CDF uses a variety of different approaches and strategies to work on our areas of priority.
Community engagement involves both dialogue and consultative meetings with girl and boys, traditional leaders, Ngariba’s and religious leaders, so to induce an exchange between stakeholders and influence a change in mindset and perception, as well as involving community and traditional leaders to be agents of change.
CDF in collaboration with the Tanzanian Ending Child Marriage Network, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, UNFPA and the Graca Machel Trust launched a campaign, the National Ending Child Marriage Campaign that declared the Mara region a child marriage Free Zone.
CDF provides several services, most importantly trainings and workshops that empower children, specifically girls, such as for example:
- Income Generating Activities
- Supporting girls affected and rescued from FGM at the Masanga Centre.
Lobbying and Advocacy
The Children’s Dignity Forum (CDF) strives towards a multitier approach, including lobbying and advocating for children’s dignity at all levels of government & community.
This includes focus forums such as:
- East African Child Marriage conference June 2013
- Girls Summit July 2014
- African Girls Summit 2015
This involves both dialogue and consultative meetings on girls and boys, traditional leaders, Ngariba’s and religious leaders. This is so as to influence the change of mindset and perception
Research and best practices
The Children’s Dignity Forum has been at the forefront of research & best practices policy, being an instrumental participant in research such as participatory Ethnographic Evaluation research, child marriage surveys, PEER research programs and National survey on Child Marriage.
Child Participation & Protection
In order to strengthen the existing child protection and participation mechanism, CDF in collaboration with UNICEF are facilitating the establishment of the children councils (Junior Councils of the United Republic of Tanzania), network and girls clubs in Mbeya, Iringa and Njombe to enable children to air their views and concerns with regards to children rights violations. To date we have over 3800 children at the village level and 540 children at the ward level who are members of the Children’s Councils in the regions. The girls’ clubs are safe spaces where girls and young women can receive access to income generating activities, adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights education, life skills education as well as the opportunity to exchange their views, opinions and concerns. Additionally, by participating in these clubs, the girls’ social isolation is decreased and their capacity to make informed decisions is increased.
Capacity Development and Empowerment Trainings
The empowerment of children through various capacity building & development programs, workshops & trainings is the key objective of our capacity development & empowerment trainings. Especially in regards to young women and girls, CDF works tirelessly towards for the development of different capacities for the girls and young women in order to support their self-empowerment process.
CDF has constructed several trainings & workshops that work towards building skills & knowledge for the overall empowerment of children, specifically young women and girls. These include::
- Sexual reproductive health and services
Ex. Over 1,628 girls and young women have reported increased knowledge of SRH issues, their rights, entitlements and services through participating in clubs and networks
- Life skills
Ex. 187 Girls and young women have improved livelihoods and confidence in financial decision making
Ex. Income generating activities to offer alternative sources of income for girls and young women
- Nutrition and child development
Ex. 1,130 girls and young women have accessed contraceptives, as well as changing attitudes on gender based violence (GBV)
- Legal and paralegal services
Ex. The establishment of the Children & Gender Police desk at police stations has ensured that many children now are able to report cases of violence, mistreatment and abuse
Ex. 1967 girls to date that ran away due to FGM were rescued and receive support