Cheers! It’s time to celebrate the fruits of the Stawi Lab Program.

Four months ago, different youth-led organizations shared a common ground, that is “Frustration.” They were frustrated with questions such as how they can afford skilled staff to carry out their interventions with success? Where they will get the funds to support their work after being trained and mentored by different development actors? Where they will be capacitated on how to strengthen their organizations? And spring of hope emerged at the right time on October 10, 2021, when a call for application for the Stawi lab program was released by Her Initiative in partnership with the TWAA community.

Stawi Lab has set the bar higher for different development partners on active participation and support towards youth’s interventions by not only training and mentoring them, but also awarding the organizations that had the best performance and due diligence in the program that is; Afya Plus Organization, Psychosocial Welfare Organization and Her Ability Foundation with mini-grants that totals up to Tsh 9 million at the Stawi Lab Awarding Ceremony.

The Stawi Lab Awarding Ceremony was graced by renowned speakers including Mary Rusimbi the executive director of Women Fund Tanzania-Trust, Pamela O’Donnell the High Commissioner of Canada to Tanzania, Caroline Kandusi Programs Officer at Segal Family Foundation, Sekela Yona Stawi Lab Judge, and Gender Lead from DOT Tanzania, Lydia Charles Moyo executive director of Her Initiative and, the media such as EATV, the Guardian, the Citizen, and Bongo5.

In today’s world, youth is an important group that society needs to solve its cross-cutting challenges. Youth don’t only bring their young, energetic, and creative minds but they are quite innovative when handling different problems, and that makes them phenomenal. Businesses, Start-Ups, NGOs and so many other institutions are mantled by youth in order to solve the problems in society.

Despite numerous struggles that youth-led organizations face such as limited resources, poor organizational systems, and development, we still recognize them as a true driver of social change. And that is why Her Initiative in partnership with TWAA Community through its Stawi Lab Program jumped in to support youth-led organizations that are working to address girls’ and women’s rights, and YES!!! It is about time we don’t hear empty words, we need to meaningfully support the work that is done by youths to enhance their growth and amplify their agenda.

Stawi Lab’s goal was achieved through a holistic and strategic approach over a 4 months journey. Where 18 youth-led organizations increased their capacity through training and mentorship on resource mobilization, team and talent management, gender centralization, communication, brand positioning, organization identity development structure and functions, strengthening their monitoring and evaluation system, improving their fundraising capability, financial and auditing policies, but also human resources and management policies. All these training were very done virtually to break the geographical barrier, especially for organizations in upcountry regions, and to avoid the risk of spread of Covid-19.

“I would love to advise other funders to put up deliberate action to fund youth-led organizations and initiatives. For meaningful change to happen, resources need to be in the hands of youth. In a simpler way, I would say, put your money where your words are” Lydia Charles Moyo, Founder & Executive Director Her initiative

Stawi Lab was mainly the first program In Tanzania to push the agenda of promoting women’s rights by engaging and taking up spaces in promoting institutional growth for youth-led women organizations that are working hard to ensure that women are uplifted and be included in developments activities.

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