DSW Tanzania official launched the Strengthening of Local Advocacy Leadership in East Africa (Youth Can) project at DSW office in Arusha. The three year project aims at building capacity of youth focused Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Tanzania so that they can effectively implement Reproductive Health and Family Planning advocacy. The project is implemented in five regions Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Mwanza, and Shinyanga where total of six (6) CSOs have been selected from these regions to be the beneficiaries of the project. These Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are Health Integrated Multi-Sectoral Services (HIMS), Young Women Christian Association (YWCA), Kivulini Women’s Rights Organization, Global Research Better Health (GRAMBAH), Tanzania Red Cross Society (TRCS), and Dodoma Youth Development Organization (DOYODO). The project is funded by William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
The CSOs trained on Family Planning and Reproductive Health
Before the national launching of the project the twelve staff of the six Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) were trained in one of the module of the capacity building program on Family Planning and Reproductive Health. The training covered the basic concepts, National and International Policies, Frameworks and Commitments of Family Planning and Reproductive Health (FPRH).
During the training the opening remarks were done by Mr. Peter Owaga, Tanzania DSW Country Director. Mr. Owaga expressed his gratitude to have partnership with the selected six CSOs. He said the project is aiming at not only building the capacity of the CSOs but also be able to respond to youth FPRH challenges in the country. Mr. Owaga also stressed the importance of the CSOs to adhere to national policies, laws and standards in the implementation of the advocacy activities.
The Project Launching Ceremony
The national project launching ceremony was attended by Governmental officials from Regions and Districts which the project is implemented. The Government officials include District Reproductive Health Coordinators (DRHCOs) Youth Development Officers and Community Development Officers (CDOs) from Arusha,Dodoma, Shinyanga, Mwanza and Dar es Salaam
The Government officials’ representatives made the presentations on the current situation on Reproductive Health and Family Planning within their respective Districts and Regions and ways in which the Civil Society Organizations can effectively collaborate with the Government in FPRH advocacy implementation.
The Government officials explained that one of their major roles is to supervise and support effective implementation of the projects in their regions. They point out that the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are required to collaborate with the Government while implementing their activities. This include to have a regular communication with government officials in all levels from national, regional, municipality, district, ward and village; To submit the activities reports of all of the projects implemented within respective regions and districts and use of the Government officials during project implementation.
Other remarks were done by Dr. Aisha Byanako from AMREF International,Mrs. Ahad Mlay Arusha DC Youth Officer and Mr. Nassor Mdemu, a DSW Youth Champion.
Dr. Aisha Byanako from AMREF International commended great efforts done by DSW in supporting the youth. She said the project is very unique and will add value to the advocacy work since the advocacy requires great and collaborative efforts in achieving its target and goals.
The six CSOs had the opportunity to show case their organization activities and they were given Certificates of Partnership by DSW.