I travelled to Bahi district in Dodoma, and visited two communities, Zanka and Nguji. I enjoyed holding a community meeting with the community members because they were both engaged and positive about this campaign. I believe in women’s empowerment and gender equality. I was so impressed to see a lot of women turn up at the community event.
In Nguji village, the leaders told me that they struggle resolving social problems and project related challenges as they do not have the right channels to share their views. They added that most community meetings end in arguments and never have positive conclusions. After introducing the idea of forming a Joint Working Group (JWG) to village leaders, I shared it with the wider community. I explained the advantages of having a JWG with representatives from across their community whose responsibility it would be to suggest solutions regarding the different challenges they face, and that they would then feedback information on how these challenges are resolved to the entire community.
I am glad this idea was accepted; the community members and village leaders were thankful enough to use the CIB Model. My colleague Peter, who is a community monitor from the neighbouring community also shared his experience working in his community with the JWG group.
Peter said, ‘’My community has now seen the importance of having a Joint Working Group with everyone involved, it gives you the confidence that your voice is taken into consideration. We would like to see this happening in your community as well, that is why we are here to share today.’’
Before I left Zanka village, the JWG was formed and included a 50/50 split in gender, to make sure that women were included as part of the group. Other marginalised groups, for example elders and people living with disabilities, were also included. I think it is a great feeling to see a positive response from the community members that could eventually bring a change in how they resolve their own challenges.
This village is among 30 villages where Raleigh’s Social Accountability through Youth (SAY) project is campaigning to help communities adopt the CIB model/approach. We will be sharing success stories through our social media and radio broadcasts as part of this exciting campaign.
Would you like to learn more about how the CIB model works or how to form a Joint Working Group in your community? Please download our free CIB toolkit here which is written in both English and Swahili. For more updates on our campaign, follow us on social media.
Words by Amina, SAY Campaign Coordinator from Bahi district.
Written by Peter Lazaro, Communications Officer.