This past month we celebrated International Women’s Day and focused on recognising and appreciating the immense value of women in our community, on our team and around the world. It is widely acknowledged that to empower a woman means to combat many of the problems currently facing the world, from infant mortality to climate change. Women hold great untapped potential, which can benefit society from the nuclear family all the way up to an entire nation. We seek to unlock and bring awareness to that untapped potential in our community.
In Zambia, International Women’s Day (IWD) is characterised by march pasts, speeches, plays, dancing and singing. This year was no different as our Time + Tide women joined others in a march to an agreed location where they shared songs, dances and plays in line with the IWD 2022 Campaign – #BreakTheBias. The #BreakTheBias campaign challenged bias, stereotypes and discrimination in communities, workplaces, schools and beyond to move towards a gender equal world.
Thereafter, the Time + Tide women went to another location called Msimbiti Gardens where they had a small party. They also invited a local theatre group, SEKA, to perform a play addressing the inequalities that exist between men and women in what is mostly a patriarchal world.
Time + Tide, in partnership with the Time + Tide Foundation (TTF), seeks to bring about awareness to these issues not only on Women’s Day but every day, through the efforts directed towards women empowerment in the communities in which we operate. We make special mention to our female-led TTF team which has been a shining example to many young girls and women in our community. Seeing women in positions of power and leadership with the ability to effect change allows space for the mentality – “if she can do it, so can I”.
Girls from the Yosefe Girls Club in South Luangwa wishing a Happy Women’s Day to women around the world.
For girls who grow up in a remote rural area, attendance in school during adolescence is correlated with delayed sexual initiation, later marriage and childbearing, lower rates of HIV and AIDS, and lower risk of domestic violence. As adolescent girls transition from childhood to motherhood, educated women are more likely to value learning, to be aware of the returns of schooling and ultimately to ensure that their children receive an education, which better equips them to break the cycle of poverty.
Our Women Empowerment Programmes aim to inspire school girls from some of the most faraway communities in Zambia to believe in their self-worth as well as their academic and professional potential. We aim to increase the number of primary school girls who successfully transition to, and eventually complete, secondary school.
Here are some stories from our programmes that continue to inspire the community and bring us hope for the future.
In 2021, more than half the girls on our programme entered the Creative Contest organised by TTF partner, Global Sojourns Giving Circle (GSGC), which gives young girls and boys an opportunity to explore their creativity and speak out through art on matters that affect young people globally. A member of Matula Girls Club, Mapalo, was the overall winner in the 7-12 years age category with her winning entry of a poem titled, “In Sickness and in Health,” which has a message discouraging early marriages.
Mapalo’s poem is proof that she benefits from our Women Empowerment lessons, through which we encourage girls to resist sexual pressures and early marriages, despite their economic challenges and family pressure. We are proud that she used poetry to raise awareness against an issue that affects girls in her community. She won an education voucher worth USD $40 as contribution towards school supplies.
In the Lower Zambezi, our Theatre for Development programme works with the primary school girls in Mugurameno Girls Club to strengthen their public speaking, literacy and self-confidence. Through theatre, we not only impart important life skills to the girls enrolled in our programme but also give them an opportunity to share the importance of female education with a wider community audience.
Following several weeks of preparation, the girls held their first public theatre performance on the 5th of October 2020. The purpose was to sensitise the community of Mugurameno on the benefits of educating girls, such as improvement in family health and increase in income generation potential. The girls performed to an audience of 150 parents and community members, who enthusiastically requested follow up performances.
The girls of Sibemi Girls Club in Liuwa Plain recently learnt how recycling old materials contributes to a circular economy by making doormats from old sacks and clothes. They started by collecting empty sacks of mealie meal and old clothes and went on to cut them into desired sizes to create the doormats. After the lesson, each girl had a beautiful doormat to take home.
Over the Indian Ocean on our private island sanctuary, Miavana, equal efforts towards female empowerment are being made. In light of empowering women to be a force for change when it comes to climate change and a sustainable future, the TTF worked with the girls in teaching them recycling methods such as making green charcoal using waste leaves, old pieces of paper and clay.
Charcoal and wood fires are the two main sources of domestic energy used in Ampisikina, Madagascar where some of the girls on our Women Empowerment Programme live. Production of charcoal is linked with vegetation and forest clearing, and current demand for charcoal is substantially higher than sustainable production. The production and use of green charcoal are less pollutive, more environmentally friendly and easier to make than traditional charcoal, which relies heavily on cutting down fresh trees. Our team hopes to expand the impacts of this initiative by engaging with parents of the girls to make and use green charcoal in their homes.
In 2021, the TTF expanded our women empowerment programme to help women in our communities who dropped out of school (women who most likely would have benefitted from the programme had it been available when they were in school) on a journey to financial independence. We have pilot groups in all 4 locations and are working with these women on how they can sustainably improve their incomes.
Most of these women have now undergone financial literacy, literacy and business management training and there will be self-esteem activities, learning about the various forms of gender-based violence and their rights and other key topics this year. Moreover, mothers to our Women Empowerment girls and sponsored students have taken up roles as education champions to assist us in explaining the long-term value of formal education to other parents struggling to see the long-term benefits and worth of their daughters being part of our Girls Clubs.
To learn more about the incredible efforts of our team and happy inspiring stories, read more about the foundation and subscribe to the monthly newsletters here.
Join us on this journey…
Book your own safari and experience Zambia with us
or contact your current Time + Tide travel designer
Zambia is Africa's best kept secret, with its vast landscapes, diverse wildlife and welcoming culture. Trace the steps of early conservationists while experiencing walking safaris in the South Luangwa. Come face to face with giants as you glide quietly in a canoe along the reeds in the Lower Zambezi. Feel the rumble of a distant thunderstorm on Liuwa Plain’s horizon as you marvel at the sight of gathering wildebeest amongst a flush of colourful wildflowers.
Fringed by white sand beaches and colourful coral reefs, Miavana is a haven of luxury at the ends of the Earth. Raw and refined, this private island sanctuary brings together world-class luxury in a world of rare wildlife and extraordinary landscapes. Madagascar is like nowhere else on the planet. A land of lemurs and chameleons, turtles and terns, where unknown species are still being discovered to this day. Miavana is the ultimate destination for modern-day explorers, an adventure playground offering an unrivalled range of activities that span the horizons of land, sea and air, celebrating the very best of this remarkable region.
Just a one hour flight from Lusaka, the South Luangwa is known for its big cat sightings and often referred to as the Valley of the Leopard. It is in the South Luangwa that the legendary Norman Carr pioneered the walking safari and conservation-based tourism in Africa. Zambia's outstanding reputation of guiding is ever prevalent in our team with some of our guides having trained with Norman himself. Our guides offer guests a raw, authentic safari experience and don't let the finer details in these vast spaces pass you by.
Liuwa Plain’s vast savannah is one of the oldest conservation areas in Africa, yet it’s one of Africa’s best-kept secrets. With its golden grasslands and shimmering lagoons, Liuwa Plain transforms with the arrival of the rains from a vast grass plains to a watery wonderland.
Nestled between the imposing mountain escarpment to the north and the mighty Zambezi River to the south, the Lower Zambezi Valley has a variety of activities that few, if any, other destinations can offer. It has been described by guests as their "happy place" because of its beautiful scenery, peaceful riverside woodlands and abundant wildlife. The Lower Zambezi is just a short 30 minute flight from Lusaka and offers guests the thrill of tiger-fishing to peaceful wildlife sightings on the banks of the river while canoeing or boating. Our guides strive to make each guest feel like they are part of the landscape and not a mere spectator.