"Being a single parent is twice the work, twice the stress, and twice the tears but it is also twice the hugs, twice the love and twice the pride" - Mwanahamisi.
Mwanahamisi is a single mother from Tanzania. In 2021 she joined the “MamaHodari,” an initiative that is working to support single mothers with social support and economic empowerment. “MamaHodari” translates to “Brave Mothers” and as the name suggests, the project aims to support brave single mothers support their mental and emotional well-being, cultivate self-confidence and provide skills that can improve the quality of life for their families. Through trainings, workshops and couseling groups, the program seeks to build capacity in skills such as entrepreneurship, financial management, branding and self care. Start up capital is also provided for the mothers to start their own business.
Irene Ishengnoma, Country Leader of GPW Tanzania is the mind behind the project. The project has been supported by GPF Tanzania, Coca Cola Company Limited and the local government of Amgomeni ward in Bagamoyo. From May to December 2021, the program reached ten 15-29-years-old women: teenage mothers, widows, divorced/seperated mothers and women living with disabilities. Irene believes that the effort benefits the mothers, their children and their families.
She reflects, “Leaving something in people they call it legacy, but touching the lives of single mothers is a blessing. I have been hearing and reading about the hustles of single mothers but through this initiative I have learnt it is everyone’s responsibility to uplift and cherish their families regardless if you are raised from a nuclear, extended or single parent family.”
Tunu Hamis, a teenage mother and a beneficiary of the project shared her reflection,
“Through Mama Hodari initiative, I have understood more of ‘Peace Begins in the Home theme.’Even a teenage mother needs forgiveness, new hope and guidance in all spheres of life. I am privileged to be among the beneficiaries of this project, I am expecting to improve my socio-economic status through this project.”
Mwamvita Amani, another benficiary shared,
“I am a single mother today due to the fact that I gave birth to an albino infant…But through one on one interviews and 2 days training I feel like I am a brand new person who will not lament again to the Almighty and society but I will always give hope to my son and my fellow single mothers to never give up and trust the process.”
The project has supported single mothers from all walks of life. It has helped uplift the innate values and dignity of these brave single mothers and help them envision their next steps towards financial independence. Projects like Mama Hodari have created a space for these mothers to bring change and peace starting from their own lives. GPW Tanzania is proud of the Mama Hodari initiatives and will continue to support such projects and women leaders that empower women. If you would like to be one of the change agents and develop your leadership with projects, please visit the GPW Leadership Academy (GPWLA): . https://www.globalpeacewomen.org/advance-womens-leadership/gpwla
For more info and activities by GPW Tanzania, please follow GPW Tanzania https://www.instagram.com/globalpeacewomentanzania/