Meet 4 Tanzanian Women who are Igniting Change and Making History

These Tanzanian women have inspired us - and we know they'll inspire you, too!

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AfricAid is committed to improving the standing of women in society through robust, locally-led mentorship initiatives that cultivate confidence, improve academic and health outcomes, and promote socially-responsible leadership skills. Through our local partner, GLAMI (Girls Livelihood and Mentorship Initiative), Tanzanian girls have the chance to learn soft skills like leadership, confidence, and resilience, that help them achieve their educational and professional goals. 

We have seen time and again that with the right mentors and role models, young people can ignite change that transforms communities. With support from their mentors, girls in GLAMI mentoring programs work to identify and solve challenges at school, through activities like constructing staircases and expanding access to clean water. Girls also work at the community level to create change. Like Neema, who lobbied local leaders to install a safe river crossing that has since enabled more children to access school

Young people igniting change are at the heart of what we do. All month long on our social channels, AfricAid has been celebrating Black History Month by highlighting history-making Tanzanians who are contributing to girls’ education, women’s rights, a healthier environment, and stronger communities. Many of these inspiring Tanzanians are youth leaders, or started their activism at a young age. 

They have inspired us, and we know their achievements will inspire you, too!

Judith Kitinga

Judith Kitinga is an accomplished activist who fights against sexual abuse, child marriage, and gender discrimination. Her activism began in 2017 when she started educating girls on the importance of family planning, and in 2018, she was a global representative for children and youth at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum in New York.

I believe that the youth are the source of change in any community because they have confidence and power,” Kitinga says. “Have passion and confidence. When you cooperate and work together, it’s easy to achieve what you set out to do.

Judith Kitinga

Abigail Chamungwana

Abigail Chamungwana is a UNICEF Youth Advocate for leadership and gender equality. She began her own program called “Teen Talks,” where she encourages discussion about global problems and solutions facing today’s youth. Chamungwana is also a musician and the founder of the Abby Chams School of Music.

The time has come to seize the opportunity to empower the girl child, to reimagine a better future where she is energized, counted, and invested.

Abigail Chamungwana

Anna Aloys Henga

Anna Aloys Henga is a lawyer and human rights activist, and was a recipient of the 2019 International Woman of Courage Award. Her work focuses on ending female genital mutilation, and she is now the executive director of the Legal and Human Rights Center in Tanzania where she works with community leaders on behalf of women and girls to prevent such practices. “Still I will go,” is Henga’s response to threats from those who seek to continue the harmful practise of FGM.

Rebeca Gyumi

Rebeca Gyumi is a lawyer and human rights activist who challenged the Marriage Act in Tanzania, pushing for the High Court to increase the minimum marriageable age. She was successful, and helped increase the minimum age from 14 to 18 years old. She is the founder and executive director of the Msichana Initiative, an NGO that empowers girls by promoting education and addressing key challenges which limit their access to education. She was awarded the UNICEF Global Goals Award in 2016 and the UN Human Rights Prize in 2018.

Gyumi spoke to girls participating in the GLAMI mentoring programs AfricAid supports at a 2018 career day, sharing with the girls that “As a kid, I was disturbed by child rights violations. I would go to my friends’ places to play with them when they weren’t allowed to leave their homes.”

As much as I was seeing youth issues in my country, girls’ issues were always many and pressing. …So I asked myself what I can do, as a lawyer and as a young person who feels my voice is something I can lend in this movement.

Rebeca Gyumi

Learn more about AfricAid and our work to educate and empower girls at AfricAid.org.

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