The Flaviana Matata Foundation (FMF) aims to provide adolescent girls and young women in Tanzania with equal access to quality education, resources, and opportunities. FMF takes a holistic approach to girls’ education by addressing various challenges that impact a girl’s ability to succeed academically. FMF provides scholarships, mentorship, and a number of programs, focusing on issues like school re-entry, menstrual hygiene management (MHM), and sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR). FMF provides fully-funded school scholarships to 25 adolescent girls each year and has also distributed school supplies to over 9,000 students to date. FMF also helps construct Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) facilities in schools. Additionally, the organization has constructed 8 homes for teachers and 10 classrooms to expand education access for students. In total, FMF has reached over 118,712 adolescent girls and young women as well as over 100,000 boys and 2,760 community members through education and outreach efforts.
With support from the Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund, FMF will continue implementing programs which address menstrual health management, sexual and reproductive health rights, and gender-based violence in the Matembwe ward of Tanzania’s Njombe region. According to The World Bank, 30 percent of girls in Tanzania have experienced sexual violence before the age of 18. Furthermore, there is a significant gap in education relating to SRHR and menstrual health. A UNICEF study finds that nearly 16.8 percent of Tanzanian girls had missed school while menstruating. FMF will implement a multi-faceted approach to address these problems, including training programs, community engagement, advocacy, and direct support. FMF will conduct awareness sessions on MHM and SRHR, engaging both girls and community members. Taking a gender-inclusive approach, FMF will teach community youth about combating gender-based violence, highlighting that every person, regardless of gender, has a role in preventing sexual violence. FMF will also supply sanitary pads to girls on a monthly basis, helping girls overcome a barrier which keeps them from attending school. Finally, FMF will engage in advocacy efforts and collaborate with other organizations and committees in the community to integrate their programs into broader initiatives aimed at ending gender-based violence.
FMF aims to reach 4,500 adolescents and 660 community members through these efforts. In turn, adolescent girls will have access to information which will allow them to make informed decisions about their health, relationships, and future. Community outreach will complement programs, helping change social attitudes about menstruation, gender-based violence, and educating girls.