We love that our partners are on the grassroots/front line of their causes. They are in the thick of it and when they do get a chance to come up for air and share with us great positive news we love to forward that on to you!
Here we heard from our new partners, Living Soul Foundation (LSF), in Tanzania. Their mission is often disheartening as young girls come to them as victims of abuse and rape. They suffer not only physically but emotionally while dealing with the changing status of being pregnant and preparing to bring in a new life into the world.
Living Soul Foundation decided to get to the root of the problem recently. In addition to their life saving work they went out into their community (which does pose some risks for them) and spoke with the school administrators. What they did next was amazing.
LSF and the schools deployed a new curriculum: one of respect. With this simple value added in schools they have been receiving countless letters and stories of improvement in grades, student attendance and respect of teachers, and best of all – school aged pregnancies.
Here is a letter from their organization
Today, I want to tell you how your support is helping us get to the root of a very serious problem, which is the lack of value and respect in females.
Currently, LSF is the only organization in the Kigoma Municipal, approved and actively working inside the public-school system on a regular basis. As youth counselors and advisors to the Headmaster, Matrons and Patrons, and we are seeing these direct results.
Shaba Manara explains below in his own words how the young-male perspective is shifting.
“LSF has taught me so many things but, mostly the lesson of love and how to love my sisters. I have seen in my family and community that the girls are doing many work compared to the boys. My dad is doing nothing, but mom is the one who is doing all work at home, such as farming activities. Girls are doing all home activities, and for the boys, they just watch movies and play football.
The education I got from LSF, I took at home and I teach my family and my community that we have to love, protect and care for our girls because we are equal. Now we help each other at home and even my dad has changed his behavior. Even in my school when a girl needs help I do it, because it is my responsibility to help her to reach her dreams. These girls are our family, sisters, and our community, so we all need to come together to support and protect from those unwanted pregnancies.
I don’t know about you, but Shaba’s testimony hit me really hard and I found myself asking, is his story a common story or an isolated one? So we did some research and we couldn’t believe the results. Since our acceptance of our youth counseling and curriculum, the statistics show teen pregnancy is down 90%. Before we started our program, the cumulative number of pregnancy-drop-outs was at 89, and today that number has dropped to just 9. Just Wow!
Because of this, more children are staying in school. Less girls are becoming pregnant. More children will accomplish their dreams.
I am so encouraged, and really want to thank you and celebrate with you, all that we are accomplishing together.
In Joy and Love,
Living Soul Foundation
From all of us at Branch Out Market, well done! Yay! Keep up the great work and your fans here are rooting for you! Thank you for sharing this great news!