The success of WLAC’s programs and services can be seen in the faces of Tanzania’s women and children, who have been provided with the tools to empower themselves, and improve their quality of life in sustainable ways.
WLAC takes great pride in the success stories of its change-makers and clients. From helping women gain access to property following a divorce or the death of a family member, to recruiting change-makers and providing them with the training to take WLAC’s message into their own communities, to counseling families and facilitating healthy relationships… Take a moment to explore the many stories of the people who fuel and inspire the efforts of WLAC’s tireless staff and volunteers.
The Tunaweza campaign has been able to change people’s traditional views about men and women’s roles in the home. After attending a Tunaweza seminar and receiving sensitization training, I realized that I should include my wife in decision-making. Before the seminar, when it came to our family’s finances, I made all of the decisions on my own, without involving her. But, after the seminar, I realized the importance of including her. This way, we can build our family together. If there is no unity in the family, then there is no meaning, no meaning at all.
I really wanted to further my education, but my husband did not want me to. We fought a lot about it, which stopped me from attending university. But, after I joined the campaign in 2009, change-makers helped me to speak with my husband, as well as provided him with campaign brochures and books. With Tunaweza’s help, he realized that, if women are educated, they can contribute to the family’s income, and the family can be more prosperous. He agreed to allow me to attend university; in 2011, I got my first degree. Before, we had only one house, now we have two and are building another. Now, my husband and I live in peace; we are friends, not enemies. This is all thanks to Tunaweza; it saved our family.
After the death of my father, a man asked for my hand in marriage. I did not want to get married, but my relatives said that, if I don’t accept the proposal, I would have nowhere to stay. I did not have a choice; I agreed to get married. I did not love the man and he was a lot older than me. After we got married, I moved in with him and life was very difficult because all he had was a mat. We started a farm and burned charcoal. We were successful, and opened a shop at home. I was unable to give him children, and he would take money from the business every day and give it to other women. Even when I was pregnant, he would insist that I burn charcoal, or else I would not get any food to eat. I was pregnant four times, but each time the baby died. He married another woman, brought her home and told me that I could not stay. I returned to my parents’ home and did not have anything. I heard about Tunaweza and asked them for help. They contacted my former husband, as he had already given me a divorce, and asked to have a meeting with him to discuss our dispute. He was stubborn, but they persisted and provided him with information about my rights, which he had violated. In the end, I was given a plot of land, where I was able to build a house that I am very proud of. Thanks to the Tunaweza campaign, I was able to take full advantage of my rights and now live a peaceful life.
l live in zone 8 of the camp. I have been facing threats when at home and fetching firewood. One night when I was at home with my children a man came in and tried to rape me. Luckily my neighbours were passing by and rescued me. I didn’t know what to do. But WLAC gave me legal advice and told me how to report this violence. WLAC will keep visiting me to check on my progress.
Nyarugusu Refugee Camp
I have received training from WLAC to be a paralegal and learn more about women’s rights and the law. Before that, I was violent towards women. I did not consider women as human beings. Beating and harassing them was the order of the day. After being trained I understood that women have the same rights as men. I regretted all the things I did to girls at school and to my family, especially my sister. I changed my behaviour. At first, it was difficult for my mother to understand what was going on with me. I started to care for her and act responsibly to the family. It was not easy for me to change my father. It was difficult to approach him. I began by leaving out publications from the training so he could read them. Luckily that strategy worked. One day my father asked me about the booklets – where did I get them from and why have I decided to change? It was an opportunity for me to explain to him about women’s rights and the law. My father also learned from other people in the community. His friends told him how I was able to resolve conflicts in families. My father changed. He no longer beats my mother. Our family now lives in harmony. I also made an effort to reconcile with my sister who has now become my best friend.