Badili Mtizamo – Gender Equality Now! is a jointly executed service learning program organized by CPAR and the International Centre for Students at the University of Manitoba. CPAR and the University of Manitoba have been working together since 2007 when students began to join CPAR’s study tours.
This year’s Badili Mtizamo participants will further develop and adapt the ‘Gender Relations’ program delivered last year and expand it to two new secondary schools in Bunda District, Mara Region of northern Tanzania — Kuzungu Secondary School and Rubana Secondary School. Badili Mtizamo means ‘change the way you see things’ in Kiswahili. Service-learning is a recognized methodology that differs from typical voluntourism because of the emphasis it places on genuine reciprocity and a demand driven approach, the principle of guided and structured reflection, and the intensity of the pre-departure preparations. Each of the participants has been selected for their suitability and undertakes an on-line not for credit course called “Transformative Partnerships: An Introduction to Service Learning”. To acknowledge their hard work and dedication, they will receive a notation on their Co-Curricular Record.
The program in Bunda revolves around an intensive and interactive four-week curriculum that is delivered as an ‘after school’ program for secondary school girls and boys. The program promotes gender equality and good health. One of the goals of the program is to facilitate a creative and dynamic process whereby secondary school students, especially girls, are able to learn about the health issues that affect them, build their self-confidence and empower themselves in culturally appropriate ways. A variety of learning tools will be employed – stories, skits, dance, music, videos and photos. Because gender relations can only be challenged and changed by working with girls and boys together, the program will engage both girls and boys together.
It’s a lively and dynamic program that really gets everyone involved. It’s fun and there’s always lots of laughter, but the lessons and connections they make are real, and they are important.
The program would not be possible without the help, wisdom, guidance and supervision of the amazing CPAR Tanzania team in Bunda. Asante sana sana!