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Gender and Development Semina Series (GDSS): Walking the Talk


ŠTanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP), 2010 All rights reserved. Layout and Graphics: Rehema Chachage Photography: Rehema Chachage

Contents Why we need to tell our stories A brief introduction Past and Present GDSS Background Challenges Our community’s daily reality Social Transformation GDSS members making a deffirence in their communities Outcomes Some success stories

True transformation stories

Have no endings

Why we need to tell our stories

Storytelling is increasingly understood to be a major tool








of campaigning and movement building. Drawing on grassroots

systematically. As part of addressing this issue, TGNP recognizes

practices and indigenous knowledge, storytelling captures the

and appreciates the huge and exceptional contributions made by

voice, spirit and soul of oppressed and exploited people, and can

GDSS and have deliberately decided to strengthen strategies for

be used to ignite action across boundaries of space and time.

documenting GDSS.

At the same time, storytelling and documenting is a

The main objective of documenting

and telling stories

practice which is being used to unearth pertinent issues that are

of selected GDSS members was, firstly, to document and profile

often invisible due to various reasons. For quite a long time the

collective herstories of GDSS activists/ groups and their impact in

issue of documenting and sharing good practice and lessons has

bringing social change highlighting success stories, challenges

been a challenge; starting at individual as well as community levels.

faced and lessons learnt in transformation process.

Tacit knowledge on initiatives and struggles of grassroots women

and other marginalized groups has remained hidden; hence their

asses / understand their strengths and experiences that influenced

contributions for social change remained unheard and unknown.

their own change; to find out what stimulated them to organize for

Despite the major contributions made by GDSS groups

change in their respective communities; and, finally, to document

and individuals on organizing for social

and profile their individual as well as group profiles, specifically,

The other reason for telling these stories is to be able to

on what kind of transformative feminist activism they are carrying out, how they have used GDSS and other TGNP spaces [eg GTI, GF, and others] to promote their own agenda and priorities, and to enable them to become better catalysts in effecting social change in their constituents.

Raising issues

Finding solutions

Past and Present Since its inception in 1996, Gender Development Seminar Series (GDSS) has increasingly become a popular space for public discussion and collective organizing on gender/feminism and human rights related issues. It is a space for enhancing conceptual analytical capacity and practical skills on various issues such as, lobbying for policy and structural change, organizing for social change, networking, information and experience sharing. Indeed through GDSS, several participants have been able to play catalyst role in effecting social change in their communities. The GDSS seminars are conducted in a highly participatory manner to allow for discussions and generation of critical ideas and issues. Women and men from all walks of life meet every Wednesday at the TGNP grounds from 15.00hrs to 17.00hrs to discuss, exchange information and jointly plan actions to influence change on different topical and burning issues. GDSS seminars are free and open to the general public.

Challenges: Our community’s daily reality

Water, a scarce necessity

And a daily struggle for us in the inner city...

... And there is trash everywhere,

We have to deal with that too...

... Not a good place to raise a child,

We owe it to them to make it better...

... And for those who are differently a

Special attention has to


o be paid!

Kigogo Youth and Women Development Prog

Based in Kigogo, Dar es Salaam. Mobilizing for access to water in the

Badi Darusi Secretary KYWDP

gramme (KYDP)

eir area

Rehema Kilai Mayuya Chair person KYWDP

Network for Disabled People living with HIV/A

Based in Mbagala, Dar es Salaam. Fighting for the rights of differentl

Specioza Mwankina Chair person NEDPHA+


ly abled people living with HIV/AIDS

Oscar Munni Secretary NEDPHA+

Community Care (CC), and Women Developme

Based in Mburahati and Makuburi, Dar es Salaam. Providing commu

Nantaika Maufi Group coordinator CC

ent Alliance (WDA)

unity service and supporting women and girls in crisis

Herieth Kabende Secretary WDA

Black Women Group (BWG)

Based in Mwananyamala, Dar es Salaam. Providing home based care

Maua Abdul Chair person BWG

e for Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS sufferers

Juma Mbaruku Secretary BWG

Kigamboni Cluster (HAIRAT)

Based in Kigamboni, Dar es Salaam. Supporting children living in un

Subira Kibiga Deputy chair person HAIRAT

nfavorable circumnstances

Sharifa Rashidi Member HAIRAT

Outcomes: Some success stories

Water flowing where there was none KYWDP’s boreholes project in Kigogo community


Vocational skills for differently abled

NEDPHA’s tailoring training for people with disabilities

d women and men

s in Mbagala community

Entertaining for care in Mbu

Community care members singing to rais

urahati community

se funds for community work

Story in a story: How our images awakened public response

A little help goes a long way The story of Maria Patrick

Our images were released in the media, the pub

blic saw, they were touched, and they responded!

... And the struggle continues...


Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP) P.O.BOX 8921. Tel: +255(22)244-3205/+255(0)754-784050 Email: Website: