Ann Marie Almeida, Director of Development, CAMFED USA So my name is Anne Marie Almeida. I do development on a global fundraising team, and it is such an honor to be with you today. Today, our focus is not only just to be together, it is to learn about the Learner Guide program, which we have three incredible experts to share their stories and for you to understand how it is multiplying your investment in the work that we’re doing.
And so, we are deeply grateful for your participation. Before we begin, I just want to give you a few housekeeping tips and then we’re going to get right into it. First one is you probably heard that we’re recording this, recording the conversation just to make sure that we have it in different things we really want to remember long after this conversation is closed. And as we’re all living in a virtual environment, one of the ways we know to create proximity is for us to see you. It somehow makes it easier to feel you. So, if you’re willing, we’d love to see your faces. Beautiful. Thank you.
The conversation is going to last about 30 minutes, and we are going to hear from the Learner Guides and then we’re going to have a question-and-answer session. But if you have a burning question while the conversation is happening, put it in the chat box. We’ll manage the question, a response following the conversation, or you can use them in raise your hand function, or just jump on when we get to the point, we’re doing the Q&A.
One other point I want to make before we begin and I pass it to my amazing colleague, Emily, is that there was a Forbes article last week that said that the best way to be philanthropic leaders is to listen to the community and the members of the community for which you’re supporting. Listen, hear them and support them and what you’re learning.
So today, I invite you to sit back, really open your heart in your mind and listen to Prisca, Mchiwa and Diris, because they’re going to tell you about this amazing program that CAMFED has designed with these amazing women and how we’re multiplying your impact. So, I’m going to pass it to Emily, who is the director of development for CAMFED, and she will frame the conversation for us and then begin the conversation. So thank you so much for joining. Emily, you’re on.
Emily Zemke, Chief Development Officer, CAMFED International Thank you, Anne Marie. And hi, everybody. It’s really a privilege to be here with you all today. And as Ann Marie said, I’m just going to steer us through the first part of our conversation with our three guests today. And by way of context, the Learner Guide model runs in all of our partner countries, which are Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Malawi and Ghana, and is at the core of our ambition to reach 5 million girls over the next five years. And it has received national and international recognition, including the 2020 Yidan Prize Foundation and the 2021 Hilton Humanitarian Prize, both of which we are celebrating this month.
Learner Guides are young women in the CAMFED Association who were once themselves supported by CAMFED and returned to their local school as mentors and role models. And they are trained through CAMFED in delivering life and learning skills as well as vital sexual and reproductive health information and psychosocial support. These young leaders work with schools, communities and district governments to keep the most vulnerable children in school, and they help them overcome the obstacles to full participation in learning.
To date, CAMFED has trained 11,000 Learner Guides, and we hope to raise that number to 100,000 within five years. And independent evaluations along this journey have shown us consistently that the Learner Guide program links with improvements in student learning, improvement in girls’ retention in school, and improvement in self-confidence and self-esteem. So, without further ado, I’m going to introduce you now to the first of our guests, who is Prisca Kilemile, joining us from Tanzania.
Prisca, I’m going to ask if you would kick us off by telling us a little bit about yourself and what it is and what it means to you to be a Learner Guide.
Prisca Kilemile, Learner Guide, Tanzania Okay. Thank you very much. I’m so excited to be a part of this meeting today. My name is Prisca Kilemile, a CAMFED Association member from Tanzania. I am a Learner Guide, I trained to be a Learner Guide since 2016. I have five years’ experience to be a Learner Guide and I have a lot of experience of being a Learner Guide so I can explain some of my experience and I can start with the meaning of Learner Guide.
That is: a Learner Guide is a person, or young woman, who is delivering sessions to schools and delivering and providing support to people in the community. And the Learner Guide program is the program that is designed to help students in provision of life skills education, so that they can overcome various challenges in schools.
To the question on what does it mean to me to be a Learner Guide, the Learner Guide means a lot to me because I now know my role in the community, that I have to help these students at the school, help marginalized children in the society, help other people with various challenges in the community, provide with some support, financial and social support, and help others to improve from one state to another, from poor to a better one. So that is my role.
Emily Zemke Thank you, Prisca. And tell me, you said you’ve been a Learner Guide for five years. Can you tell me what were you and where were you in your education at the point that you became a Learner Guide? And did it make a difference to you at that point in your schooling?
