Tanzania: Serengeti Girls Appeal for Protection As They Aim High

SCHOOL girls, who were saved from undergoing forced Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or forced marriages in Serengeti district, are appealing for more protection, so that they can be able to achieve their education dreams.

Speaking during the African Child Day event held here recent, the girls thanked the Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania (HGWT), a non-governmental organisation for saving them from being subjected to FGM and other forms of injustices that would have cut shortcut their education dreams.

"We are appealing for continued protection of our rights. We have many dreams that we want to achieve," Rhobi Mwita remarked during the event held at the rural ward of Ikoma in Tanzania's wildlife district of Mara region.

The local NGO (HGWT) has so far saved about 1,000 girls who were at risk of undergoing FGM in Serengeti and Butiama districts in the region where the harmful practice is still seen as an important culture.

FGM is reported to be the source child marriage and high rate of absents seem among schools girls in the region.

The outgoing Serengeti District Commissioner (DC) Mr Nurdin Babu, who has now been transferred to Longido District, commended the NGO for establishing safe house centres that shelter and provide vocational training skills to the girls. The centres are Mugumu Hope Safe House and Butiama Safe House.

"What Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania are doing in assisting girls fleeing FGM and other Gender-Based Violence acts is very commendable and I would like to thank them for the job well done," Mr Babu said when he was officiating this African Child Day in the district .

The NGO used the opportunity to spread different messages aimed at sensitizing the communities to respect and protect rights of children in the area.

"We are here to increase the voice on the importance of children's rights. We want the communities to know that every child has right to get education and even to give views for the welfare of the society," HGWT Manager at Mugumu Hope Safe House Mr Daniel Misoji said.

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