UWAWA- USALAMA WA WATOTO PROJECT
UWAWA project is the 3 years project (2020-2022) implemented by CSSC with a financial support from German Karl Kübel Foundation (KKF) aiming to significantly decrease the aggressive and violent behaviour leading to mental and physical abuse against children in schools and surrounding communities as well as introduction of positive disciplining and up-bringing methods that respect the rights of children and enable them to become responsible citizens of Tanzania. Disciplining methods in families and households do not differ much from schools – corporal punishment is common as well. Therefore, the UWAWA Project seeks to involve the communities surrounding the schools to allow positive upbringing methods to penetrate Tanzania’s families and replace violent “traditional” ones. UWAWA project is implemented in 30 schools and their surrounding communities from 3 regions in Tanzania namely Mwanza, Kagera, and Pwani.
The project targets schools and communities of 30 selected schools, 19 are private, church-owned schools of various denominations, 7 schools are public, government-run and the remaining 4 are Islamic schools under the Muslim Council of Tanzania (BAKWATA). Private, faith-based schools have on average 200-300 students enrolled, while public, government-owned schools have at least four to five times this number with 800-1500 students enrolled. It is estimated the project will reach approximately 15,000 pupils in the 3 regions as well as 600 teachers and about 250 prospective teachers who are still students in Teachers Training Colleges.
The project uses the below strategies to achieve its goals;
Community sensitization: Every year the project conducts training and sensitization meetings to parents, school management, community and religious leaders and local government leaders of the villages surrounding the 30 schools to increase their awareness on violence against children, child protection and understanding their responsibilities in safeguarding children as well as addressing child abuse cases while at school and in the community.
Children’s sensitization: The project facilitated the formulation of children clubs at school; a platform where children learn and encouraged to speak up on violence against them, their protection rights as well as reporting and referral mechanism. The children meet in clubs twice every week basing on the school timetable. Moreover, to encourage children participation in these clubs, the project established resource centres and provided them with learning materials and sports and games gears for them. The children clubs were formed in all 30 schools and are being supervised by the trained teacher of each respective school responsible to ensure the clubs are active and monitor the resource centre.
Advocacy & Capacity building: As per local government structures, every village in Tanzania has a social welfare committee with defined membership according to government guidelines, which deals with children’s and family welfare including abuse and domestic violence. In order to achieve its goals, the project strengthened social welfare committees of the villages surrounding the schools to understand better their roles, increase their capacity in handling cases of child abuse as well as performing effective referral mechanism. The project also works together with the government authorities like Ministry of Presidents Office, Regional Administration and Local Government Authority (PORALG) to ensure the sustainability of the project.
The project is expected to bring the below outcomes;
- The number of incidences of violent and abusive disciplining in the 30 targeted primary schools has decreased by up to 50% from baseline.
- Up to 90% of school children attending the 30 targeted primary schools agree that violent and abusive disciplining has decreased to a large extent in their school and has been replaced by positive disciplining and upbringing methods.
- Cases of child abuse are appropriately addressed through the community-set village by-laws in up to 30% of communities surrounding the 30 targeted primary schools.