Prisca Kilemile Okay. Thank you. I completed my studies in 2010. So, after completing my studies in the village with nothing to do, with nothing to do in my village, I was doing some activities such as cultivating so that I could find even a little thing to eat and support my family. So, during 2016, in January, I got this opportunity of being a Learner Guide and me being a Learner Guide changed everything in my life because since I trained to become a Learner Guide, there was a lot of things that changed me as I understand about my role.
What can I do to society? What can I do in my life? What can I do? What is good to me? What can I provide? What support can I provide to the community? [What] can I do when I’m faced with challenges? So, since I trained to become a Learner Guide, I use this to solve various challenges to people, such as addressing some challenges, especially to students who are not going to school. Connecting them to Teacher Mentors at the school. And providing support to groups so that we can help the child to go to school.
And the Learner Guide program changed a lot of things to me because during the Learner Guide training program I became an entrepreneur, owning a little shop. That is help to my family. As you know, I’m the first born in my family with six children. So, I earn everything, even now, through that shop, I can support all my family members. They do depend on that shop. So through the Learner Guide program, I became a member of the board in my secondary school where I used to study there. That was a special thing to me, becoming a board member in the school.
I found that I’m a person now because of Learner Guide, I now can support a lot of people. I can support students at the school, I can contribute what I have so that I can support others. Through the Learner Guide program, I went to college where I completed now a Diploma of Community Development, I’m now a professional. I am a professional now. So the Learner Guide Program is a mother. It is everything to me, changed my life.
Emily Zemke That is absolutely amazing Prisca, and to think that you are supporting your whole family through your business and then so many girls at school as well. And I understand from what you’ve just said, a little bit of our conversation yesterday that you were invited to join the school board, which is a big deal in terms of decision making in your community, and that you received an envelope from the local ministry with the president seal on it marked confidential that was inviting you to join the board. How did you feel to take that position in your community?
Prisca Kilemile Oh, I was excited. I thought, oh, wow. How people voted me, how I can be member of the board, how they found me. So, I felt so excited. And it was among the biggest thing that I can live with, with it in my lifetime. We were three Learner Guides in my school and we are still contributing in that school. So, I heard that the head of school calling me and providing me the letter and she said you can go and open that at home. And I saw that letter that it was so special. So, I wondered what this was about. So, when I arrived at home, I used to open the letter and saw that I’m selected to the, among the member of the board.
I felt so excited. And I wondered that now I can provide support to people. I can be and I can vote in decision making. I can say something that can change other people. So, this means a lot to me. And I found that this is because of being a Learner Guide, because if I would not become a Learner Guide, there are no people can see me that can help where I can they say. So, because of the Learner Guide program, I went home to help others and they found that I could be helpful more to provide support to people. Yeah.
Emily Zemke That’s absolutely heartwarming, Prisca, and it’s lovely to hear your story. Thank you for sharing with us. We will come back to you after we’ve talked to the other two and then to answer some questions. So for now, I’m going to move on to Mchiwa Idd. Thank you for joining us today, Mchiwa. I’m going to pose the same question to you, which is please tell us a little bit about yourself and what it means to you to be a Learner Guide.
Mchiwa Idd, Learner Guide, Tanzania Okay. Thank you for this golden opportunity. My name is Mchiwa Idd, I was born in 1999. What does this mean? What does it mean to be a Learner Guide? A Learner Guide is a golden opportunity with me. Say it like that, or a special chance to be a Learner Guide, because not all people are Learner Guides, but the amount of Learner Guides in Tanzania, I feel so proudly, and I take this opportunity as my special opportunity.
And also, if you are a Learner Guide, it means that you are among the people in that school, in among of the people in the community and the community know you are role model as the Learner Guide or special one who can give them advice or a connection, what to do, either there is a challenge, or something happens in the community or at school.
Emily Zemke That’s really inspiring Mchiwa. Tell me, so you, it sounds like as a role model to other girls, is that how you see yourself and to be able to give them advice when they face challenges? Who is your inspiration? Who is your role model?
