Meet SEGA Co-Founder Blastus Mwizarubi
“As a seasoned professional with decades of experience in education in Tanzania, a teacher by profession, and a skilled program manager, Blastus commanded respect in his position as Board Chair, and helped us at all stages of developing SEGA. His passion and commitment for girls’ education shone through all administrative and governance discussions,” said Polly Dolan who co-founded SEGA in 2007, along with Blastus Mwizarubi.
Blastus started his education career 40 years ago teaching in rural Tanzania. He earned his master’s degree in teaching from the University of Dar es Salaam in 1990 and serves as a Board Chair and School Manager of SEGA. He has also worked in the National Ministry of Education and in the private sector in various roles--- a teacher and trainer, researcher, curricula developer, manager, in addition to leadership roles with non-profit organizations. It was while serving as the Director of Girls Education Technical Unit with CARE International in Tanzania, when he met Polly.
Since his childhood, Blastus witnessed the social and economic challenges facing girls and women. They were not included in decision-making. They could not own land or even household facilities, and they could not access education. Boys were given preference for school, food, and clothing. He saw women and girls were discriminated against even from eating eggs and goat meat. Protein sources vital for growth and development. Once he heard a family tell their daughter: “This is the last dress for you. If it gets torn and you have no boyfriend to marry, you will get out of my home.” He felt compelled to make a difference and help empower the women of his country.
Blastus feels secondary education helps marginalized girls improve the quality of their lives. “It’s a pathway moving them out of poverty, powerlessness, inferiority complex, feeling valueless...This is why SEGA provides a holistic education curriculum, which includes an academic program based on government requirements, entrepreneurship skills to enable girls to acquire business knowledge, and Education for Life for improving self-esteem, confidence, decision-making, sexual reproductive health and hygiene.” With his many years of teaching, studying, analyzing, and designing curricula in Tanzania, it is no wonder Blastus has helped shape the powerful curricula that SEGA students receive.
Currently, Blastus is the School Manager, liaison to Nurturing Minds and in-country leader of SEGA. He is integral to making sure SEGA has what it needs in order for its students and teachers to be successful. “Even while based in a distant location for several years during SEGA’s development, he provided valuable input and advice at critical junctures and was always a phone call away,” says Polly. “We are fortunate to now have Blastus on the ground in Morogoro, on site at SEGA. As a Co-Founder who has shaped the concept of SEGA from the beginning, he is totally committed to its vision and mission, and as a Tanzanian educator and Program Manager, with exposure to many operating contexts and cultures, he will be instrumental in leading SEGA into the next stage of its life.”
“Local leadership is very important,” says Blastus. “It gives the contextual environment and anchorage point of providing relevance to the education provided.”
This type of leadership and commitment from within Tanzania is important as it shapes how SEGA is perceived in the community and helps galvanize in-country support to further the education of Tanzania girls.
Blastus envisions “facilitating the movement towards improved students’ academic achievement so that SEGA secondary school for girls becomes the model of excellence for others to come and learn how to educate vulnerable girls....“My hope is the SEGA graduates continue improving their achievements in post graduate studies and entrepreneurship activities…[that] they become changemakers in their communities… and a strong alumni for marketing and supporting SEGA.”
Blastus’ passion and life commitment to lead vulnerable girls’ education advancement in Tanzania is palpable. He has been building SEGA since the beginning and we are grateful for his leadership, expertise and dedication.