelihood opportunities for young adults through village community banking initiatives.