Second anti-FGM and child marriages battle set in gear

TARIME District Commissioner Mr Glorious Luoga (second from right) launches the second phase of an ambitious European Union (EU) funded project that seeks to end child marriages and female genital mutilation(FGM) in five wards of Tarime, in Mara Region, recently. The project is jointly implemented by Plan International and Children’s Dignity Forum(CDF). Left is the Plan International Mwanza Programme Unit Manager, Mr Baraka Mgohamwende. Fourth right is the Head of Programmes at CDF, Ms Bertha Maturo. Third right is the Project Manager, Plan International, Ms Emma Mashobe. (Photo by Mugini Jacob)

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SECOND phase of a European Union (EU) project, aimed at ending child marriages and strengthening protection systems in Tarime District, has been launched.

The Tarime District Commissioner (DC), Mr Glorious Luoga, launched the project on Tuesday during a daylong event attended by government officials and other stakeholders, including religious organisations working hard to protect children’s rights in the district .

The three-year project is being implemented by Plan International in collaboration with Children’s Dignity Forum (CDF), a local NGO leading ongoing campaigns against child marriages and female genital mutilation (FGM).

“I would like to thank the sponsors of this project. Protection of children’s rights is one of the government’s responsibilities,” Mr Luoga said.

Head of Programmes at CDF, Ms Bertha Maturo said that implementation of the project is expected to significantly reduce child marriages and FGM cases in the five wards of Tarime District. She named the targeted wards as Pemba, Binagi, Mbogi, Komaswa and Regicheri.

“We will also establish and strengthen child protection systems at the village, ward and district levels”, Ms Bertha told the ‘Daily News’ shortly after the event.

She said girls who are at risk or victims of child marriages will be empowered economically under the project. The project will further involve dialogue that can help to reform outdated policies and laws that are not friendly to children, according to her.

Implementation of the first phase of the project is reported to have recorded impressive results, according to Tarime officials.

“These joint efforts are bearing fruit because even the number of cases on violations of children’s rights is currently being reported and the children are aware of their rights,” Ms Siwema Sylvester, In-charge of Social Welfare issues at Tarime District Council, said.

Tackle Africa and Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) are still taking part as technical partners in implementing the project, especially on the aspect of sports, according to Mr Shaban Shaban, the Project Manager from Plan International Tarime Office.

Wards that benefited during the first phase of the project which was also funded by EU are Susuni, Sabasaba, Sirari, Matongo and Nyamwaga.

Speaking during the same event, Ms Emma Mashobe, the Project Manager from Plan International said implementation of second phase of the project has been expanded to Geita Region.

“Our aim is to free girl child from child marriages and harmful traditions such as FGM’, she said.

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