Last month, we wrote about trialling some brand new drills addressing Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation in Tarime, Tanzania. This is a region with the third highest rate of child marriage in Tanzania at a staggering 54%, often compounded by the widespread cultural practice of Female Genital Mutilation, which means half of all girls in Tarime are married at school age. You can read about the trial here http://tackleafrica.org/latest-news/trialling-in-tarime-tanzania-drills-on-child-marriage-and-fgm/
We’re delighted to report that the drills were a success, and the Tanzania team are now rolling out the new drills to a cohort of thirty community football coaches in Tarime. This is a completely new course, accompanied with a brand new syllabus for the coaches covering five main areas: Child Marriage (CM) introduction, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) introduction, The Effects of CM and FGM, Preventing CM and FGM, and Sexual Reproductive Health. The coaches will learn the theory in the classroom, and then put this into practice on the field with their players, using our interactive drills.
But it’s not just a problem for girls. If these harmful practices are to be reduced, and eventually eliminated, both boys and girls, and men and women, need to be involved. One of our long standing TackleAfrica coaches in Tanzania, Omari Mandari, is assisting with the delivery of the first course, and will also be pivotal in recruiting a Project Officer from the Tarime cohort who will ensure the coaches have all the support they need as they coach these new drills with their players. Omari will also be surveying young players on their knowledge, attitude and behaviours towards CM and FGM before they start TackleAfrica sessions, and then again once they’ve attended their first set of sessions, to measure the impact of our work.
Omari said, “I think it is important to talk about Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation, because it is a very big problem in our country. It affects many young people, and it is better to raise awareness. TackleAfrica football drills can help with this. Football is a lovely sport, it reaches many people and creates knowledge. Both boys and girls need to be aware to reduce stigma, they need to work together as a unit. I am looking forward to this new project, and to learn new TackleAfrica modules and activities on this topic.”
We will keep you updated on how the drills are received, and the impact of this exciting new project. If you want to get involved in our projects in Africa, coaching football to help young people exercise their right to a happy and healthy sexual and reproductive life, please visit http://tackleafrica.org/get-involved/