White Ribbon Alliance

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Local voices go global through Citizens’ Hearings

Mama Ye Tanzania

May 15, 2015
by Chiku Lweno-Aboud

“Much as it was somewhat challenging to be targeted by a barrage of questions and demands from the citizens, this has been an eye opener for me as I learned a lot about people’s perspectives and expectations, government position and my role in finding solutions for the survival of our mothers and babies,” says Mwajuma Hatibu Counsellor of Kwediboma Ward in Kilindi District.

I had quickly pulled the counselor to the side to get her impression of one of a series of Citizens Hearings held in Tanga as part of the White Ribbon week, March 7-15.

When we arrived in Kilindi earlier that day it was sunny and dusty, but people had started to converge. A group of young volunteers were putting up tents, arranging chairs and setting up audio equipment. Daudi Gambo of World Vision Tanzania had done a great job of coordinating venues, invitations of government officials, community leaders and ordinary citizens.

The Citizens Hearings are an initiative of a group of partners in maternal and new born survival internationally, including World Vision, Save the Children, IPPF/UMATI and White Ribbon Alliance aimed at facilitating addition of people’s voices in setting and tracking national and international agenda that eventually affects their livelihood. In Tanga the hearings were held in Handeni, Kilindi, Korogwe, Muheza and Tanga municipality.

Much came out of those meetings which meant that it was a win-win scenario to all who participated since most echoed Hon. Mwajuma had said. And these are just some of the joint recommendations from the hearings:

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