Today I am going to share a story about a Local Hero and a project which has successfully taught thousands of children in Tanzania about their rights and empowered them to be advocates for themselves.
Organization: First Eye Limited
Location: Moshi, Tanzania
Context: Due to a lack of education regarding their rights, and a fear of punishment that prohibits them from advocating for themselves, the rights of children are too infrequently recognized in Tanzanian society.
Background: GO Local Hero George Mayalla is a Senior Legal Advisor, radio broadcaster, and social activist who has dedicated his life to educating youth on their rights. He uses radio programs and classroom workshops to teach children about their rights. His mission is to educate youth so they avoid harmful situations and can speak up with confidence when they are being treated unfairly because now they know the law is on their side.
Current Status: In March 2015, GO Campaign approved a grant for $5,904 to support George’s efforts to implement a child rights campaign for youth. Through classroom presentations, George reached 5,415 children. The program was a success as proven by the drastic decrease in the number of incidents of child rights abuses reported to the police daily which dropped from 10 to 3. Also, students talked to public transit owners regarding drivers who ignored their requests for rides; children are now given priority and are arriving to school on time!
Jane is a 15 years old girl and she is in the 7th grade. Jane’s mother and father often make her go to their local bar late at night to purchase alcohol for them. During these errands, Jane is often harassed by drunken men. During the child rights program, George helped Jane speak to her mom about stopping this behavior. George also explained to the brew owner that it is illegal to have children on the premise and to sell alcohol to them; he could be prosecuted if anything harmful happened to a child. Upon hearing this, the bar owner posted a sign that children were not allowed on the premises. Word has spread in the community and the entire practice has stopped. Jane shared that she no longer goes out at night or has to meet the drunkards who harassed her, thanks to GO Campaign and George. She says, “You have really changed our lives.”