“Each one of these young women has a voice that won’t be silent in Tanzania.” – Professor Olga Tsoudis
I’m currently in Tanzania, Africa with Make A Difference (MAD) and this week I conducted an empowerment workshop for 240 students at an all girls school where two of MAD’s students attend. At home in the USA I’m a professor of sociology and an activist so teaching is quite familiar to me. However, the atmosphere at the girls’ school was not a typical one.
There were wooden benches instead of chairs, bed sheets used to cover the windows to create darkness and a makeshift screen of a white board on a table leaning against the wall. If you are determined, you work with what you have and you make it familiar! The school administrators were eager to make it happen with the available resources and they did. I received a warm welcome and enthusiastic support for having an empowerment workshop for the girls, something that isn’t common in Tanzania.
240 girls eagerly attended the workshop with notebooks in hand and greetings to welcome me.
- body image
- traits in friends
- the power of education
- sugar daddies (very common in Tanzania; men who offer girls money and gifts)
- decision making
Their responses demonstrated critical thinking and passion to be successful, strong women. We also discussed Malala and her commitment to education.
Each one of these young women has a voice that won’t be silent in Tanzania. At the end, I received handshakes and hugs that will forever remain priceless.
– Professor Olga Tsoudis