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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

Project overview

The Vitu Newala project was designed to try to understand the specific vulnerabilities of adolescent girls in a very remote area of Tanzania where their susceptibility to HIV is heightened due to severely limited social protections. First, we aimed to identify exactly what the vulnerabilities were, and then work with the girls themselves and others in the communities to come up with a way to address them.

The project was designed to be participatory throughout – to involve the communities in identifying the root causes of the problem, recommending solutions and designing, leading and participating in intervention activities. It also aimed to empower adolescent girls at each stage of the project to advocate for and protect themselves.

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