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Vitu Newala (Newala Youth Can)

A research and action project that aimed to both understand and respond to girls’ HIV-related vulnerabilities in Newala, one of the least-developed districts of Tanzania where susceptibility to HIV is heightened due to severely limited social protections.

ICRW

Introduction

Hi, my name is Jennifer McCleary-Sills, and I am a social and behavioural scientist at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). ICRW is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) focused on advancing gender equality and empowering women in communities across the globe. Since 1976 we’ve been working with partners to conduct empirical research, build capacity and advocate for evidence-based, practical ways to change policies, programmes and behaviours.

Today I’m pleased to take you on a tour of a project called “Vijana Tunaweza Newala” or “Vitu Newala,” which means “Newala Youth Can.” ICRW and the local NGO Taasisi ya Maendeleo Shirikishi Arusha (TAMASHA), in collaboration with Pact Tanzania, developed this participatory research and action project that aimed to both understand and respond to girls’ HIV-related vulnerabilities. It was conducted in Newala, one of the least-developed and poorly-resourced districts of Tanzania.

Before I begin, I’d like to thank our partners Richard Mabala and Annagrace Rwehumbiza from TAMASHA for joining me to provide this overview of our project. TAMASHA promotes youth development in communities by working directly with youth and advocating for the rights of young people.

Key Facts

Project: 
“Vijana Tunaweza Newala” or “Vitu Newala” (“Newala Youth Can”)

Run by:
International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Taaisisi ya Maendeleo Shirikishi Arusha (TAMASHA)  

Region:
Newala District, Tanzania

Population:
Adolescent girls

Challenges:
Structural gender-based inequalities / gender-based imbalances in power and lack of social protections for girls

Activities:
Research protocol design and implementation; Youth researcher training; Pilot life skills education (LSE) programme development and implementation; Peer educator training; Ongoing qualitative assessment exercises