“IT’S A DREAM THAT I CAN MAKE MY OWN MONEY”
“It’s a dream that i can make my own money” these are the words of Ms. Sheila Omary a girl of 18 years old living at Mtipa in Singida Municipality. “…at the age of 17 after my form four (4) in 2017 my family forced me to early marriage whereby I was able to escape, after the opportunity to join Bonga program emanated on my way.” kept on insisting Ms. Sheila.
Sheila represents many of the BONGA girls who have undergone through incidence of forced marriages in Singida region. After the completion of Form, she didn’t get good marks which could allow her to continue with higher studies thereby her father decided to take a dowry for her to get married. This is one of the existing cultures which deprive the rights of most girls’ in Tanzania, specifically in Singida region.
She then came to hear about BONGA during community awareness creation meeting done by SEMA by late Dec, 2017 at Mandewa Ward. She convincingly talked to her mother on how she can do away from the expected marriage by joining the BONGA Center. Despite of her father being not supportive yet Sheila joined BONGA by end of Dec, 2017 at Faraja Center – Mandewa. She went through basic life Skills for six (6) months, whereby her self-esteem, confidence and self –understanding of Sheila were improved. After starting of Vocational Skills she opted for the decoration and catering, whereby she took knitting as an option.
Since July, 2018, Sheila has been engaging herself with mat making and selling whereby she can generate the income of 15,000/= on daily basis by selling on average of one mat per day. However, the income generated is put into saving to raise money sufficient to establish her decoration centre & mat shop. Sheila plans to train other Bonga girls on making mats by the end of October.
Sheila knitting the door mats as a result of skills gained from BONGA.
Already made mat by Sheila with some mat making materials.