The aim of Chukua Hatua was to build a social movement in which communities will form their own alliances
The project started by TAMASHA being consulted by Oxfam to carry on an evaluation of their Chukua Hatua programme in Shinyanga and Loliondo. In its evaluation TAMASHA noted that although many young people were involved in the programmes in one way or another, their specific issues and contributions were not being addressed sufficiently. In addition, the issue of their participation as key decision makers and actors in programmes concerning them specifically and the communities in which they live was not sufficiently prioritized. While it is indeed essential to address and work through the ‘gatekeepers’, or ‘duty bearers’, this will not bear full fruit unless the ‘claim holders’ also have the capacity to act on their own behalf.
At the same time, TAMASHA is a strong believer in animation methodology which does indeed concentrate more on the claim holders than the duty bearers and that such a methodology can be very effective in and out of school. On the basis of its findings and recommendations, TAMASHA was requested to develop a proposal to strengthen animation in some schools in Kishapu and Kahama, Shinyanga and set out an out of school animation programme in Kishapu, Kahama and Ngorongoro in line with Oxfam’s objectives to ensure that:
Community members know and understand their basic rights and entitlements, demand for them without fear, and use them to ensure access to services and sustainable development in their communities.
On the basis of its proposal, TAMASHA was contracted to work in three districts:
Kahama and Kishapu:
In school programme with teachers and students; out of school young animators.
Out of school young animators.
To foster meaningful participation of young people in and out of school, through training of children and young people as active members in their schools and communities and enabling an infrastructure of participation which ensures that their place in the governance and development of their communities is recognized and assured.
The aim of Chukua Hatua was to build a social movement in which communities will form their own alliances (not alliances of elite NGOs). Thus the programme works through both formal (village meetings etc.) and informal methods to promote this movement. As a result of the recommendations of TAMASHA after it had evaluated the programme, young people have specifically been included as a group as well.
TAMASHA really wanted to implement animation for the first time within the context of building a social movement as, before, animation activities were confined to workshops and one off visits to the community. Thus TAMASHA saw this sustained interaction with young people, teachers and students in the programme as an exciting opportunity.
Thus it was stressed that as animators, TAMASHA should not go with its own agenda other than that of provoking and enabling people to find their own agenda. Even within schools, although student barazas (students’ councils) are a key part of democratic governance in schools, schools must be allowed to come to them in their own way as well as develop other forms of democratic governance in the schools.
Theatre for Development.
However, in order to strengthen the research component, the trained artists would use some of the participatory techniques familiar to TAMASHA. These would be outlined in the training guide.
- The dominant development paradigm is the problem solving one. People discuss problems and try to find solutions. This methodology has not been so effective and can be very disempowering.
- Appreciative Inquiry takes the opposite approach. Instead of identifying problems and trying to remove them one by one, it looks for and builds on what it already working (at the level of individuals, groups, and whole organisations). There are always good things in any organisation and a recognition of what works can be very energising and empowering.
- AI is not just a research tool on the basis of which a programme is developed. It is the first step in a programme.
The seeds of change are implicit in the first question asked
- This is why TAMASHA has decided to use AI in schools. The problems facing schools and the educational system have been itemised time and time again and they are very real. But schools continue to function and there are many good teachers and pupils in the system. Therefore, the aim was to experiment to see how it may be possible to turn some schools around using this methodology.
AI and education
In order to familiarize themselves with the methodology, the group went through a process of applying the steps in AI to the work that were done in schools in Kishapu and Kahama. It was however stressed that the conclusions reached during this exercise were not to be presented to the participants in Shinyanga. Participants would go through the same process and come up with their own goals and methodologies.
In order to achieve the above, the following activities were carried out.
TAMASHA held a workshop to prepare itself to carry out its Chukua Hatua programme. The aim of the workshop was to go through the different methodologies to be used, in particular Theatre for Development (for out of school) and Appreciative Inquiry (for in school) within the context of animation and then develop a work plan for the three districts.
TAMASHA appointed 3 teams which would be responsible for the whole process.
The teams made preliminary visits to the three districts to:
- Pay courtesy visits to district and local leaders and introduce themselves as well as conduct a one day preliminary workshop for district and ward officials.
- Initiate the process of selection of participants for the Theatre for Development and Appreciative Inquiry exercises.
- In the case of Kahama and Kishapu, teachers and pupils/students identified by another partners organization ADLG.
In Shinyang the following villages and schools were involved:
In Ngorongoro, the following villages were involved in out of school animation.
Theatre for Development
Selection of Artists.
Two artists were selected from each ward, one male, one female. There were supposed to be artists, between the age of 18 and 24, who lived and worked in their respective wards. Because of the shortage of time, TAMASHA’s unfamiliarity with the area, and the fact that this was a one off activity, Ward Executive Officers were asked to oversee the process of choosing the two artists. In many cases they selected good people for the task, who were artists.
Training of artists.
The artists were trained in two main areas:
- How to carry out participatory research.
- How to translate the findings of the research into a drama which provokes discussion.
Overall, 43 young people were trained over a period of 5 days, 11 in Kahama, 12 in Kishapu and 16 in Ngorongoro.
In the first three days, after some exercises on the meaning of participation, the young participants given an introduction to the use of participatory research techniques. They were given the rationale for these methods and then practised them on one another before practising in the community in the evening (Kishapu and Ngorongoro) and with students of the Nurses’ College in Kahama. They were shown how the aim of the research process is, to start encouraging people to reflect on their situation and impart knowledge at the same time.
