Sr Regina Opoku OLA is from Ghana and has been on mission in Tanzania for the last twenty-eight years. During this time she has worked as a teacher in secondary schools and as a lecturer in St Augustine University, Mwanza.
She currently works with Mikono Yetu as a researcher where her responsibilities include the monitoring and evaluation of the organisation’s work and projects.
Mikono Yetu, meaning “In our hands” in Kiswahili, the national language of Tanzania, is a women-led-non-profit organization based in Mwanza. The organisational aim is to empower women economically and it’s vision is to see gender equality in ownership of production resources while also sustaining the environment. The emblem they use shows represents the joining of hands to uplift the image of women.
Mikono Yetu grew out of the experience of its founders who, while engaging in a project to curb domestic violence, learned that when women are economically empowered, they have options to step out of violence and to improve their livelihoods and that of their children.
Mikono Yetu takes a gender equality approach to ownership of productive resources such as land, livestock, technology, industries etc. It seeks new ways of empowering women and girls economically so that they can own and control productive resources efficiently and profitably while also sustaining the environment to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change. To achieve these aims four areas of focus have been identified.
- Reduce number of women and girls living on less than $1.25 a day.
- Increase number of women and girls who own and control productive resources.
- Increase number of women and girls accessing vocational skills.
- Reduce number of youths particularly girls not in employment.
- Improving women and girls’ abilities to access financial services.
- Support girls to become confident to reach their potential.
- Support girls to participate in social, economic and political life.
- Strengthen the role of the family in improving the status of adolescent girls.
- Eliminate negative cultural attitudes and practices against girls.
- Strengthen capacities of girls to access ICT.
- Increase number of girls in decent work.
Women and the Environment
- Strengthen the capacities of women and girls to manage natural resources.
- Increase number of environmentally friendly projects run by women.
- Increase number of women and girls using appropriate new technology.
- Increase awareness among communities on climate change mitigation adaptation and impact reduction.
- Contribute into reduction of deforestation.
- Contribute in ending all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG).
- Reduce number of women and men who believe VAWG is justifiable.
- Increase awareness of the link between VAW and HIV/AIDS.
Programmes, training and partnership’s have be developed in each of these four main areas of focus to enable Mikono Yetu to work with and provide support for women and girls while at the same time achieving its aims of gender equality and the empowerment.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic they have been focused on assisting women to continue with their economic activities to ensure that they can continue earning a living. Through mobile communications, they were able to speak with the women directly to ask what their needs were at this time. Some of the items supplied were veronica buckets, soap and microphones. Because of this, the women are able to continue to run their small businesses safely, taking the necessary precautions required so as not to spread the virus.
Mikono Yetu has provided the same items to local government offices and clinics in the Illimela district in Mwanza.
For more detail see their website https://www.mikonoyetu.co.tz/
If you wish to make a donation please use the link below. Funds donated will be forwarded in their totality to Mikono Yetu in Mwanza.