Mchiwa Idd Okay. Let me start with the meaning of role model. I mean, that role model, the whole focus is the quality that we already have to have. And those who affect us in the way make us want to be better people and not all people in the community or at school are role models, because we know everyone has a unique behavior or manners, but we call someone my role model, because if you see something, something different from her or him and you choose him or her to become your role model. But also, I want to say that a role model does not change a person, but it can add something to a person in order to be better than from what you are and where you are.
Emily Zemke Okay. Thank you. And we talk a lot about how Learner Guides help raise self-esteem and self-confidence in girls. Do you experience that? Do you see the need for more self-confidence among some of the girls you work with?
Mchiwa Idd Yeah. As a Learner Guide, you also become a role model and also, we increase our effort or ability because when I want to share with you my story. At the first time, I haven’t or I wouldn’t have any abilities, like this today here and to talk with someone. But today I’m so proud to be a Learner Guide. It teaches me how to stand in front of people and also introduce something or explain something and people they can get something or catch something. So, the Learner Guide program increases our effort, from zero to hero. We [inaudible] the Learner Guide program.
Emily Zemke I love that, from zero to hero. Fantastic. And you certainly are able to hold an audience this evening talking to us all. Thank you ever so much.
Mchiwa Idd Okay. Thank you.
Emily Zemke And I’m going to invite now Diris Martin to join us. Diris, thank you for being here this evening with us from Tanzania as well. I’m going to pose the same question as I have to the other two. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what it means to you to be a Learner Guide?
Diris Martin, Core Trainer, Tanzania Okay. Thank you for this opportunity. My name is Diris Martin, CAMFED Association from Tanzania. I am not a Learner Guide, but I was supporting Learner Guide activities as Core Trainer. It means a lot to be a Learner Guide because Learner Guides mean to support others in communities. Learner Guides, they are role models who go back to the community to provide support and giving back to the community, ensure that the education provided is for betterment of students.
So, Learner Guides, they are chosen from their origin community so that they are familiar to the challenges involved in the same community so that they can identify and bring back the challenges to the community or school, so that they can be solved there. As a Core Trainer, my immediate roles was to, first of all, to identify those young girls who are qualified to be Learner Guides. So, this means the recruitment of those young girls who are ready to go back to community to provide support and to volunteer.
So, as a Core Trainer, I was supposed to make sure that we provide the girls who are suitable for this position, as we all know that this program is by volunteering. So that was my first task. Then as a Core Trainer, I was supposed to make sure we provide training to those girls selected to ensure that they understand what is the Learner Guide program and the role that Learner Guides are going to play, so that after the training as a Core Trainer, I was supposed to make sure that Learner Guides go back to the community and they volunteer, as agreed from the training.
So, as a Core Trainer, my immediate role is to make follow up monitoring and evaluating if what we plan is the same, what is implemented in their village level or community level. So, the Learner Guides are delivering sessions each week to ensure that student understanding about My Better World sessions, such as life skills session, as well as providing social support to students and also provide support to community, especially in school level where there is a shortage of manpower. So, Learner Guides, they play a part to support, maybe, supervising exams and other activities, providing debate sessions, club sessions and other activities.
So, Learner Guides, basically they are there as a link between parents and students, between parents and teachers, to ensure that a student is safely from form one to form four. Because the major aim of this program is to ensure retention of students which later on, lead to the performance of students. And this program also aims to reduce the truancy to students. So, the Learner Guide is there to ensure that the school is providing excellency environment to ensure that the student is comfortable in their journey of study.
So, we all know in marginalized societies students are facing many challenges from morning to evening, from when they are coming from home to school, until they are coming back from school to home. There are a lot of challenges. The issue of distance, the issue of various abuse cases, the issue of various bad groups. So, Learner Guides, there is a linkage or someone to assist them to reach their dreams.
So, as a Core Trainer, I was also there to ensure that Learner Guides, they are provided with support they needed. For instance, if the Learner Guide, they are struggling in their delivering session. Maybe that is not exactly timetable for how to deliver. As a Core Trainer, I linked them with Head of School to know what is the challenges? What can be done to ensure Learner Guide has a session within a school calendar? So that was my major duty to make sure that every Learner Guide has sessions in schools.
