OUR COMMITMENT TO WOMEN AND THE DISADVANTAGED
Provision has maintained a policy of equality with a significant focus on specifically assisting women and the disadvantaged. The focus on people with epilepsy also addresses the issue of discrimination based on being “different.” The Swahili word for a person with epilepsy is “maskini” which means “useless.” All projects that are considered for support are evaluated to ensure that the equality issues are consistently addressed in the planning stage. The specific projects are outlined in summary below and fuller details are available on the projects throughout the website.
The maternity ward requires major funding to complete, and any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
When Provision was first launched in 2009, our main commitment was to help people with epilepsy manage their epilepsy and improve their quality of life. Since our founding days, Provision now has made a commitment to improving life for not only people with epilepsy but for the people of Tanzania as a whole. Over the years, Provision has made a commitment to the women in Tanzania to provide them with safety and education. In Tanzania, medicine related employment was traditionally performed by males but we have dedicated ourselves to ensuring that women who want to practice medicine in Tanzania have the opportunity to do so. Within our medical student program, we require that as much as 50% of the supported students are to be women.
POST SECONDARY EDUCATION
Provision has also assisted other women to further education, Helene became a radiology technician, Sister Anunsiata completed her teaching degree and Sharifa obtained a post-graduate degree in business management. Provision is also supporting Oliver, a young woman who is pursuing a degree in law so that she can advocate for women and children’s rights.
Read Sharifa's testimony here.
MEDICAL STUDENT GRANTS AND LOANS
Provision has supported medical students since 2011 and has graduated twenty-one medical doctors, ten women and eleven men. The criterion for assistance was a desperate financial need, and Provision’s requirement to the university selection committee was that as much as possible one-half of the sponsored students must be women. The total funds advanced to the 21 medical students was $303,880 US dollars of which $206,880 is a loan from the university to the graduate doctors. The loans are noninterest-bearing and repayments from the students began in 2011. It is expected by 2030 the total repayments will be sufficient to support two medical students. The last student under this program graduated in 2020 and Provision began supporting graduates in specialized programs.
Provision is presently sponsoring two graduate doctors to obtain specialist training. Eveline is pursuing a masters in orthopaedics and Emanuel is pursuing a Masters in obstetrics.
Read Emanuel's testimony here.
EPILEPTIC PEOPLE EMPLOYMENT
The purpose of the employment project, ongoing since 2009, has demonstrated to the community that a person with epilepsy could work hard and become a contributor to both family and the community. The employees throughout the project have been both men and women.
Through the efforts of the ROW Foundation provision has been able to obtain a consistent supply of epileptic medication that is specific to safely treating epilepsy in women who are or may become pregnant. This medication is not available otherwise in Tanzania.
LEGAL RIGHTS FOR WOMEN
As in many developing countries the laws in Tanzania discriminate against women and children. While many of these laws have been changed and new rules have been implemented to change the status of women, enforcement is often a problem and many women are not aware of their rights.
Provision is now supporting Oliver Mnyang’ali who is entering into third year law at the university at Dar es Salaam. She dreams of becoming an advocate for women and children.
This is very timely as the new president, Samia Hassan, is a woman whose term will run for another five years. She is presently the only female head of state in Africa so there is an opportunity for significant change.
We have trained women and men in beekeeping, and we now have bees in five locations in the region. Specifically, we were requested by a women’s group from the village Taweta to provide training and equipment which we have done.
The next major project that is in the planning stage to assist women is the production of “rocket stoves.”
The concept is to assist women to make and market the stoves providing both a small business and a significant improvement in the quality of life for the family.
This link outlines the concept.
“Rocket stoves” make a significant difference in the quality of life for women and children. The rocket stove reduces the amount of smoke which is the same issue as second-hand cigarette smoke in the family home. The rocket stove reduces the amount of wood that is required to be burned which reduces the amount of work that the women must do to collect the wood.