Wednesday, January 22, 2020


Last Friday 17th of January Nora and Ellen, volunteers from Finland, joined the session for the first time. As it was the first time we met we only started with a basic introduction. First Nora and Ellen introduced themselves with their names and what they’re doing here and where they are coming from. After that it was each girls turn. They seemed a bit shy and talked pretty slowly and silently. Most of the girls introduced themselves in Swahili. One of the girls hid herself under a table. We wrote her name up and we’ll do a follow up on if there’s something that caused this behavior, or if she’s only shy. Amalath and Jani who also attended as mentors have met the girls before on earlier sessions, and they saw an improvement in most of the girls’ confidence.

After the introduction Nora and Ellen asked the girls a few questions. One was “what do you want to become when you grow up?” Everyone was very eager to answer. They did repeat each other pretty much, and we noticed that it seems like the girls don’t know much about which kind of career possibilities there are. Some of the answers were doctor, teacher, pilot, engineer, nurse, sister and so on. One of the girls wanted to become a president. Another question was “What is your favorite food?” some of the answers were banana, meat, rice, chips, pilau, cake and ugali. This can be used in upcoming sessions as questions to them why they should eat more of some foods and why they should avoid others. Nutrition is a significant part of a healthy lifestyle and it can be good for the girls to questions their own habits. In that way it is easier for them to get an understanding of nutrition, when it comes from their own perspective.

The last question was “What do you like to do in your free time?” Many of the girls answered that they enjoy playing different sports, as football and netball. Someone also answered reading and playing. Then it was the girls turn to ask Nora and Ellen questions. They were curious to know about how old Nora and Ellen are, where they come from, what they do, what university they go to and where they live in Mwanza. We noticed that the girls were much more confident when the atmosphere was more freely. It is more out of their comfort zone to one by one stand in front of the other girls and speak. But the best way to keep developing and improving is to get out the comfort zone again and again.

There weren’t many challenges during this session, except for that there were other children who would have liked to attend too, as boys and girls who were younger than 10. It is a pity that everyone can’t attend, but the reason to this is that there are topics that aren’t suitable for girls younger than 10. It is also good for girls to have an environment where there are no boys, so they can talk about things they wouldn’t talk about in front of the boys. It is also more usual that boys get more attention than girls, so that’s another point on why it is good for the girls to have a space only for girls.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020


Msichana thabiti is a project for girls in the age of 10-14 who are in school. The projects main aim is to help the girls develop an understanding for what is needed for a healthy life. Confidence is important for girls, as they aren’t encouraged as much as the boys. When they’re confident it is also easier to know what is good for them, and they can make decisions of themselves. It’s important for them to know how to make good choices in life, and understand what kind of consequences each decision has. One of the biggest risks for young girls is that they get pregnant or married early. There’s also a risk that they get mentally, physically or sexually abused. That’s why the project is also focusing on educating the girls on reproductive health and what their rights and responsibilities are.

The project has been going on since September 2019, and will go on until August 2020. We’ll be meeting the girls once a week in Luchelele ward. During the sessions we bring up different topics that are important to the girls. It is also important to highlight topics that are interesting to the girls. It could be something that they have experience or have seen that someone else has experienced. It is of great value that the girls get the feeling that it is okay to communicate about things that aren’t very nice. To break down taboos of different problems is of big value, so that the girls can reach out reliable adults when they need to.

Something that is of great significance is to break down obstacles that can occur in the girls life, and give them tools so they better know how to handle situations. They might have a dream but for some reason something can come in the way so that they drop out of school. It is also common that the girls don’t know how it is possible to reach a dream. So this is why this project is of much value. The girls need to get information and the confidence to keep coping in life, so that they can get independent and well-educated.
Ward meeting during project introduction in September 2019

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Mwili Wangu Ni Mwili Wangu - My Body is My Body

We have started a new and a very important programme!

We want to encourage both children in Nursery School and also the girls from the Wasiliana Project to say; No!

We are using a programme called My Body is My Body - Mwili Wangu Ni Mwili Wangu. 
It is a well prepared programme that suits children from 3-10 years but also works very well in older ages.
The programme brings up questions and educates in a simple way how to talk about abuse. It teaches children that nobody has the right to hurt or abuse you in any way.
This programme will empower the children so they know what to do if there is a problem. It is very important to keep it simple because, young children don't need to know all the details about abuse. But they need to know that they have the right to say No and know their boundaries. If they see or hear something, then they know who they can talk to. And they should not keep it a secret. This is something that is important for both girls and boys.