Apart from that, I was there as a Core Trainer to make sure that CAMFED understands what Learner Guides are doing in schools, you know CAMFED is there, but Learner Guide is within a village level or district level. As a Core Trainer, I am linking up this to CAMFED that the Learner Guides are there in school, they are delivering sessions, they are conducting activities. The roles they play. Also, as a Core Trainer, I was there to make sure that clearly sees the government officials understand this program that there is existing program, which is support the performance of students, the attendance of students.
We all know teachers they are so busy. They have a lot to do. Preparing, marking schemes, preparing sessions. Sometimes they lack that time to make home visits to students. But Learner Guides as volunteers who they are living within the same community where students are. They are able to make a follow up even to their home, to talk to parents. What are the challenges? Why is the student absent almost two weeks, then the challenges the Learner Guide identifying problem from the family level where a teacher cannot due to their activities they have.
So, Learner Guides, they are there to make sure that they are making follow up and even home visits and they provide feedback to the community. During the meeting, school staff meeting, usual schools, they have a meeting within their staff. So, a Learner Guide is there to provide updates of activities, challenges often within a month or within a quarter and fix solution from members within the staff members. Learner Guides, they are also filling in reports each month according to their timetable they have within a week to a month.
So, as a Core Trainer, I was there to make sure I collect all reports, I understand what is written within the report and if there is any issue needing immediate response. As a Core Trainer, I play my part to link those issues to the respective government officials who might chip in to ensure that we solve that challenges. So as a Core Trainer, I was there to make sure that all Learner Guides, they are equipped with the resources such as reports, monthly reports. We print them papers and reports so that every Learner Guide must be feeling to know that what is going on within a specific school.
We may find that there are some Learner Guides who maybe they got pregnant. They need leave, maternity leave. So as a Core Trainer, it is my duty also to check on their welfare, particularly availability within school level. How many Learner Guides are then in school? There are two. Where are the other ones and there are other Learner Guide who through their volunteer, they automatically desire to become teachers, like Mchiwa. Mchiwa, when she started the program, she was a normal young girl, but now she has graduated, and she is teaching nursery. So, most of Learner Guides, through their responsibilities, they desire to become teachers. So, they need to pursue for further studies.
Emily Zemke Diris, Thank you. I was sorry to interrupt. There is so, I mean, what you’re describing here is such a complex ecosystem that surrounds every single girl and the monitoring and the rigor of the process that the Core Trainers and the Learner Guides themselves adhere to so that no girl is in a vacuum and no young woman is operating in a vacuum. And it’s extraordinary that you’re talking about the dreams of Learner Guides. Let me ask you one quick question. What would your dream be for the Learner Guide program? You’ve been there since it started in Tanzania, haven’t you? Where do you want it to be in five years’ time?
Diris Martin To myself, my dreams upon this program is to see if this program penetrates to all countries, all schools, all NGOs, so that even a poor student who cannot identify her challenges in how to solve her challenge can be reached by Learner Guides. Because Learner Guides, they provide life skills whereby a student is able to identify the challenges and be able to solve the challenges for herself to reach dreams. So, to me, my dream is to see this program cut across borders, to assure many students, many communities, understand the program and changes their life through the program.
Because in the Learner Guide program, it is not only, we are not basing only students, but even community. We are providing social awareness to community members to understand the importance of education to their children. It is not all about bringing children in the world, but is also to maintain them and to provide them better education. Most of our parents, they don’t know this, but Learner Guides, they are there to make sure parents understanding what does education if there is the challenge within a school.
Learner Guides organize groups within parents, called PSGs (Parent Support Groups). They are supported from head of school. Those PSG are formed, and they are going back to the community, the school, and provide support, maybe school feeding if there is the challenges of hunger to students, maybe preparing retrain for students to be safe maybe to do renovation. So, we have a lot of groups from parents, but there are Learner Guide initiatives.
So, to me, my dream is to ensure that we scale this program to other areas so that all of us can be benefited. And to build a nation, which is our dream, to see a nation with education, educated people, a nation with bright futures.
Emily Zemke That’s wonderful. Thank you, Diris. I mean, you’ve got a fantastic vision and your passion is completely contagious. It’s wonderful to hear the details of the program.
And I’m going to hand it back to Anne Marie in a minute for questions. But just to say what a huge privilege it’s been to talk to each of you and to what really pulls through for me in these conversations is the role that a Learner Guide plays in decision making in her community, the role she plays as a role model to young girls who might be short of confidence and need somebody to look towards as an inspiration and the role you’re playing there Diris as a changemaker and ensuring that this is a sustainable and systemic shift that happens in raising the voices of young women and ensuring they get through secure pathways into the next stage of their lives.