The main methods used included:
- Drawing of their dreams in life for themselves and their communities (young people).
- Timeline (adults) to put the community and its development in a historical context.
- Mapping of their neighbourhood showing opportunities and constraints for young people to achieve their dreams and participate more fully.
- Venn diagram for assessing how these opportunities and constraints affect the community.
- Identifying and ranking the problems facing young people particularly in regard to participation.
- Power walk which showed clearly diverse power relations in the community and how the few opportunities available are taken and utilised by a small group of people, mainly male, mainly older, mainly more educated, and mainly better off.
Participatory theatre techniques.
In the last two days the training focused on equipping participants with participatory theatre techniques. Participatory theatre also known as theatre for development was a tool designed to address critical issues in the community with a provocative and neutral perspective while allowing communities to debate and discuss on the situations.
The research process.
Research was carried out over a period of 7 days with 4 main groups:
- Adult females above the age of 24.
- Adult males above the age of 24.
- Young women aged between 15 - 24 years.
- Young men age between 15 – 24 years.
Different methods were used for youth groups and adults groups. Methods for adult groups based on the reflection of the past on the trend change and their views about young people’s roles in the community and how opportunity for participation can be grasped. However they looked into issues of taking action on issues concerning their community in governance, transparency, leadership, participation and general community development.
In all the sites, the TAMASHA team closely followed up the research and ensured that it was being carried out as planned. Some of the main findings across the districts were:
- Young people were very happy to be consulted. Many, for example in Mondo, Kahama said this was the first time they had been consulted and this was a wakeup call to them.
- Young people complained that leaders monopolized leadership posts. If a young person tried to stand for a leadership post, the community was shocked and considered such a young person was lacking in respect (Kahama).
- Young people had nowhere where they could express themselves.
- Young people’s views are not taken seriously. Even if there was a conflict between two young people, the one who was supported by an elder would win the case.
- Young people complained about favouritism and corruption in getting jobs, for example in Buzwagi mine.
- For their communities, young people dreamed of improved infrastructure and social services, improved farming and pastoralism. The girls had more gender specific dreams relating to women in leadership, and the removal of customs that oppress them. Young men in Ngorongoro wanted to have youth centres, while young women wanted such centres to support them specifically. While young men were more interested in employment, young women put more emphasis on entrepreneurship, including start-up capital and savings groups.
Although most of the dreams related to services, many of the constraints related to livelihoods, in particular lack of farming inputs which was mentioned almost everywhere, as well as poor infrastructure to transport crops to market, poor markets, excessive levies and high prices and a lack of starting capital
for youth agricultural groups. This has led to many young people giving up farming. Similarly in Ngorongoro, young people mentioned that they cannot develop as they have no land that belongs to them.
With regard to services, the lack of good educational opportunities, including poor schools featured heavily, and lack of health services and water was also mentioned.
Leadership was an issue everywhere both in general (corruption, nepotism, negligence) and in regard to young people.
- Leaders have stiff necks with regard to youth but are quick to blame (Ngorongoro)
- Elders don’t understand the concept of participation.
- To some extent, problems of participation have been exacerbated by the advent of multipartyism. Because of their dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs, many young people have moved to the opposition so when they start questioning the leaders, they are dismissed as been tools of the opposition parties.
Young people felt that the biggest challenge for them is to get the chance to talk to village leaders. They felt that they need an adult who is close to youth but who can also convince the village government.
However, young people also recognized that they are to blame for the bad opinion elders have of them.
In Ngorongoro, pool was the main issue as they said many young people spend the whole day playing pool while others have taken to drinking and drugs (especially in areas around the centres). This also made it easier for the elders to blame them or silence them in meetings when they try to speak. They are just dismissed as bangi (marijuana) smokers. At the same time, young people said that such behaviours occur because young people have lost hope because of the lack of opportunities for them. They want to be trusted by the leaders and given opportunities.
- One way of solving these problems was seen to be the establishment of youth centres. This would both provide them with a focus for activity and enable them to negotiate with the leadership in an organized manner. The young women also felt that the youth centre would enable them to address their own issues. In Kishapu, one Uchunga village has taken up this issue seriously as one result of the animation programme.
In discussions with the elders, the main issues that arose were:
- Breakdown of family life. In the past they were united.
- Changes in farming practices. In the past, they concentrated on food crops.
- The role of traditional dances and games in the past. They were the main entertainment/recreation and also taught good morals. Men and women danced together.
- In Shinyanga they said that girls who were highly valued had lighter skins and if a woman did not get children they could send her back to her parents and take another daughter, or demand their bride price back. When a women got married she was given her farm to cultivate.
- Early pregnancy was a serious issue in Shinyanga. However, there was some disagreement in Kahama. While some villages said pregnancies outside marriage had increased, in Mondo they insisted that girls in the past were also getting pregnant.
In discussing how to face these challenges, young people felt that several of the issues were within their power to address, as long as they organized themselves and worked together. They need to meet and discuss issues facing them so that they can take joint action.
The programme was later expanded to other districts including, Shinyanga Rural, Kishapu and Kahama (Shinyanga region), Maswa, Itilima and Bariadi (Simiyu Region), Bukombe and Mbogwe (Geita Region) and Ngorongoro (Arusha Regions).