Empowering Tanzanian girls and young mothers
700,000 young people enter the Tanzanian labour market each year, but with youth unemployment rates at over 13%, many struggle to find fulfilling work that will provide them with a secure and resilient income.
For those who are the most marginalised – including girls, young mothers and those living with disabilities – the barriers to earning a decent living are much greater. Often facing stigma from their families and local community, these groups struggle to have their needs and rights recognised and realised.
Reaching isolated communities with pioneering maternal health technology
Access to quality care during pregnancy helps to ensure a healthy outcome for both mother and baby. But in Sierra Leone, where there’s only one doctor per 50,000 people and limited medical resources, it’s hard for women to receive the basic care that would drastically increase their chances of a smooth pregnancy and delivery.
Breaking with tradition: Husband schools
To tackle issues that affect women, our interventions must not overlook the power of engaging men. In Sierra Leone, male community advocate volunteers are encouraging their male peers to change their attitudes and behaviours. The aim is to make life safer for women and girls and bring about justice for survivors of gender-based violence. Men have learned about legal and human rights perspectives through workshops.
Using drama to empower marginalised groups
Since 2017 we have partnered with Theatre for a Change, a UK-based INGO that uses an innovative combination of drama and participatory learning to empower marginalised groups.
Interactive theatre performances and workshops, facilitated by VSO volunteers, equip young people with the tools, knowledge and confidence they need to find their voice, advocate for their sexual health and rights, access services and take control of their lives.
Tackling sexual health taboos in communities
According to UNICEF, three in ten young Zambian women in rural areas aged 13-19 have begun childbearing: that is, they have given birth already or are currently pregnant with their first child. Teenage pregnancy statistics stand at 29 percent with about 16,000 adolescent girls dropping out of school as a result of pregnancy.
ICS Social Return on Investment Evaluation
We believe in the value of youth volunteering, recognising that the experiences of volunteering, and the skills developed, are crucial for a young person’s personal and professional development.
The learning journey that accompanies ICS volunteers through their time on the programme therefore supports this development and encourages the journey towards active citizenship, with alumni becoming agents of change in their own communities and beyond.