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16 Champions of Change 2022 – Anti GBV Awards

For three years in a row the commemoration has hosted Anti-GBV awards to honor and recognize 16 champions of change. These are individuals with extraordinary work and contributions in ending GBV at the grassroot levels. Their works features high level of innovation, dedication and passion in bringing real change to the lives of women and girls.

This year awards took a lengthy three months process of voting and vetting. The process was culminated on 8th December 2022, at Cardinal Rugambwa Hall in Dar es Salaam, with award handing ceremony to 16 champions of change.

The 16 individuals that emerged champions after an extensive voting and vetting process were;


Mesha Pius Singolyo, community development officer and anti-child marriage activist from Ngorongoro districts. Mesha mobilizes resources to provide financial support that helps girls from poor families to go to school and avoid being forced into child marriages. Recognizing the risk of early marriages that teen mothers face, Mesha has included them in her program. Her work provides support to return to private school while ensuring their children are well-taken care at the child daycare center.


Modesta Joseph is a remarkable young woman who established the ‘Our Voices against Harassment’ (OVAH) Organization to protect children and women from violence, abuse, and harassment. She advocates for young women’s economic rights as a means of combating Gender-Based Violence and Sexual Harassment.


Honoratha Raymond, champion leading the fight to end FGM in regions of Arusha and Kilimanjaro. She grew up in a society that practiced FGM and witnessed the sufferings of her colleagues. After completing her university studies, Honoratha was determined to go back and work to change her community. She has helped and rescued many girls by fearlessly engaging in community change activities and providing 24 hours response and


Sheikh Abdallah, religious leader champion leading the fight to end GBV in Bumbuli community. Prominent in his community, Sheikh Abdallah is widely known for using his platforms to educate adherents on the evils of GBV. Sheikh Abdallah, bases his preachers from the holy scriptures which he says teaches on ethics and values which calls for respect for rights to safety for all. For him, men are at the centre of all the issues related to Gender-Based Violence so he ensures that men are also engaged in transforming their toxic masculinities.


Abdul Lutungu, also known as ‘Raider,’ is a Dar es Salaam-based young artist belifrom Mbezi Ubungo Municipality. With an increase in GBV incidents in Tanzania Abdul was motivated to find a way he can contribute towards addressing the challenge. So, through his pen, he wrote songs such as TUMLINDE MTOTO WA KIKE with specific messages of protecting a girl child from Discrimination, and violence and empowering them to achieve their careers by ensuring equal opportunities. He also wrote MAPENZI SINEMA, a song that intended to send a message to the community about domestic Violence.

He uses his social media platforms and live performances to sensitize communities to Gender-Based Violence.


James Yusta is a survivor of Child Abuse and Neglect as he was thrown away by her mother a piece of a box. He was found by Yuster (A mother who raised her until he was 7 when she passed away. After his adoptive mother died, James was kidnapped by her relatives and thrown in the forest in Mererani tied with a rope. 7 days later he was found by two Maasai who took him to the hospital and because his mouth was tied for all 7 days, James is facing difficulties to speak until today. After One year of leaving with the Maasai saviors, James started his life in the streets until 2012 when he met the Late Ruge Mutahaba who started to capacitate him to be the champion we are celebrating today. Since then, James has established the James Foundation which works towards rescuing children from the street and giving them second chances. He has established collaboration with the government where the majority of the children are referred to children’s rehabilitation centres.


Zaituni Njovu is the executive director of the Zaina Foundation an organization that uses innovation to promote women’s rights and end Gender Based Violence. Zaina uses her expertise to advocate for the safe use of the internet by women and girls to reduce their vulnerability to online harassment. Through her organization, Zaituni capacitates women on issues such as digital security by using different innovative tools that they can use to reduce their vulnerability in using the internet and exposing their private information to the public.

Zaina works with different women groups such as entrepreneurs, Politicians, through the created internet links that women can access information and training from all over the Country. So, through this, she has managed to create a database of women with capacities on using the internet safely.


For Averine Kitomary, being a journalist entails more than just being able to deliver news; it entails being able to deliver an impact. Averine Kitomari, a public health investigative journalist, exemplifies this. Eveline has used her industry and journalism skills to write articles and follow stories that explain how violence against children affects the nation’s future.


