Happiness Maruchu is 30 years old and has just been promoted from Senior Officer to head of the Knowledge, Research and Analysis section within the TGNP Mtandao, a Crossroads’ partner organization working on research and advocacy on gender issues and women’s and girls’ leadership and rights in Tanzania. “I was promoted right after attending the Action Research for Citizen Led Action training with the COADY International Institute through which I strengthened my skills in designing and coordinating gender research programs,” said Happiness.
“Through the course, I learned how to include the participants in my research from the beginning to the end of the process. Before we did not include them in the advocacy efforts and with the training I learned new techniques to do so,” said Happiness. She applied her new skills in a research project with gender empowerment hubs in schools in Dar es Salaam.
“I want to continue applying what I learned with the COADY Institute in my research projects on gender-based violence within schools and in rural areas where women walk long distances to collect water and are exposed to violence.” – Happiness Maruchu, Head of the Knowledge, Research and Analysis section at TGNP Mtandao.
“We conducted research with three student groups and we identified issues causing girls’ school absenteeism such as inadequate washrooms, lack of sanitary pads or lack of water. Then we included girls in the advocacy activities with community members and leaders.” These girl-led campaigns resulted in the construction of new latrines, the establishment of private changing rooms and the provision of sanitary pads.
COADY International Institute, based in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, is a Crossroads International Canadian partner focused on reinforcing the capacities of those working on development issues globally.