- Published on Friday, 03 August 2012 01:59
- Written by Our Correspondent LEAH SAMSON
- Hits: 719
MWANZA Women Development Association (MWDA) is geared towards developing and utilizing women’s’ talents. This will enable them advocate for equal opportunities, and fight all forms of discrimination. What role does it play in the region? Our Correspondent LEAH SAMSON conducted an interview with the MWDA Executive Secretary, Mrs Mary Maswe. Excerpts…
Q: Tell us about your organization?
A: Mwanza Women Development Association (MWDA) is a non-governmental, non-profit sharing organization, which was established in 1995.The MWDA is a regional organization, catering for social economic developments of disadvantaged women and youth, specifically girls within Mwanza region. Most important, however, we put more emphasis to rural women and youth girls.
Q: What are the specific objectives of your organization?
A: There are several objectives that our organization intends to fulfill.MWDA for instance is geared to advocate and raise women awareness on human rights as well as women and children’s rights in respect of access to education, property ownership, family planning and participation in decision making on matters pertaining to their own development and the nation at large.
The organization has also a responsibility to find ways and means to develop and utilize womens’talents, access to higher education to enable them advocate for equal opportunities and fight against all forms of discrimination within the societies. Moreover, the organization also strives to communicate and liaise with local, national, international sister organizations and agencies, for the purpose of formulating and implementing strategies which will contribute towards improving quality education through early childhood education and better childhood upbringing.
Q: What strategies does your organization use to fulfill its main objective?
A: In most cases we provide our services through participatory planning and implementation. All key persons, target groups/beneficiaries/communities as well as leaders within the operation areas, are involved in problems identification, planning and the implementation processes. Also roles and responsibilities are defined for everyone to undertake responsibilities seriously and develop a sense of ownership.
Q: What are specific partners you are working with?
A: The organization (MWDA) does not work in isolation.MWDA is the member of several local organizations with similar common goals and interests. These Organizations are Tanzania Education Network Mtandao wa Elimu Tanzania (TENMET), Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP), The South African Human Rights NGO Network (SARINGON), Mwanza Policy Initiatives (MPI) and Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), just to mention a few.
Q: What kind of partners co-operate with you?
A: The donors supporting us include Flora Family Foundation (FFF), Banyan Tree Foundation (BTF), INTERTEAM, Strong Foundation (SF), Pestalozzi Children Foundation (PCF), and WETU Women Organization. We share knowledge, professional experiences and specialization whereby we can complement each other when need arises. As for international partners, in most cases they support us financially and sometimes technically, hence enable us to realize our dreams, to serve our own people in their struggles to attain their development needs.
Q: Are there any specific programmes tailored to meet your goals?
A:We have a number of programmes, these include Girl Child Basic Education Programme which include Abolishment of corporal punishment in schools and within families in Kwimba district, In-service Teachers Capacity Building Project; Education Quality Improvement Project; Community Based Education Intervention Project; Community Managed Micro Finance Project; Girls Higher Education Sponsorship Programme, Credit Scheme Programme, Public Human Rights awareness to mention a few and sewing and embroidery. All these programmes / projects have contributed a lot to women/girls advancement competence and dignity.
Q: To what extent have you succeeded so far?
A: Generally, the achievement earned by MWDA, is the public recognition and appreciation attributed to her keen interest in peoples’ lives and joining hands with other service providers to improve the lives of the less advantaged people and giving them hope of a better future through their initiatives in different ways.
More than 300 communities from 3 villages Hungumalwa, Buyogo and Lunere have been sensitized about human rights, women and child rights and are taking initiative to disseminate the knowledge within the villages. The organization has also sponsored 10 girls in higher education from Form V to University level, hence lead to a bright future to contribute towards women advancement in decision making posts.