Visit the website for more information.

We started to introduce the song My body is My body for the children in Nursery School. We have also talked about that it is ok to say no, and to respect if somebody says no, stop.
The children got to practice in a group to say no, stop when somebody gets too close.
We called the exercise "My Space is My Space". We explained to them that you have a invisible space, a "bubble", that marks your personal space and no one should come too close if it doesn't feel right.

The songs are very good and easy to sing along to, it also makes it easy to remember what we have talked about. The children learn the lyrics fast when you can have movements to the song as well. We want to educate them in a very young age, it is a way to prevent child abuse and keep them safe. Because the sooner they know about it the sooner it will become something everyone knows about. Our goal is now to share this programme to the parents, teachers and the community. Everybody needs to know how and what to do if a child reports anything.

Our vision is to get this program to grow and be a part of our community here in Mwanza.
This is our Pilot project at the moment, but we want it to expand to more schools and reach even more children.

Practicing My Space is My Space
Singing together the song "Mwili Wangu Ni Mwili Wangu"
Discussion with Wasiliana girls, about My Body is My Body.

Friday, April 12, 2019

The Library's final touches

The Library project is getting ready to use. 
The shelfs have been painted and the books have arrived.
We have been cleaning the Library and made it nice, now the books are in their place. We are very excited about this project! Children can now come and read books from the library two days every week. The children is also provided with a nice place where they can sit and enjoy the books.

The library will encourage the children to learn and find the joy in reading. 
Our goal is that the children will get opened up to the world of books and knowledge, that makes them grow and feel the excitement to learn more. 

The Library will be open after easter, when school has started again. Stay tuned! More pictures will be posted soon.
Amalath is placing books on the shelf, Kajuna is happy about the progress
Books are now filling the shelf's

Books ready to be used.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

One day at Sahwa

Last Monday meeting was held at the office in Sahwa nursery school. Walking through the school yard, planning improvements, reading-spot for  the library and a small vegetable garden. 

Children reaching out for NIHEP staff Getu and Amalath to show their newly received exam results. 

One grandmother who takes care of her orphaned 10 year old grandson was showing concern about the boy as he is not attending school. A home visit will be done. 

Amalath with one of the supported children                                                                                                                                                            

Another chance

This is, lets call her Jessica, who is passing by the office attending a tailoring course in town. NIHEP supports her with fee, material and transport. She did not manage to join Secondary school and this is a great opportunity for her.

Also, she loves football and will now be organizing football sessions coming Saturday!
Football and netball are excellent activities promoting the girls' self confidence, courage and communication skills. A brand new football has been donated and from now the game is on again!

Problems and solutions

Every week starts with Monday meeting in the office going through current matters and planning for the coming work week. It is important to gather at least once a week to discuss, to brainstorm and to develop solutions.

Updates from the meeting 12th of November with raised problems and suggested solutions:

·       The Tusome program is continuing but with to high absence rate. Field officer Gethu have met teachers and social workers involved and the way forward is to meet parents to the children with high absence in the program in order to find out why and what can be done. Nine parents came to the first meeting which was more than expected.
ð  Meetings with the parents, followed up by meetings together with the children and home visits when needed. Background and their thoughts on the children and education are gathered and simultaneously discussions with the parents are held.

·         The caregivers need to be strengthened in their parent role
ð  For that a pilot group is collected of 10-11 parents where awareness is raised on good parenting and talks on children’s need and one parent will be responsible and gatherer of the group.
ð  The parents should be provided with literacy skills and to raise their confidence and encourage them to support their children to education and funding for raised for the matter.
  • The para-social workers and NIHEP have had discussions of important matters but many of them are still unclear about their role and are not always reporting cases of abuse and maltreatment. Cases of malnutrition have been discovered by NIHEP.
ð  Additional training will be held about the importance of reporting and the role of the para-social worker.

Getu at the Sahwa nursery school yard 

A library in Sahwa Nursery school is organized and planned to be opened by the end of November. Looking forward to update this page with pictures from the opening. Stay tuned!