So just say huge thanks to you from me. And I’ll hand back to Ann Marie to field questions from everybody on the call.
Diris Martin Thank you.
Ann Marie Almeida I’m speechless. Honestly, Mchiwa, Diris, Prisca, it couldn’t have been more inspiring to hear what you do and how you dedicate your life and your love and your energy to the girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa.
So, I welcome and invite any and all questions, but I’m going to start with a comment and a question. Maurice, thank you for your incredible, generous comment, and I’m going to read it in case you didn’t see it in the chat. She writes, “inspiring words, Prisca. Impressive that you are now in the school board and happy to think our money goes to initiatives that make a difference like this in the world. You are a credit to Learner Guide program.” So, thank you, Maurice. You all had mentioned, right Diris, agreed. And Robert, I thought you brought your wife in, but we would love to have her join us. Thank you for being so inspiring that you’re bringing friends in.
And I have a question about My Better World, before I invite others to to pose any questions. You all sort of mentioned My Better World. And I wonder, Diris or Prisca, would any of you like to describe that a little bit more? I think it would be very useful for all of us here. Please. Prisca or Diris?
Prisca Kilemile Oh, thank you. I can describe maybe some intro, then Diris will continue. I can describe that the Learner Guide program is helpful to students. Learner Guide program reduces some pregnancies, especially to students, especially early pregnancies to young women, and Learner Guide program reduces dropouts in school.
Also, Learner Guide program, increases performance to students as there is say that Learner Guides are there to support students not to drop out. And as a Learner Guide, I am there to support students with challenges to address some challenges to students and help them support them financially and socially. Because you may phone some students. She or he’s not going to school not because of financial support, but she or he lacks social support. He faced with some challenges, especially from home. So, there are some difficulties he or she faced. So that hinders him or her to go to school.
So as a Learner Guide that is my role. So, Learner Guides describes all difficulties that can face not only students, but also the young women and other communities and other community members in the community. Maybe Diris you can continue.
Ann Marie Almeida That’s beautiful. Thank you, Priska. When you talk about, could you also Diris talk a little bit about how the My Better World is an integral part of the Learner Guide program. Thank you. Diris?
Diris Martin Thank you. Let me show you this book, My Better World book, which is used by Learner Guide for 18 months during delivery in schools. So, this book is divided into two parts. And this book aims to support the student to ensure she or he completes her studies well. So, from this book, there are basically two parts. The first part is to understand about well-being. Well-being, being well, what it means to being well and doing well.
And the second part is about powers. So, from this book, there are 37 powers where a student is being taught. Those powers enable her or him to understand how to deal with her personal challenges. So, most of the powers are teaching by examples. There are stories which resemble to their daily life as the students. So, their stories makes them understand well the topics whereby they change their story to their real life. And be sure that the examples shown in this story are the ones teach them how to live.
So, this book supports the student to make sure she’s staying in school and finishing her studies as well as improving her performance. So, this book is taught to all boys and girls, within a certain secondary school and the topics are relevant depending on their age and their level of they are. There are various examples dramas, songs whereby Learner Guides are providing during the session, and this makes students love it, the Learner Guide program.
So, the book itself encourages them to study. There are some pictures, there are stories and other issues whereby Learner Guides from their creativity they have been taught from their training. They prepare students to understand and to receive the knowledges from these books. So, the Learner Guide program, basically, this is the major book we are going to use apart from there are other guidance book whereby Learner Guide is using, but this is the book which is being used by Learner Guide as well as students to ensure that they understand.
By the end of this book, a student is able to stand with the confidence, creativity and understand herself or himself what it means to be educated and how to solve her own challenges. So, this book is very important, and this is the major book we are using during delivering our My Better World sessions in schools.
Ann Marie Almeida Diris, I think I need that book. How wonderful. And thank you for such a rich explanation. Stacey, I know that you have a burning question, and we’d love to hear it. And please don’t be shy. Anybody else put your question in the chat or raise your hand following Stacey.
