According to the United Nations, 32% of women aged between 15 and 49 report having undergone FGM in the Mara region of Tanzania. Moreover, 78% of married women are affected by spousal violence in the country. Luckily there is an organization, called Hope for Girls and Women, that provides a safe haven for these victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and gender based violence, such as violence against women, rape, child marriages and orphants.
Rhobi Samwelly, the founder of Hope for Girls and Women and the inspiring local partner for this project, is a human rights activist that aims to spread awareness about women’s rights and FGM all around the world. She started the organization because she underwent the cutting procedure herself and wanted to help out other girls. Hope now consists of two safehouses, one in Butiama and the other in Mugumu. There are currently 172 girls staying in these safehouses.
Not only does the organization provide shelter and functionalities to support the girls’ needs, they also provide psychological support in counseling sessions, legal support, first aid to ensure their health and promote education.
This project mainly focuses on installing solar panels and batteries for the two safehouses in the Butiama and Serengeti districts of the Mara region in Tanzania. If possible the project students will also install lights (LED) on the local market place in Butiama to create a safer feeling for the residents and supply the safehouses with computers.
Jolien De Mars
Stef Van Loon