Modern Girl Program expands to 15 Communities
“Msichana Kisasa” (MK) or “Modern Girl” is a program SEGA developed in 2016 that provides a safe space within the communities surrounding SEGA where girls form clubs and are mentored by SEGA graduates.
In these MK Clubs, trained SEGA graduates facilitate peer mentoring and deliver key messages, covering such topics as: improving self-confidence and communication skills; and increasing skills, knowledge, and awareness with respect to girls’ rights, health, hygiene, and financial literacy. Many of the girls in the MK Clubs, especially in Iringa Region, are not able to attend school and so the MK program provides a platform for girls to meet other girls of the same age (10-12, 13-15, and 16-18 years), and serves as an opportunity for SEGA to expand its reach and for the students to give back to their communities.
In 2017, the MK program extended beyond Morogoro to include Iringa and by the end of 2017, SEGA was working with 12 MK clubs, and had graduated 4 of them. At present, there are 10 clubs across Morogoro and Iringa regions, led by 21 mentors/SEGA graduates. This year, SEGA continues to expand the program, geographically and programmatically, adding four new clubs in Morogoro and Iringa regions, including in a new rural district in Morogoro, Myuha. SEGA will also add a new element to the program:
MK Empowered Girl Network: The MK clubs meet weekly for about 15 months (or 5 quarters). In the rural areas of Iringa, the clubs run longer (up to 18 months) because they meet less frequently during the harvest season. At the end of the program, club members graduate with a ceremony and certificates. SEGA now plans to continue these networks and the social capital they generate by helping the girls stay in touch through facilitating bi-annual gatherings of MK graduates. These gatherings will focus on training, networking, advocacy, and awareness of a specific topic, and will include external speakers or trainers.
By building on and expanding the MK program in these ways, we hope to provide even more opportunities for girls in Tanzania, not just for SEGA students. Through the MK program, Nurturing Minds in Africa is fulling its mission: To educate Tanzanian girls who are poor, marginalized and at-risk of becoming involved in exploitative forms of child labor. We are teaching SEGA students who are in turn teaching others and sharing their skills, knowledge, and power.
Tina Adam, coordinator for the MK program says that the Modern Girl program is evolving; both our girls (the mentors and the mentees) learn a lot from each other through the relationships they build as they work together through the program. The program covers many important, relevant topics which they will certainly use at one point in their lives.
– By Shanna Keown Calcei, Nurturing Minds Advisor and Blog Contributor