This was the banner created by SI Arusha, and proudly displayed high above the city streets on their Charter date of 20th March 2012.
Four years ago the seed of soroptimism was planted by Mrs Margaret Ndzelen, a SI member from Bamenda, Cameroon. While visiting with her daughter who had just given birth, Margaret wanted to attend a local Soroptimist Club meeting, but to her dismay SIGBI confirmed that there was no SI club in Tanzania.
‘SI is a wonderful initiative with the aim to empower the woman and educate the girl child. Tanzania would benefit from this” Maggi said. It is with this zeal that a group of women came together, and she introduced the idea of soroptimism to them. We received the idea and got to work at once.
It took four good years to eventually get the club registration and recognition by the Tanzanian government. Thanks to the steadfastness of the President and Secretary, Mama Praise Ngowi and Mama Anna Anatoli respectively (just to name a few), they kept the flame burning and finally the first ever SI club in Tanzania was chartered on 20 March 2012 by the SIGBI president- Maureen Maguire. They had a fundraising night at the Golden Rose Conference centre of Arusha, Tanzania and invited sponsors, on-lookers and patrons to grace the event.
To support the event and to give it a sense of purpose, President Maureen crowned our president Mrs Praise Ngowi with a beautiful silver chain. Our insignia is decorated with all the precious stones mined in Tanzania, including the most precious of them all, the tanzanite-. The 24 club members were subsequently presented with their SI badges . The ladies are proud to be called members of SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL OF ARUSHA TANZANIA -“SIAT”.
A member’s account
The SIGBI president arrived in Arusha on 19 March 2011. On that same day the we all went see our charter project, then there was the SI club friendship evening. A visit to the arusha municipality , and sites comprising the second project (both projects are described in detail below) were also highlights of Maureen’s visit on the second day. The club members took this opportunity to show their auspicious guest one of the many touristic attractions in Tanzania, the snake park. Before long the president’s stay was over and she was on her way to Nairobi for the All African Clubs Conference.
Our charter project is about a lady we are proud to say we have advocated for her rights, we have empowered her to face the future and we above all have given her the basics every human would want; food, cloth and shelter. With our meager resources, we built Happiness a 3 bed room house.
On 20th of March 2011, we visited the second project which had to do with the children we have identified as abused children. We also visited the juvenile prison and the school some of the identified abused kids go to. It brought tears to a lot of the members present to see how the future of tomorrow is rotting away. Our present project in a nutshell is to sensitize the women and communities on what child abuse is about and how they can stop it, as well as to give as much assistance to the victims identified both legally and morally. Our aim this year is to improve on the education and leadership of our girls and women.
- We visit the juvenile facility
We visit the school with abused children that we help
We train ourselves and a group of other women –lukundani group on child abuse
We have come a long way and hope to go a long way in friendship and love to be the global voice for women and the girl child. SIAT has come to stay and together we would change the future.
Member SI Arusha (SIAT)