Over the course of 15 years, our staff has traveled to nearly 60 countries, and served multiple individuals and causes around the world in a variety of capacities. The narrative below demonstrates a little more specifically what we do and how we do it.
GRIT Tanzania: A Narrative Case Study from our Staff
While recently spending five months serving across the African continent, I met a young woman (will call her Brady) who had arrived in Tanzania with a desire to work specifically with “At-risk Women and Children”. She had previously lived in Tanzania for two years, learning the language and culture, and had just returned after a year of personal fundraising in the States.
Her long-term visa application was due, and while she had explored various options for outreach with at-risk women and children, none seemed a great fit. Writing for various Gender and Development causes and non-profits over the years, I was happy to quickly help her write a job description with technical language appropriate for her visa application. (She did get approved for the visa.)
Coincidentally, she and I became roommates. I quickly learned her personal story, passion and background. As I spent time with her, I discovered she had an extensive background in self-defense training. We helped staff a kids camp where she did an afternoon workshop introducing basic self-defense skills to Tanzanian teenage girls. It was an enormous success and many of the girls requested further training.
Over the course of the next couple of months, we realized that teaching Women’s Self Defense to women and girls in Tanzania, was not only an exceptional fit for her personal strengths and passions, but also helped meet a tremendous need within Tanzania. Having the self-defense background, along with the language and cultural experience, made Brady an ideal asset to launch a mobile women’s self-defense training program across Tanzania.
How to structure, organize and launch this program however, presented Brady with a different set of challenges. I was thrilled to apply my background in writing, marketing, and organizational development to help her design a comprehensive curriculum, business plan and marketing. What a privilege to be a part of catalyzing an idea from vision to fruition.
Though still in its initial development, Brady’s program has already received requests to serve within various populations of women in Tanzania. A shelter for at-risk women and various other groups of women have already requested her dynamic training programs.
These training programs focus not only on physical threat aversion and self-defense techniques, but dedicate a portion of each session to teaching young women different topics like personal value/worth, virtue, integrity, etc. Brady eventually plans to train other women to become trainers to take these critical skills and values into other communities across Tanzania.