HEALTH RIGHTS

Health and Well-being

We support marginalised and vulnerable populations to access their health rights, with a particular focus on women and children. In the areas in which we work, there is widespread discrimination against women and the majority are excluded from decision-making regarding their own welfare and reproductive health. We provide education to women and their communities and work to give them a voice.

Our Projects

NEW: Accessing Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights for Vulnerable Women and Girls in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

With the support of the Tanzania Women Research Foundation (TAWREF), in April 2018 we started work on a three-year £250,000 project to improve the health and well-being of female sex workers, vulnerable adolescent girls and young women, people with disabilities and people living with HIV in Hai District in Kilimanjaro region. This project is designed to improve access to sexual reproductive healthcare and gender-based violence services for the most disadvantaged. It will also seek to address the core drivers of high-risk sexual behaviour by improving economic opportunities for hard-to-reach groups via Village Community Bank (VICOBA) schemes. This project, which is funded by UK aid from the UK government, works through peer educators – the agents of change – and partners with government service providers and community leaders to raise awareness of women’s constitutional rights. Read more about the new project here.

ONGOING: HIV and AIDS Intervention

African Initiatives and our partner TAWREF are working on a three-year project which increases the knowledge of HIV prevention amongst teachers, children and their parents. Using the support of local governments and health facilities, we provide testing and early access to care and treatment in 12 schools in two districts of Kilimanjaro region, northern Tanzania. The aim of this project is to reach 720 children along with 36 teachers, 1,000 parents and 36 local governmental leaders. In two years we have established seven youth-led AIDS-free generation clubs, two school information centres and conducted quarterly learning-based participatory monitoring and evaluation sessions to encourage schools to take responsibility for their pupils in terms of HIV prevention, care and treatment. Read more about the project here.

“Since I have learned about the danger of HIV and AIDS, I am more aware of the relationship between STIs, STDs, HIV and AIDS.” Student, Arusha

NEW: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Following a successful pilot project (2015-16) working in partnership with Childreach Tanzania, in June 2018 we launched a one-year Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project to improve WASH facilities in three primary schools in Kilimanjaro region. This project will improve WASH conditions at the schools – toilets will be renovated and reliable access to clean water will be provided, reducing sickness rates. Another aim is to incorporate learning about menstrual education into primary school education to increase adolescent girls’ self-esteem, knowledge and school attendance. Read more about the new project here.

Examples of previous projects

HIV and AIDS Health Clubs

African Initiatives and the Community Aid and Small Enterprises Consultancy (CASEC) work with 14 secondary schools in Arusha (around 7,000 students per year) to develop Health Clubs. Peer educators from each club are trained and then share their learning with the rest of the school. The sessions provide a space to learn about issues surrounding HIV and AIDS in a safe setting, and the opportunity to develop other knowledge and skills. Students at Oloirien School, for example, have dug a vegetable garden which provides food for the whole school, including those students who could not afford lunch in the past. Read more about the project here.

Accessing Health Rights in Ghana                                  

Between September 2011 and August 2015 we ran a project in partnership with The Community Self Reliance Centre (CRSC) in northern Ghana, which addressed the barriers to women registering for the government health insurance scheme and improved reproductive health knowledge among the most marginalised living in the deprived rural north. In addition, the project worked to improve women’s participation in decision-making, including reproductive health choices. Read the project impact report here. 

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There are cases of women delivering and losing their babies in villages due to a lack of proper information on reproductive health and this is a project which gives information on sexual reproductive health, family planning and Ante-natal and Post Natal care, which will go a long way to stopping mothers from losing their babies.” Becky Seidu- Women’s Rights Coordinator

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