Ella Hogg muses over what she’s learned of our girl’s education programmes in Tanzania through new publication”Girl Power”, and its impact on her work as a volunteer with African Initiatives
Immediately I looked at this new booklet I was faced with a direct comparison of the economic state of Tanzania with the UK. Countries such as Tanzania are not the ‘helpless’ or ‘starving’ nations we often categorize them as. The fact that the UK distribution of wealth in actually more unevenly spread than in Tanzania is eye opening. We can often be smug about our own comfortable living conditions, when in fact we have more reason than most nations to identify those greatest in need and help them.
Just why we should increase women’s access to education is also strongly portrayed and justified throughout, which from a volunteer’s viewpoint is helpful as it reiterates all that the charity works towards and illustrates practical ways in which this work will benefit these women. This gives my role as a volunteer more relevance and meaning.
Having to leave school due to family pressures to get married and have children is something that when put in the context of our own society seems highly unfair, finding out about issues which I personally am able to identify with makes the broader issue of social justice easier to comprehend. Imagine if one of your friends or even YOU were forced to leave your friendship group and bin any plans of a career in order to start a family and do household chores! This very real problem for girls in Tanzania makes us think about how lucky we are to have access to our right to education in this country. Education not only allows us to make the most of economic opportunities and fulfil our potential, but it is also an important part of growing up; allowing us to discuss issues with different people, explore history and develop new ways of thinking and communicating.
It’s great because this booklet is also very positive about the progress African Initiatives has made so far in partnership with the PWC and CASEC. It is important for us as volunteers as well as the public to see the results of our hard work, time and financial aid.
Progress has been made – but there is still lots to be done!