MEWATA: support of the Embassy to encourage youth empowerment on reproductive health in Iringa [fr]
The Embassy of France remains committed to helping the Tanzanian civil society through the PISCCA fund that finances 10 projects implemented by local NGOs. A team from the Embassy went to Iringa, jointly with the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS), to appreciate progress of the Medical Women Association of Tanzania (MEWATA) project.
MEWATA is a Tanzanian organization which aims at promoting professional development of female doctors in order to insure better quality health services for women, with the objective to be implemented in every Tanzanian region. In Iringa, MEWATA counts on 18 workers, particularly active in a region characterized by health challenges as the high spread of HIV and the reluctance of the youth to visit health facilities.
Thanks to the French Embassy’s funding, MEWATA has launched the Kijana Amka initiative, implemented in 13 educational institutions (secondary schools, colleges and universities) in Iringa region, in order to empower the youth on sexual health and rights. This initiative focuses on both youth and healthcare providers.
In concrete terms, this project has resulted in the training of peer educators in every school to advise their fellow students about health issues; and the organization of youth dialogues, supervised by MEWATA staff, to give them an opportunity to discuss various health topics (family planning, gender based violence, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.). At the same time, an information campaign has been launched and 7 000 SMS sent to the students.
The initiative also provides training for 15 workers of the health facilities located near the selected schools, on how to improve their counselling methods towards the youth.
According to Dr. Atu, MEWATA secretary in Iringa, the financial support of the French Embassy has been crucial to the implementation of the Kijana Amka initiative as it provided the organization with the necessary resources to implement the different meetings and activities gathering all the stakeholders. The results are already visible for the youth who are more and more open to discussions around health. MEWATA aspires to ensure the sustainability of its project by continuing training health workers, as well as students, parents and teachers.