Young people get involved - that is the simple motto of the women's organization Wadada in Tanzania. One of the active young women is Annastazia Suphian Anthony from Mwanza on Lake Victoria. She is 19 and delegate for Tanzania in the International Youth Network of terre des hommes switzerland. She has been campaigning for the organization Wadada since 2019.
You have been involved with Wadada since 2019. What experience have you gained from this time?
The most important thing I have learned is to be self-confident and to stand up for what I want. I also realized that I am worth a lot as a person - to myself and to others.
From your point of view, what do the young people gain from Wadada's educational offerings and outreach work?
At Wadada, young people learn how to protect themselves from sexual diseases like HIV. I also think it's very important to educate young men about their rights and responsibilities. Even though some of the young men may have different views, it is important that they know what they are allowed to do - and what they are not.
Wadada has been in existence for ten years and is run by women. The aim is to show young people how to master their lives well and successfully. What is a particular concern for you?
I think it's particularly important to break down patriarchal structures. Patriarchal and sometimes rigid political structures make life difficult for young people, who make up the majority of the population. Under the former, increasingly autocratic president John Magu-fuli (†), pregnant girls were no longer allowed to go to school. This severely restricted their social life and led them into a life of greater poverty and dependence.
What do you and other young people hope for from President Samia Suuhu Hassan?
I believe that something is changing politically. Young, pregnant girls are now allowed to go to school again, and this also applies to women who have children. They are finally allowed to claim their right to education again.
Has working at Wadada helped you take control of your life?
Yes, but not only to me. We are young people and have many dreams. terre des hommes switzerland helps us to live them.
The women's organization Wadada in Tanzania pursues the goal of strengthening the rights of girls and young women so that they can protect themselves and others from exploitation and sexual abuse. Violence is to be prevented by educating and informing young people. The women's organization, which was launched in 2012, is doing important work in one of the countries with the highest rates of sexual violence. With Wadada, terre des hommes switzerland contributes to Goals 3 and 5 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Health and Well-being, and Gender Equality, and thus meets the requirements of the Zewo seal of approval.
The interview was conducted by Lara Haaks, former intern at terre des hommes switzerland.