1. Introduction:

Supporting girls for successful completion of education and promotion of general life skills to boys and girls is a project funded by Cotswold Foundation of USA. This project is community based, implemented by SAWA at Kasanga Ward within Mufindi district with the aim of promoting community participation in supporting girls' education using different holistic approaches. A significant number of girls at Kasanga ward face a number of households (Burden of domestic household's chores), community and school based challenges (Poverty at households and poor academic performance in school) that prevent them from successful completion of their education at Secondary school. This is a pilot project implemented through provision of a hostel capable of retaining 10 girls who will serve as role models at Kasanga Community Secondary school.

2. Community leaders' meeting at Kasanga Ward:

As part of sensitization, SAWA organized a community leaders' Meeting at Kasanga Ward (Ward Councillor, Ward Executive officer, Village Chairmen and Executive officers from Kasanga, Ihomasa, Kilolo, Udumuka and Lwang'a including heads of government departments at Ward and Village levels) aimed at introducing the project as well as seeking support from them. The project has received overwhelming support from the leaders through a joint resolution, where they have undertaken to offer support and sensitize community participation for successful implementation of this project. In order to ensure girls at the Ward successfully complete their education, it is planned by the leaders to have a girls' hostel at Kasanga Community Secondary School in the longer terms as a means to reduce risks that surround girls' education.

Community leaders at Kasanga ward listening to the briefing of the project

3. The project is implemented with three components

3.1) Promoting general life skills to girls and boys at Kasanga Community Secondary school:

It was learnt during the formulation of this project that lack of general life skills among boys and girls at Kasanga Community Secondary school was among the root causes for school drop-outs, where girls were being more affected than boys. Provision of life skills to boys and girls is intended to furnish them with life skills that help reduce school drop-outs at Kasanga Community Secondary school. Boys and girls have been highlighted on self-awareness, empathy, effective communication, interpersonal relationships, how to manage emotions and cope with stress, how to think creatively and critically, decision making and problem solving. Reaction of the children during the briefing of the skills was positive and their participation in the discussions was live. Learning materials related to life skills for studentsí reference have been provided by the project.

Students of Form I and II on life skills session at Kasanga Community Secondary in Mufindi District

Students of form III & IV on life skills session at Kasanga Community Secondary School

3.2) Renovation of a girls' hostel

Progress has been made in the renovation of girls' hostel that has the capacity to accommodate 10 girls at the start. Kitchen, toilets and chickens' shelter are on progress. Ten girls who are at high risk of dropping due to various factors have been picked by Head of Kasanga Community Secondary school in collaboration with other teachers to live in the hostel. Parents' meeting was held, in which a committee of 5 parents was formed whose function is to ensure smooth running of the hostel including timely availability of food for the students at the hostel.

Names of girls, Parents and the village they come from are summarized below:

Parentsí Committee:

Construction of toilets for the girls' hostel on progress

3.3) Income Generation Activity (IGA):

The third component is the poultry project which is aimed at generating income for subsidizing running costs of the hostel which include Matron's allowance and electricity bills. Construction of the chickens' shelter is on progress and the chickens will be bought as soon as the shelter is completed. The IGA is also intended to train the girls on self-reliance through entrepreneurship skills.

The first room of the right hand new building is the chicken shelter. 70 Chickens will be raised in to subsidize running costs for the hostel.