Project Impact: Equal Rights to Quality Education
While volunteering at African Initiatives, I have found the Equal Rights to Quality Education project (ERP) particularly inspiring and relatable to the SDG ethos. This project specifically relates to Goal 4 (achieving quality education) and Goal 5 (gender equality), in my opinion, achieving these in Ngorongoro, Monduli, Longido, Karatu, Mbulu and Kilolo districts, northern Tanzania.
As explained in the UN’s outline of the SDGs; a quality education forms the foundation to creating sustainable development, being incredibly important in helping locals in poor countries to break out of the poverty cycle. Poorly trained teachers, a lack of resources in schools and poor infrastructure all have a detrimental effect on the quality of education in the rural north of Tanzania. Gender equality, similarly, is a necessary condition for a peaceful and prosperous world. By providing girls with equal access to education, political representation and health care, economies are fuelled and the social development of a country is developed.
Tanzania is a country where the government is struggling to provide good quality education for the 8 million children who attend school every year. Additionally, traditional practices in pastoralist communities such as early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation greatly affect the ability of girls to attend and remain in school. Our project addresses these issues by providing teacher training, creating health clubs through which students can learn about female genital mutilation and sexual reproductive health, and improving access to education by working with teachers, parents, and community leaders to sensitise communities on the importance of education, especially for girls. By June 2019, when the project comes to an end, we hope to have empowered nearly 8,000 primary and secondary school students to learn about their right to education.