Shalom-Prize 2021: 1. Secondary School in Nyashishi / 2. Pippi House for Girls in Arusha (Tansania)

The AK Shalom for Justice and Peace at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt awards the Shalom Prize to two projects in Tanzania this year, the fortieth anniversary of its existence.

Project to tackle school violence in Tanzania in the Rulenge-Ngara and Mwanza regions.

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Born in 1964, Felista Tangi, an educator, wrote her doctoral thesis on the impact of school violence on students‘ performance and skills development. In response to the alarmingly high rates of students being subjected to corporal punishment and violence in the school context by teachers and fellow students, she founded a non-violent and inclusive Secondary School in Nyashishi, in Mwanza Province, Tanzania, together with fellow sisters from the Teresina Sisters order. The school is designed for 250 students from primarily rural areas, orphaned children and those from financially weak families who are particularly affected by school dropouts and violence. A total of 20 per cent of the school places are reserved for children with inclusion needs.

The school is particularly committed to people with albinism. Albinism is a genetically inherited condition that is very rare and affects about one in twenty thousand people worldwide. Claims that it is a „punishment from God“ or bad luck and that the „disease“ could be contagious are common in the Lake Victoria area of Tanzania. This lack of knowledge about people with albinism means that folk tales and superstitions lead to persecution and/or discrimination against people with albinism.

The school works according to modern concepts of classroom management against violence, bullying and discrimination based on material developed by Prof. Dr. Margit Stein and Prof. Dr. Daniela Steenkamp (University of Vechta and Villingen Cooperative State University) as part of the project against school violence and accessible free of charge in Kiswahili on a homepage for teachers. (http://www.against-violence-at-schools-in-tanzania.com/swa/about-this-great-project-fighting-school-violence-in-tanzania-sw/).

In addition, all pupils with special needs are accompanied by a student teacher from St. Augustine University in Mwanza in the sense of coaching and mentoring. The newly founded school receives academic advice and support from the Department of General Education at Vechta University of Applied Sciences and from St. Augustine University in Tanzania.

Pippi House for Girls in Arusha

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The Pippi House Foundation for Girls is the only women’s shelter in the Tanzanian city of Arusha. The name suggests the shelter’s character as a place of refuge by picking up the Swahili word for sweets „Pippi“ – the women’s shelter as a sweet in a bitter, hard life.

Currently, the women’s shelter houses about 100 girls and young women aged 14 to 25 who previously lived on the streets, were sold as maids or were victims of child labour, child trafficking, rape or prostitution. Some of them were pregnant or already had toddlers when they were taken in at Pippi House, so there are currently also 16 toddlers and infants living there.

Pippi House was founded in 2011 by Tanzanian Aristides Nshange who, while working as a social worker in Arusha, noticed that all the support in the city was focused on male orphans or younger street children. Teenage girls, especially pregnant women or young mothers, fell through the already wide-meshed social net of the state or private initiatives. Thus, Aristides founded the non-governmental organisation and has been running it with heart and soul ever since. His goal is to offer the girls a perspective for a self-determined life. In addition to a home, regular meals and security, the foundation provides initial help with (re)integration into social life. The basis for this is a good education. All residents are given the opportunity to attend school – even beyond the free primary education in Tanzania. The girls receive support in learning and later, after graduation, help in finding an internship, a degree or a permanent job.

The Pippi House is not financially supported by the government and is therefore completely dependent on national and international donations. ProManity e.V. (Quellenweg 28, 20535 Hamburg, germany@promanity.org, http://www.promanity.org) is a German association that has continuously supported the Pippi House financially since 2017. The association was founded by three young women who wanted to continue supporting the project from Germany after their volunteer stay at Pippi House. The donations that ProManity collects and manages are used for the monthly food costs, hygiene articles, school fees, medical costs such as doctor and hospital visits and necessary medicine and, depending on the donations, also for the monthly rent. In addition, since January 2020, the association has been paying the monthly salary of the Tanzanian social worker Aisha Shaban, who supports and represents Aristides on site in all areas.

Currently, Aristides, the women and girls live in a rented bungalow with a total of eight rooms. Apart from the fact that this house does not offer enough space for the more than one hundred women and children and that they live together in a very small space, it is also a big financial challenge to raise the monthly rent. Therefore, the next major project to be realised in the near future is the purchase of a home for the project.

Donations

The prize money is raised exclusively through donations. We would therefore be very pleased if you would like to support the Shalom Prize. For more information, please click here.