Emily Zemke Ann Marie, can I just jump in quickly ahead of Stacey, if I may? Before we move to the next question to say that the My Better World curriculum has actually been the inspiration of a television series that is now being produced by Impact Ed International, which was formerly the Discovery Channel. And it’s going out across five countries. It’s reaching more than 200 million people based on this multimedia series, using the curriculum and the lessons that Diris was showing you there in the book.
Ann Marie Almeida Is it also radio and YouTube? Right?
Emily Zemke And YouTube as of earlier this year. Yeah.
Ann Marie Almeida Yeah. Fabulous. Thank you for the reminder. Really, really appreciate it. Stace?
Stacey Fraioli, Senior Donor Relations Manager Yeah. Well, I think at the start the conversation, Emily mentioned that the Learner Guide program is a key part of our plans for the next five years and expanding it. But I’d love to hear from Diris and perhaps others of like how do you actually expand the program on the ground? How do you expand the number of Learner Guides into new Districts or new schools and do it in a really careful way in partnership with communities? I think we’d all just love to hear more about how that happens. If you don’t mind?
Ann Marie Almeida Did you have a specific person to pose the question to Stace?
Stacey Fraioli Whoever you think is best to answer, but perhaps Diris as a Core Trainer could explain more about how the program has expanded in ten years.
Ann Marie Almeida Okay. Yes, that would be great and then Mchiwa, if you had anything to add that we’d love to have the robustness of the answer, please. So why don’t we go with Diris first and Mchiwa next?
Diris Martin Thank you. That is our wish to expand the program. I mean, to scale the program to a larger context. But it says we started this school in Learner Guide. I mean, the expansion is seen because when it was started, we were in, I don’t have number exactly of schools, but we were in only how many districts? We were only in 19 districts. But nowadays we are in 32 districts. So there is expansion of this program, but not that rapid. But that is our wish that this program would expand more and rapidly. So this is dependant maybe from CAMFED and government decisions. But that is our wish. We implement as we wish this program to go further. Yeah.
Ann MarieAlmeida Beautiful. Mchiwa, do you have anything that you’d like to add?
Mchiwa Idd Okay. Thank you. The Learner Guide program is also a program. Or a better program in our secondary schools. But the program it is not in at all schools in Tanzania. Our wish is, we want CAMFED to take this program to all schools as we know in a school we would learn how to answer a question in any subject of mathematics or English, but right now it’s still a subject to which you which you learn to learn at or to just how to take challenge, how to solve it, how to take a challenge as an opportunity.
But within My Better World, we see those things with the students can face the challenges and make it an opportunity so it is good. It must be a good idea to expand the program at the whole country must to be a better things and it’s going to help many students to help them to achieve their goals in the future. That’s all, Thank you.
Ann Marie Almeida I think that’s fabulous. I have one question somebody texted me and I think I’d love to pose it to all three of you. And I’m going to start with Prisca and then Mchiwaa and Diris. And that is it’s a lot about the essence of a role model. How do the girls that you teach see you? How do they receive you? Do you see a before and after when you’re engaging with these girls? Prisca, can you begin, please?
Mchiwa Idd Yes. Thank you. We see that we are role models because when we start to be trained for the first time, we don’t understand anything. I can take my example for myself when I was trying for the first time to become a Learner Guide. I didn’t even turn to other people and say something that can be helped to others. But once I trained for almost 12 days, I become confident. I understand some roles in my community. I understand, what can I do? What is better? What is worth? What can I do that can be better to others? And I experienced the end. I did those to the community so that people see me that they can learn something to me rather than the first time when I was not a Learner Guide. So, me becoming a Learner Guide, I saw other people see that I can train them many things. I can train them a lot of things. I can change them from the worst situation to the better one. So, this makes me to become a role model. And I can see now, even when I’m not in my village, people respect me compared to that time that I was not a Learner Guide. So, becoming a Learner Guide makes me to becoming a role model because people saw me different than when I was not a Learner Guide.
Ann Marie Almeida That’s beautiful. Thank you. Mchiwa, we’d love to have your voice.
Mchiwa Idd Yes, I’m here. When with the Learner Guide [inaudible] I say that it is an important chance. And also, a Learner Guide improved her performance because, for example, for myself, I can share my story. For the first time, I don’t know how to stand and say certain things in front of the students.
