At its core, this is what Binti Shupavu is all about. These are the fundamental traits that help a young Tanzanian girl to stay in school.
Most of the time, the way a Scholar behaves at school reflects the way she has been raised at home. The life skills curriculum and supportive mentoring provided by Binti Shupavu results in a positive shift in the behavior of these adolescents. In this way, Binti Shupavu is actually playing a role in parenting hundreds of girls. Many Binti Shupavu Scholars have strengthened their relationships with their parents and guardians by improving their manners, doing better academically, and having the courage to talk to them more openly about their feelings, needs, and plans for the future.
Parents report that they are very happy and proud because their daughters have improved their conduct. They say that their daughters behave very differently from the way they did before they became Binti Shupavu Scholars. Teachers also report that these girls have become better students who are more engaged in the classroom. Lessons in Internal Motivation & Personal Leadership and Creating a Timetable have helped them learn to use their time more effectively, both at home and at school.
AfricAid receives this encouraging feedback from parents at Parent Engagement Meetings. We use these forums to discuss how parents can support their daughter’s education (by providing a quiet space at home to study, for instance) and also to bring awareness to the issues that girls this age face (such as anxiety and depression).
The quotes and pictures in this blog make it clear how participating in the Binti Shupavu program can transform a secondary school girl’s life.
Relationships – with parents, teachers, and peers.
“Binti Shupavu has helped me strengthen my relationship with my parents. Before, I didn’t have the courage to face my father when I have problems. Thanks to the lessons I have been taught in Binti Shupavu, I gained the courage. I also share with him my happiest days at school and at home. I have become strong and courageous girl.”
Dominica, Form Three Scholar. Mkuu Secondary School
“After becoming a Binti Shupavu Scholar, I have been able to talk with my parents about puberty freely. Whenever I have a problem concerning my body, now I do not hesitate to tell my parents. Before that I was scared to tell them anything concerning my health.”
Irene, Form Two Scholar, Mawenzi Secondary School
“My daughter was very lonely before joining Binti Shupavu and very scared to tell anyone whenever she had problems. But thanks to Binti Shupavu, my daughter is now very confident. She has friends which means she is no longer lonely and she has the courage to share her challenges without fear.”
Mother of Doreen, Form Two Scholar, Kifaru Secondary School.
Respect – for oneself and others.
“I have learned to be confident, to do things that I am supposed to do properly and at the right time. I have also learned to respect my parents, my teachers, and everyone around me.” Salome, Form Two Scholar, Mbokomu Secondary School
“Binti Shupavu has already helped me a lot. The lessons that I have been taught shape my thinking so these days I respect other people, especially my parents. I don’t use offensive language and I can ask for help from my parents when I have problems. My parents are so proud of me because I have improved my grades and become a better person at school and at home.”
Sharon, Form One Scholar, Kifaru Secondary School
Responsibility – at home and at school.
“In Binti Shupavu I learned how to create a timetable that will help me to do my responsibilities on time. This lesson helped me to better my behavior at school because I was able to submit assignments on time and do all the activities as required. I have also improved my behavior and manners at home because I have been able to manage doing all the home chores along with all my homework.”
Aisha, Form Two Scholar, Kifaru Secondary School
“Children need care that promotes positive emotional health and well-being. I am very grateful to Binti Shupavu because my daughter has become resilient. She is now able to handle challenges that come across her path and she is motivated to do her activities at home without being told by anyone.”
Mother of Mwajuma, Form Three Scholar, Mawenzi Secondary School
“Binti Shupavu has made a positive impact at our school. It has raised awareness about a number of issues, including academic performance, social, and disciplinary. Most of the girls in the program are now performing better in their examination results. They are behaving in a good manner with their friends and it has solved the issues of discipline.”
Mr. Kitileja Mashimba, Head of School, Mkuu Secondary School