“I want to be the kind of girl who educates other girls and reduces some of the ills that affect our society”

Shalom Brac International Womens Day 2
ELA Club members watch their mentor, Shalom, putting together a Kano Computer Kit (Theirworld / Mitika Almas)

Barriers to education, Discrimination of marginalised children, Girls' education, International Women's Day, Right to education

Ahead of International Women's Day on March 8, we talk to Shalom - a Club Mentor at BRAC Tanzania's Empowerment and Livelihood for Adolescents Programme about her work with vulnerable girls.

Shalom is 18 and has a look of strength and determination about her. She clearly takes
her role as Club Mentor very seriously. 

She sits quietly among the
girls as they arrive to the club from school, home or work, and then
quickly jumps up and starts a call-and-response game to get everyone
energised and ready for the session. 

The girls respect her, following
her instructions and listening to her decisions and advice. We asked her about her role.

did you become a mentor for BRAC?

became a mentor last year. I took my form 4 exams but unfortunately I
didn’t pass (meaning she could not continue in school). I heard
about the mentorship and decided to apply. I was interviewed for the
position and was selected.

does it mean to be a mentor?

make daily plans for my club, I have to ensure it is clean, that the
members arrive on time and that the activities and teaching are
planned out. 

It is sometimes hard to motivate the girls and to meet
the expectations of the parents regarding the club. I have to explain
the objective so they understand.

Shalom Brac International Womens Day 3

Shalom learning how to build a Kano Computer Kit as part of Theirworld’s Code Club in Mbagla, Dar es Salaam. (Theirworld / Mitika Almas )

Why do you think it is important for girls to have a mentor?

It is important so they are able learn about things that they are not taught about elsewhere. It protects them from so many things, like teenage pregnancy, for example. 

I want to be the kind of girl who educates other girls and reduces some of the ills that affect our society.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I like it the most when I see that the girls are listening to the things I have taught them and they are becoming better people.

BRAC’s Empowerment and Livelihood for Adolescents (ELA) Programme aims to assist vulnerable adolescent girls to achieve greater economic and social empowerment by providing safe spaces for sharing their experiences, life skills, livelihood training and credit support to start their income-generating activities. Follow BRAC Tanzania on Twitter.

Theirworld is working with BRAC to run Code Clubs in the ELA Youth Clubs where girls aged 11 to 25 will learn how to code, foster creative thinking and increase important knowledge and skills for future work. 

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