EIA helping activism at a grassroots level

Rewind to August 2010; Pallavi Shah reported back from a capacity building workshop in Mbeya, Tanzania. Participating in that workshop was a young activist, Tumaini James, fighting for the rights of women and gender equality in Tanzania. Fast forward five months; Tumaini James has been busy using the skills he gained in the workshop to bring about historic change in the Tanzanian Parliament.  Below is Tumaini’s story, reporting from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Tumaini James took part in EIA skills training last year

Tumaini James took part in EIA skills training last year

I am young activist working at Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (www.tgnp.org). I participated in 10 days Visual documentation for advocacy training  in Mbeya- a joint programme organized by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) with her Tanzania partners WCST, JET and LEAT. That was wonderful and revolutionary training I have ever attended. From there I acquired practical skills in using GPS, capturing pictures and shooting videos for advocacy. Also I learn campaign strategies including press releases & conferences, demonstration, publications, ICTs and mainstream media.

Five months since the Visual training for advocacy, I have been able to apply skills acquired from the training to document Gender and development. In October 2010, the Presidential Elections were won by the CCM party. After one month later Parliamentary Election followed. Never before, has a woman been chosen to be a Parliamentary Speaker. For the Parliamentary elections, I produced a short video and photo stories advocating for a woman to be selected as the Parliamentary Speaker of the 10th National Assembly during the Parliamentary Election for a Speaker.

I captured pictures and speech, and produce picture story with a speech in background using a windows movie maker. Then I shared through different media including social media. Two days after press release the ruling CCM political party decided that the position of Parliamentary Speaker within their party should go to a woman. It was truly a historical moment, the first time the TZ National assembly to have a woman a Speaker of Parliament.

Find our video series at TGNP website (www.tgnp.org)  At the bottom right of our website there are photo stories on Election Press release (TAMKO la uchaguzi mkuu).