The ISSUES | Our Impact
Our Seminar Approach
The model for all of our seminars is for the teams in attendance to not only learn the material of the seminar, but also receive training in how to share this material with others after they return home. This amplifies the impact of our seminars and provides educational opportunities to communities across the country.
Girls and women in Tanzania often face difficulties with completing school, receiving adequate healthcare, and discrimination in the workplace. In response, the Mwangaza community developed an intergenerational program specifically for women and girls to help them overcome these barriers and advocate for their rights. The Binti/Mama (Daughter/Mother) seminars address:
- HIV/AIDS prevention and women's health
- Gender-based violence and discrimination
- Resisting negative peer influence
- Conflict resolution
- Effective communication skills
- Advocacy for girls’ education
- Basic entrepreneurship skills
- Bible study skills
Women teaching women and girls teaching girls is a powerful message in and of itself, but when they are armed with knowledge, their power strengthens. To date, over 45,000 women nationwide have been reached across Tanzania.
HIV/AIDS has touched nearly every family in Tanzania, yet there remain many misconceptions about the disease. This lack of education fosters a toxic environment which leads to people making poor decisions regarding family, work, and education. As a result, the Mwangaza takes a team approach to addressing the socio-economic issues relating to HIV/AIDS.
First, we offer a seminar geared toward HIV/AIDS and overall community health. The seminars bring together men and women from ELCT churches throughout Tanzania to discuss HIV/AIDS with emphasis on understanding the virus, how it spreads, ways to stop it from spreading, and the stigma surrounding the virus. Next, we integrate accurate HIV/AIDS information as a component of all other seminars, including Binti/Mama and teacher training.
When people have more knowledge, they are able to make better choices. Our participants leave each seminar armed with accurate information about HIV/AIDS, as well as a deeper understanding of the harm caused by rejecting people living with the disease.
Underqualified Teachers Educating English Language Learners
In Tanzania, secondary school classes are taught in English. As English is a third language for many students, this establishes a profound barrier to education across all subject areas. Teachers in Tanzania also suffer from using outdated teaching strategies due to lack of training opportunities and obsolete teacher education. These teachers want their students to be successful, but are ill-equipped to be as effective as they would like to be.
Mwangaza has responded to these issues through the implementation of the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) Model within their week-long teaching seminars. When a teacher attends a Mwangaza seminar, they are partnered with a teacher from the United States who is trained in the SIOP model. Together, they work their way through the teaching model and develop strategies to implement within their classroom.
Staff conduct rigorous assessment of the program's implementation, making dozens of monitoring visits to schools across the country each year.
School Management and Learning Environments
The culture within a school can impact a child’s learning experience in either a positive or negative way. As teachers and administrators often face a lack of adequate training, it can be a challenge to facilitate a positive learning environment. In response, Mwangaza holds Safe Schools training seminars. This program helps teachers and administrators move from a harsh or overly strict discipline model in schools to a more humanizing approach. In this program, the Mwangaza staff works with teachers and administrators to instill positive classroom management, teaching and learning attitudes, and supportive decisions that encourage a constructive impact on student learning.
When students come to school with excitement and enthusiasm as opposed to fear or nervousness, it can impact attendance, motivation, and learning outcomes. Teachers and administrators who attend the Safe School seminars report a much more engaging and supportive environment for both students and faculty.