Gender Equality Service Learning Programs
Live and work in a rural, Tanzanian village on a project that will positively impact gender equality and female empowerment in rural communities. You will be involved in working alongside community groups on gender equality activities such as education and training and you will also work on furthering our research on gender and culture in Tanzania in areas of education, health and business. This will involve using research methodology and data analysis. You will also work on our current female empowerment projects and with our partners to gain a deeper insight into issues facing girls and women in Tanzania today.
This project takes a holistic approach to female empowerment, working with a range of groups within the community, including teenage girls, vulnerable groups, single mothers and widows. At the end of your program, you will have a keen understanding of gender equality in Tanzania, with a particular focus on vulnerable girls and women in rural communities.
- Learn about female empowerment and the challenges facing girls and women
- Work alongside our fantastic team and project partners to address key issues
- Learn conversational Swahili
- Experience the traditional culture and way of life in Tanzania
- Location Live in the small town of Moshi, at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro
- Learning Takeaway Learn the local language of Swahili, taught by the traditional Maasai tribe
- Learning Experience Support the NAFGEM organization in combating issues such as forced youth marriage and genital mutilation
- Free Time Summit the famous Mount Kilimanjaro and explore local wildlife areas
Your home during your placement will be Moshi, a small town situated below the majestic Kilimanjaro mountain range. One of the most iconic attractions in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is the continent’s highest peak, and an incredible sight. Blessed with this view, the busy tourist town of Moshi is a bustling network of food markets and restaurants, with an impressive array of colors, smells, and sounds. Undoubtedly, the most iconic inhabitants of Moshi are the Maasai, a traditional warrior tribe who will impress you with their vibrant culture and warm nature. The area is also rich in wildlife. With monkeys in the trees and lizards sunning themselves on the rocks in your garden, living here is a perfect balance between integrating with the Tanzanians and enjoying the incredible natural setting. During time off, you’ll have the opportunity to visit some of the nearby national parks for spectacular game viewing. You could, for instance, venture to the famous Serengeti and encounter lions, elephants, and rhinos – and, if you’re lucky, you might even witness the hugely impressive Great Wildebeest Migration.
There are five core components of this program, namely service, reflection, communication, research and course work. On arrival in Kilimanjaro, you will undergo a thorough orientation and induction program to gain an overview of life in the village and of the program itself. You will then embark on your service learning journey, working on the projects, carrying out your research and learning about female empowerment and gender equality in Tanzania. The program will finish with personal and group reflections, as well as presentations on your research and findings.
You will be fully supported throughout your program by our project staff. They will help you design your research methodology, shape your program, assist you in preparing for your service elements and guide you with infinite amounts of local knowledge.
Upon completion of your program, you will:
- Have a deep understanding of female empowerment and gender equality in Tanzania
- Have gained social research methodology skills and learned how to apply them in a practical sense
- Feel comfortable analyzing your data and information and extract recommendations from your findings
- Have an appreciation for the Swahili language and culture
Girls and women across the globe face challenges in equality. Our program focuses primarily on education and health, as well as gender roles in society and the root causes of the challenges facing girls and women today.
Educating girls has been proven to be one of the most cost-effective strategies to promote development and economic growth. Educated women get better jobs and contribute to the local and national economy. Educated women tend to have healthier, better nourished babies, and ensure their own children attend school, helping break the vicious cycle of poverty. Educated women educate their daughters.
Girls in rural areas are less likely to attend school than their urban counterparts, as are girls from lower income families. Stigma around menstruation, limited access to sanitary products, early pregnancy and expectations of girls to stay home prevent numerous girls from completing their educations.
Your placement is designed to research and map out the current challenges facing girls and women in rural communities. From your research, you will extract key recommendations for African Impact to further develop and improve our own gender projects, as well as for the local government to take into consideration.
Our gender program which you will work on as part of your service element, includes the following:
Girls’ Club: Working with girls from a local secondary school, addressing topics such as health, nutrition, peer pressure, decision-making and general empowerment themes.
Adult English Education: most people in rural communities cannot speak English; however they recognize that this is a key skill if they wish to broaden their employment opportunities, particularly in a tourism-rich area like Kilimanjaro. We teach English to adults at all levels in our community. We have a particular focus on women as with better English skills, they have better employment opportunities outside the home.
Women’s education and income generation: we work with a women’s group made up of young single mothers and widows on education topics selected by them, such as maternal health, nutrition and basic business skills. We also run income generation activities to help them support their families as head of household.
Network Against Female Genital Mutilation (NAFGEM): NAFGEM is a shelter in Moshi that provides safety and education for girls escaping from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or forced or childhood marriage. We run a series of program at the shelter, including extra tuition, basic health and youth empowerment programs.
- WEEK 1:
Your first week will comprise an in-depth orientation where you will meet the various stakeholders, familiarize yourself with your schedule and set expectations. An introduction into the local language, culture and relevant history of the area will provide key context to the subject matter.
By the end of the first week, you will have a sound understanding of the subject matter and concepts to be explored. Your first reflection will ensure you are prepared for the activities in week two.
- WEEK 2:
In week two, you will settle into your routine and develop a keener understanding of how the five elements of your placement; service, reflection, communication, course work and research integrate.
A meeting with your program adviser will ensure that you are prepared with a concept note for your research paper by the end of week two.
- WEEK 3:
After two weeks on your placement, you will have the requisite skills and contextual knowledge to deepen your inquiry. In your third week you will undertake research to develop your concept note in preparation of your presentation, which provides an opportunity to reflect on your personal development thus far.
Meetings with your program adviser will guide your progress.
- WEEK 4:
Your final week will be geared towards the refinement of your paper as you prepare for your presentation. You will also prepare a handover document to ensure that your contribution to the project continues.
Your program adviser will provide a consolidated review of your research, and your contributions to the various elements of the broader program.
Available February through November
You will be based at African Impact’s house, exclusively for use by African Impact’s participants, in the village of Mdawi, which is six kilometres from Moshi. The house is very comfortable, with shared en-suite bedrooms, hot showers and Wi-Fi. The on-site chef and program coordinators will ensure that you have everything you need for a fantastic stay during your placement
- Participants will be collected from the airport upon arrival and transferred to base
- Accommodation on base will be simple, but comfortable shared rooms with communal ablutions
- All meals for the duration of the project, with the exception of free days will be provided
- Any transport required for program activities will be provided
- Participants will be transferred back to the airport for their departure