Forward Step Organization
As part of a very old culture, many Tanzanians, especially along the country’s coastline, genuinely do not believe in women’s competence. The enduring precedents for discriminatory attitudes towards the girl-child and women in general mostly stem from this misconception. Seeing lack of education, disunity, powerlessness and abject poverty among women especially in Tanzania’s coastline, the initiators chose to embark on transforming the trend of ignorance on women’s potential by initially establishing the organization as a support system based on solidarity among women first. Even today, women continue to primarily
ooperate and learn to genuinely cooperate with one another in order to create a strong sense of unity among themselves to help solve each other’s’ problems, manage their own affairs, and obtain the ability to take control of their own fates.
We support nearly 500 girls and 200 women in Bagamoyo and Chalinze Districts through our learning center, workshops and outreach projects, focusing on education, art, skill development, health and hygiene, and entrepreneurship.
FSO Learning Center
At our learning center in Bagamoyo, 40-50 girls aged 9 to 22 attend our classes and workshops each week.
We run workshops on topics such as entrepreneurship and work ethics, personal and menstrual health and hygiene, crafts and drama, as well as offering educational support and skill development in English, Mathematics and computer literacy.
Through the craft session, we teach girls that the jewelry and art they create can generate income, which we then use to buy their school supplies, such as notebooks, school bags and shoes. The girls then have the chance to understand the impact of their own ability to earn an income as well as manage their finances.
We also work in the wider communities through local community leaders, such as the Changalikwa Secondary School where 70 secondary school girls benefit from our services.
Our health and hygiene sensitization program in the villages around Bagamoyo has so far reached 300 girls, who now have the necessary knowledge and ability to safely and confidently manage their personal and menstrual health and hygiene.
Art and drama
We see art as a platform to raise issues affecting young girls and women, and promoting empowerment, especially through drama workshops and theater production.
Based in Bagamoyo Coast, and with an aspiration to open up branches in different districts in Tanzania mainland, the FSO develops and empowers girls and women by challenging traditional discriminatory attitudes towards them by using arts, education, health, and sports programs, employment opportunities, and grants through advocacy, sensitization, direct support, lobbying, facilitating capacity building, and mentorship. They are occasionally involved in the production of theater pieces with the intention of initiating a discussion on social issues that affect girls and women. They see art as an entertaining platform to raise serious issues and promote women empowerment.
• Gender parity