Students find their voice and take a stand for their right to education
Omary, 8, is a Standard 1 student at Manyara Primary School in Galapo. Like many of his friends, he loves to read, play sports and games. He’s the second born of his father’s family but lives with his step-mother as his father is busy with work. When So They Can’s team met Omary in 2018, his academic results were not good and, when he did attend school, he was often falling asleep in class.
So They Can ran child protection training in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Police Gender Desk from Babati Police Station at Manyara Primary School as part of the My Voice project. My Voice is designed to educate children on their rights and give them the confidence to speak up and advocate for their own education. Omary was one of the students who participated in the project and, after the training, revealed that his step-mother had been beating and humiliating him, forcing him into hard labour and often refusing to let him attend school.
The Policy Gender Desk went to speak to Omary’s parents and explained to his father the importance of his son’s education and wellbeing. Omary’s father decided to allow his son to start boarding at this school, where he could be looked after properly and receive a better education. Ever since, Omary has been thriving. He spends his time immersed in books and focused on his learning, so much so that in the November 2020 exams, Omary topped his class of 84 students.
“Thanks to So They Can and the Police Gender Desk, my parents now understand the importance of my education and I am free to focus on my studies. It’s changed my life,” Omary shares.