Rwanda has the largest proportion of women in parliament in the world...........retweet
The Saturdays Visit Children’s Dignity Forum
The Saturdays singer Rochelle Wiseman, 23, visited Tanzania this month to discover how Comic Relief and the UK government are changing lives through their Common Ground Initiative. It supports Diaspora organisations set up and run by people who have African heritage to help disadvantaged communities across the continent.
Rochelle visited the Children’s Dignity Forum which gives children and young women the confidence to avoid forced marriages and early pregnancy.
She was struck by the girls’ brave and inspirational stories and how they’ve managed to turn their lives around. One such woman was, Tabitha, 25, who was forced to marry a much older man when she was just 14, only to be widowed with three children to care for five years later. Thankfully, she found the Children’s Dignity Forum in Musoma, which educates young girls on how to challenge child marriage and early motherhood, along with advice on how to generate an income. The forum is supported by FORWARD, a UK based women’s organisation run by people of African heritage.
Tabitha now runs a small restaurant with friends and earns enough to keep a roof over her family’s heads.
Rochelle says, “Tabitha tells me that while she missed out on a childhood and an education, the same will not happen to her daughter, and that’s wonderful to hear.”
Co-founder of the project is Dr Monica Mhojam, who was born and raised in Tanzania before moving to the UK. She explains: “I have a deep understanding of the communities here, the problems they face and the possible solutions. Helping children to make know they have choices about marriage and pregnancy significantly improves their lives and future opportunities.”
Educating girls and delaying early pregnancies are just two of the ways that the Common Ground Initiative, co-funded by Comic Relief and UK aid, are helping girls change their lives. To find out more, visit www.comicrelief.com or www.dfid.gov.uk/changinglives.