Hatushindwi: We Will Not Be Defeated

IMG_1130 copy.jpg

Women’s Day - August 3, 2017

Tanzanian women embody strength, and contribute so much to our organization. In collaboration with 15 women, our Country Director and Health Officer in Tanzania came together to form a Women’s Empowerment Group. The group is titled Hatushindwi, which means “we will not be defeated.” In Tanzanian culture, and many cultures all around the world, women often do not have an outlet to speak of their concerns and discuss solutions to their problems. For example, the group’s curriculum includes gender violence, women’s reproductive health, and entrepreneurship. These women work together to support one another in whatever daily challenges they may face.

On August 3rd 2017, Hatushindwi invited friends and family for a day of celebrating women. Over 50 people came together to learn from one another and share their stories in service to each other and members of their community.

Women’s Day was an inspiring day filled with those who radiate strength, perseverance, and community. The morning began with coffee, crafts, and introductions. All around the yard, women were working together to make bracelets and anklets using small beads, needles, and string. A beautiful banner displayed “Hatushindwi Women’s Group”, and was enhanced by the handprints of all the women and their encouraging handwritten messages.

After the morning, multiple speakers shared their stories. One of our Community Health Facilitators, began the conversation by sharing her story, including the challenges she has faced in her life and how she overcame them. Afterwards, two Community Health Facilitators led a conversation for health about HIV transmission, Martha, the village executive officer of Kimundo, shared about being a leader and the important role women play in society, and Dr. Lucy contributed her expertise by sharing about family planning and options available to women in the village. In addition, two of our Tanzanian teaching partners shared their personal experiences of growing up and overcoming challenges, including sharing about caring for their siblings, and recognizing their mother’s strengths.

The entire day had uplifting messages that embodied empowerment. Each speaker represented the power women are, the contribution women are, and the resilience they all possess. The day ended on a powerful and positive note, with a closing message. A group picture portrayed all the relationships that were built that day, and was filled with smiles of women who have overcome, and will continue to overcome.

We will continue to support and empower women in all of the communities where we work in hopes that they recognize their contribution to the world as one that is powerful and meaningful. We will not be defeated.