Ann Marie Almeida Could you turn yourself up a little bit louder? I’m so sorry. Maybe.
Mchiwa Idd Okay.
Ann Marie Almeida Beautiful. Thank you.
Mchiwa Idd Okay. For the first time before, to be a Learner Guide, I don’t know how to handle a class, how to teach the students. How to care for them, how to identify some challenges and to stop it. But when I’m being a Learner Guide, it gives me that opportunity. So now I’m able to stand in front of the whole many students and identify something and say and they can get something, so that is a special thing. Also, through the Leaner Guide Program, we can identify some challenges, and also, we teach the students how to challenge herself or himself in order to become a stronger or as well as need to become good people in society and how to interact with people in order to get the opportunity. That is all about the Learner Guide program.
Ann Marie Almeida Thank you. I can see there is an incredible before and after. When you put yourself in the middle of these young girls’ lives. Thank you so much. Diris, perhaps you can complete this question for us.
Diris Martin Thank you very much. The role model context to Learner Guides is big because during recruitment and training, Learner Guides seems to be like nobody, even when they go back to school, teachers and other members of the community, they saw them with failure, that they did not go for further education and they just volunteering in schools. But Learner Guide proved them inferior by re-sitting their exams and become what they want to be.
We have Learner Guide school teachers. As we are speaking, we have Learner Guides in school. They have professionals as we are speaking because they say no, we have dreams in this program. Change our mindset that we can reach wherever we want to be. So, we have Learner Guides who go for further studies. We have Learner Guides who start a business and now they employ others, more than five people. There are Learner Guides who are doing mobile money transaction. They employ other members in the community.
So, the community understanding, wow, there is something within this program. We have Learner Guides who compete for the political position, and they are leaders. We have Learner Guides who are councilors. We have Learner Guides who they have positions within our local areas as leaders. We have Learner Guides who share chairperson within women forum. So, women forum is the big forum whereby they can speak on matters concerning women and girls.
So we have Learner Guides who are leaders, we have Learner Guides who are champions in the businesses. We have Learner Guide with confidence compared to previous where this program started. Learner Guides, they can stand in front of others, whether it is parades or assembly hall and speak to students and even teachers on a sitting matter within their community.
So, the confidence increases as they became Learner Guides. And this program does not only mean to improve student’s welfare or student’s performance. This problem also has a big impact to Learner Guides themselves, how Learner Guides through this program, they become business entrepreneurs. They make money. They support their families. They do a lot of things. They build houses. They buy plots of land through the Learner Guide program because we teach them about entrepreneurship skills, and we teach them to become entrepreneurs.
So, the program does not mean only to support school or students, but also to young girls themselves. They see themselves as teachers more than teachers, even leaders tomorrow with the nation. So, to be a Learner Guide, to be a role model, it is our key role because we coach them to become role models. We don’t coach them to become somebody who is not respect. So, whenever we meet them during training, we make sure we coach them.
Learner Guides, they change it even in their personal appearance. Learner Guides, when she goes to school, they say, Madam. Madam, why? Because they see the Learner Guide is not working. Professional talking, professional, working, professional. They said Yes. Learner Guides, they have changed a lot compared to previous so even the community, even other students, they say, I like that madam. They are also free to talk about their issues, their secrets, because they believe that Learner Guide is capable of taking their challenges and solving them. Because Learner Guide is mingling, mingling with parents, mingling with teachers, mingling with government officials.
Learner Guides, they talked about powers in this book, we have 37 powers. The Learner Guides understand each power you see in this book. So, they practice the powers, and they impact those powers to students. So automatically they become role models. Thank you.
Ann Marie Almeida Diris, you are a force of nature, and I am so grateful that we could have the opportunity to experience you and Prisca and Mchiwa today. Laura posted a question about changing attitudes and role models. But I do believe Diris answered that in her very robust question about not only the Learner Guide change themselves and the ripple effect is contagious now and going forward.
It’s 9 minutes to the hour and I’m curious if anybody has any further questions. If not, I will extend our enormous gratitude for the generosity of our speakers today, for allowing us into Tanzania for an hour of our time in the different parts of the world that we sit and speak, for allowing us to fall in love with the Learner Guide program and with each of you. And I am deeply grateful for all of your time, and I hope we see you again. Thanks, everybody. Have a good day.