Melania Zambibility, 21, a mother of two, wanted to do more for herself and her family. Living with her in-laws, working as a temporary cleaner at a local restaurant and being fed, she struggled to make ends meet.
When the opportunity arose, she welcomed it.
An ambitious and determined young woman joined the Upendo group, where she learned the economics of getting her future back on track. As a result, she is able to financially support her family and meet their basic needs.
She worked hard and was able to save enough money to build her own house. This is an important achievement that has brought her immense pride and joy. Her transformation from a struggling mother to a successful healthcare provider is a source of inspiration for her community.
“Since joining the group, I have successfully cultivated a sunflower field and built this house,” she said.
But that’s not the only time she’s been empowered.
“This group helped me understand reproductive health. Now I can plan how many children to have and when,” she said.
By using modern technology to manage her own fertility, Contraceptiveshe can choose when and how many children to have while making sure she can support them financially.
equip young people with skills
Upendo was founded by peer educator Stephen Bikoko, a young man passionate about equipping the youth of his community with the knowledge and skills to empower them.
His commitment to positively impacting his community stems from his sexual and reproductive health training. gender-based violence Harmful Practices and Entrepreneurship. This was provided by Kiota Women’s Health and Development (KIWOHEDE) with the support of the Embassy of Switzerland and her UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. youth protection programs.
Equipped with these new skills, Mr. Bikoko reached out to empower young people in the Kakonko district.
“Once I learned about gender-based violence, I was able to provide a lot of information. [training sessions] in the community,” he said.
His charming approach and passion caught the attention of young people, especially those from informal groups such as motorcycle drivers known as boda boda. He quickly earned their trust and became their advocate and mentor. She encouraged them to take advantage of loans offered by local councils to young people, women and people with disabilities.
Another notable accomplishment of Mr. Bikoko is founding the Upendo group for aspiring young people who want to improve their lives through education and entrepreneurship. Together, they have engaged in a variety of economic activities, including poultry farming, goat farming, and general farming.
Through joint efforts, young members not only generated income, but also developed a strong sense of unity and purpose. Among them is Melania Zambiri.
Advocate for sexual and reproductive rights
Bikoko’s efforts are not limited to Upendo Group. In his community, he also promotes sexual and reproductive health education, addresses gender-based violence and harmful practices, and champions the importance of: HIV Consciousness. His articulate interactions with young people have drawn the attention and support of community leaders, inspiring them to allocate resources to these important issues.
Mr. Bikoko’s peer education activities had a profound impact on the youth of Kakonko district. Of these, he will equip 385 of them with in-depth knowledge about sexual and reproductive health, gender-based violence, harmful practices, and HIV prevention and response so they can make informed decisions and live healthier lives. I made it Of these, 167 were high school students, 97 boda bodas (motorcycle drivers), 52 pharmacy workers, 54 local market workers and 15 farmers.
The Upendo Group has thrived by helping its members discover their potential and actively contribute to the growth and prosperity of their community.
Bikoko is proud to have made a lasting difference in the lives of the young people he serves.
of program to protect youth Implemented in mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar, with a focus on areas of high youth poverty sexual and reproductive health teenage pregnancy, HIV, child marriage and gender inequality. The program is jointly funded by UNFPA and the Embassy of Switzerland in Tanzania.
UNFPA – Distributed by the APO Group on behalf of East and Southern Africa.
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