Imani Henrick Luvanga Imani Henrick Luvanga is a journalist by profession who produces online content on issues around Gender Based Violence in Tanzania. She gives a conscious voice to the communities by publishing different articles to sensitize communities on what to be done after being subjected to Gender-Based Violence. Imani has developed an interest in online Gender-Based Violence to fill the gap that is left by journalists on online security for women and children.

Apart from sensitizing online communities, Imani also engages with the survivors of online harassment to ensure that they receive required counselling services to reduce further harm. She has also managed to establish a podcast which is known as Digit with Imani which conducts dialogues with different experts, perpetrators and survivors of online Gender-Based Violence.


Mrs. Lightness Bayo, a girls’ rights activist in the northern pastoralist’s societies. Having witnessed many girls dropping from school and being transported to urban areas for domestic work and sex work, Lightness established a vocational training center that provides skills to girls and young women as a way of giving them multiple options in their lives. She has extended the training to recruit teen mothers and further established daycare for children whose mothers have joined the training centre.


Kheir is a health who has dedicated his life to assisting people with disabilities, ensuring their voices are heard, and ensuring access to health services and facilities. His interest in assisting people with disabilities began when he was a teenager and witnessed her mother teaching in a school for special needs students with hearing impairments, propelling him to begin learning sign language. After graduating from medical school and having worked in the field, Kheir witnessed the challenges facing PWDs to access health services. He advocated colleges and universities in Zanzibar that provide health education to at list incorporate sign language in communication skill courses. And now he is assisting to tute the session in some colleges and universities.


Vicky Kimaro is a remarkable feminist who brings to light unnoticed Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) violations. Vicky has a journalism background and uses her expertise to identify different Sexual Reproductive Health issues in the community through story documentation and Article publishing. Vicky is happy to see people are being rescued from SRHR challenges following her story documentation and call for journalists to also be interested in SRH as many women and adolescents are losing lives for lack of proper information on SRHR.


Gerehuida Shilimbu is an Isenyi Ward-Mara Region traditional leader, supporter, and women’s rights activist. With his voice, he uses his influence to change mind-sets in communities so that women and girls are respected and protected from violence. He initiates conversations in his community about issues such as Gender Based Violence, patriarchy, FGM, Child Marriage, and Discrimination against Women through community meetings.


Msafiri Mariam, a remarkable and brave feminist, has devoted his life to defending children from all types of abuse and violence in Kigogo suburbs. He can easily be mistaken for a police officer due to his dedication to preventing Child abuse in his community. He volunteers all his time to rescue children from abuse; never at once does he complain about money or the financial constraints that come with his work. He has rescued an uncountable number of girls and boys after being defiled and sodomized. He further uses his time to educate communities around him and teach them techniques that they will use to identify Child Abuse, and where and how to report them. He provides his phone number to all the communities he sensitizes and builds trust where the majority of community members call him to report incidents of Child Abuse.


Salama Kikudo is a remarkable young woman who believes that economic justice is the key to women’s emancipation and the elimination of violence against women and children. She chose to create an organization named “Hope for Young Girls” to provide girls hope and economic empowerment after witnessing women and girls drop out of school as a result of early pregnancies while growing up. In Kilosa District Council’s Kidete Ward, she has given more than 120 out-of-school girls the power to exercise their social and economic rights. In Handeni, Tanga through Hope 4 Young girls she supported 20 with tailoring training and handed over their own tailoring machines which they are using to generate income to support them and their families. .


Faustina Urassa from Kilimanjaro region rose from discrimination and abuse to become women and disability rights activist.Fausta ordeals started in 2000 when she was involved in an accident which left her disabled. Her fiancé left and she began to experience discrimination and sexually harassed by trusted people in the community such as a religious leader because she could not walk. Fausta couldn’t be able to speak about it because she could not be trusted. She started her disability life Journey through hand-tailed tables and bed covers while she was visiting hospitals to inspire other women who were giving up because of their disabilities. This made her to be select among the community change makers that were selected to attend peer education courses in western camp south Africa. Since that training, Faustina has from time-to-time visited hospitals such as KCMC to encourage and sensitize women patients with the same disabilities and challenges. Faustina gas saved many women who thought that they cannot be productive anymore.

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