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COVID-19 RESPONSE

“Our main objective is to keep supporting our Scholars during this needy time.”

— Devotha Mlay, Managing Director (Programs)

The important skills of confidence, resilience, and leadership that lay the foundation of our curriculum are more crucial than ever in a world of uncertainty. Our impact has always been rooted in the deep, consistent relationships between GLAMI Mentors and Scholars, and our combined team remains committed to providing continuous support to the 6,605 Tanzanian girls we are currently mentoring.

 

The Government of Tanzania initially closed schools until April 17, but GLAMI prepared for the likelihood that closures will last much longer. The network that GLAMI has built over the last ten years allowed them to respond immediately when schools closed and to implement a system to continue support. They worked continuously to monitor the effectiveness of their approach, and adjusted as needed to best serve our Scholars. 

 

And: their work paid off. The Tanzanian government reopened schools on June 29. Remarkably, more than 99% of GLAMI Scholars returned to their education when schools reopened. GLAMI Manager for Programs, Devotha Mlay, wrote about this achievement and the work it took to get there for U.S. News & World Report.

 

 

GLAMI’s Plan to Continue Supporting Scholars

 

1. Respond quickly by leveraging our established network

  • With parent phone numbers on file, Mentors could message Scholars to provide early support amidst the uncertainty
  • 90% of Scholars have access to a phone in their household; staff are working on how to connect with the last 10%
  • The Tanzanian leadership team facilitated all staff to move to remote work within 72 hours of the first COVID-19 case in Tanzania

 

2. Deliver responsive curriculum via text

  • Mentors are sending daily text messages with digestible content to continue the mentoring relationship and support Scholars and their families:
    • Encouragement during an unnerving time
    • Tips on how to keep studying at home
    • Reliable health information and recommendations from the Government of Tanzania and the World Health Organization
  • Program staff are designing projects and reflections that can be completed using materials that are easily available at home

 

3. Provide Social, Financial, and Mental Health Support

  • Two toll-free lines were established so that Scholars can reach out if their phone is out of funds or they need to borrow a phone from a neighbor
  • Social Workers are reaching out to the most vulnerable girls and assisting them in accessing further help from the government social welfare office
  • As always, the Emergency Fund is available to girls facing acute financial hardship
  • Mentors are available over the phone in the same way they support Scholars during school breaks and Alumnae after graduation

 

4. Empower Scholars to record and share their experience

  • Mentors and Scholars will be journaling about their experience and recording audio/video content on smartphones when possible, ensuring that the stories and experiences of Tanzanian girls’ will be recorded in this historic moment
  • Individual stories will be shared over social media and our blog to bring diverse perspectives in this uncertain time

 

5. Adjust schedule and curriculum later in the year

  • Full Kisa and Binti programming will also resume when schools reopen and content will be adjusted or condensed as needed to ensure the most the most important lessons are provided
  • Special events, such as 2 Day Challenge, will be evaluated on an individual basis and may be postponed or cancelled depending on length of closure
  • As the Tanzanian leadership team makes crucial decisions, they will prioritize Scholar needs and consider additions to curriculum such as trauma-informed practices

 

6. Trust the confidence, resilience, and leadership of girls

  • Girls often face the most hardship in times of crises, but our Scholars have training in how to voice their needs and present ideas for creative solutions
  • Any disruption in education can be detrimental to girls’ future, but our Scholars have learned techniques to persevere in the face of obstacles
  • Equipped with skills like conducting needs assessments, public speaking, and collaborating with local leaders, our Scholars and Alumnae will have a positive impact on how their community responds and re-imagines itself in the coming months and years

Thank you for your continued support for Tanzanian girls

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