JBFC Girls Get Defensive

September 8, 2016 4:20 pm Published by

A few months back, we announced that JBFC was one of five non-profit organizations chosen to participate in a pilot program to bring self-defense training to girls in the Mwanza region of Tanzania. This training is designed to empower girls to identify potential danger, to act with confident independence to get to safety, and if necessary, know how to physically protect themselves. 

Miss Deo, our Early Childhood Coordinator who doubles as a matron in the Girls’ Home, and Felista, our campus Social Worker, attended a week-long training camp in May and began teaching the basics to our Secondary School girls. Here is an update on how the program has expanded.

JBFC’s residential girls are getting stronger, faster and tougher, thanks to our new self-defense training program.

The program started back in May with two of JBFC’s female leaders attending a self-defense workshop in Mwanza. Miss Deo recently attended another monthly review session and received her certification for the first two levels in self-defense training. Our trainers have now completed nearly 50 hours of instruction and will continue with monthly reviews until next April.

Over the next four months, our trainers will start learning from their peers. All of the participants from the four partner organizations will visit each site to see how everyone is putting self-defense training into practice. The group will visit  JBFC in December.

Miss Deo says she’s been really impressed by the JBFC girls’ progress over the last three months. “The girls are gaining confidence,” Miss Deo said. “[They can] stand and defend themselves. They no longer need to depend on another person.”

The Secondary School girls have now completed 12 weeks of training, meeting for two hours every week since June. In August, JBFC expanded the program to include the Primary School girls (Grades 2 and up). Our 7th graders were sidelined while they prepared for the national exams, but they will start participating in September. Before the end of the year, the girls will participate in a two-week training workshop with Miss Deo and Felista.

The older girls have eagerly welcomed their younger sisters in the self-defense training.

“The primary girls are doing wonders in self-defense and already catching up to the big girls,”said Leticia. “Because they are training from a younger age, when they get older they will be even better than us older girls!”

Imma agreed. “It is more fun with the younger girls in the training,” she said. “I think it is good for them to learn.”

And the younger girls are thrilled to be included.

“It’s fun and will help us one day against an enemy,” Salome said.

“It is so amazing to learn,” Dotto added. “It will help us in the future and it is fun.”

“It’s good, I like it. It helps us know how to defend ourselves,” said Zai. “If someone tries to do bad things to us, we can protect ourselves.”

Read our original Self-Defense Training blog here!

Guest Blogger, Melinda Wulf, is JBFC’s Administrative Director in Tanzania.

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This post was written by Mainsprings