Rising woman: challenges and responsibilities go hand in hand
Dar es Salaam. In 2020, Dorlosa Duncan joined Girl Effect, an international organization using the power of media to help girls make choices about their health, learning and livelihoods. As Country Manager for Girl Effect in Tanzania, she led the youth brand ‘Tujibebe’ which provides young Tanzanians with the information and inspiration they need to make choices and change their lives – from creating their own small business to save for the future, to take charge of their health and to go to health centers.
Tujibebe content is accessible online and girls who can access a cell phone can connect with over 1.7 million girls across the country through radio shows, radio talk shows, interactive audio stories, digital channels and clubs. Girls can call our National Interactive Voice Response (IVR) line on 0901760321 to hear inspiring audio stories about female entrepreneurs, the best tips on how to make money safely, navigate friendship and to manage the embarrassment.
Ms Dorlosa went to Katesh Primary School, joined Ashira Girls’ Secondary School, then joined Africa University in Zimbabwe for her undergraduate studies with what she says is by the grace of God where she received a full scholarship in social sciences and later a master’s degree in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) at the University of London. Ms. Dorlosa says: “Studying in a multicultural institution has taught me to collaborate with mutual respect in a pluralistic society, it has taught me to recognize and respect differences. In 2016, I was recognized as an Emerging Voice for Global Health and selected for an Eisenhower Fellowship. Over the past 15 years, Ms. Dorlosa has worked with a wide range of local and international organizations such as the Swiss Embassy in Tanzania, Pathfinder International, Tandabui Health Access Tanzania, AMREF Health Africa, Dogodogo Center Street Children Trust and Southern Africa Human Rights Trust Zimbabwe.
Although Ms Dorlosa is a successful female leader, she has now faced many challenges, one being in her early adulthood where she escaped female genital mutilation (FGM) and marrying before her death. second period, defying the odds. With leadership, she says, it’s not a five-finger exercise, there are many challenges that come with increased responsibilities. Managing people and gaining their trust is one of the most difficult jobs she’s been faced with, the process of extracting the best from team members and holding them by the hand even in the worst situations, emphasizes – she is not easy. “But that’s why we need leadership, not leadership without challenges! Smart plan – never relying on one plan and being surrounded by great leaders who inspire me and hold my hand when the going gets tough has been a burden on my shoulders, ”adds Dorlosa. She continues to quote a quote that I come back to when I face challenges comes from Robin Sharma’s book “The Leader Who Had No Title”: “No matter what you do or where you live, every day presents. a platform for you to express your gifts and talents, to influence other human beings – and to make history your way. ”Ms. Dorlosa says she plays many roles in her life. Balancing the wheel while juggling the different roles of wife, mother, community member, neighbor, daughter, daughter-in-law, colleague, subordinate and leader is great. But, it is. a difficult experience. I learned that a goal-oriented life is the answer to this challenge. I always ask myself: why am I here? Why did God create me in the first place? Why God allowed me to have opportunities that others did not have? Answers to these questions reduce my stress and help me focus about my energy and my decisions – giving meaning to my life.
Mrs. Dorlosa thanks her husband, children Yvonne and Yvan, for supporting her. “The power to invest in girls has a ripple effect; when you inspire a girl, others will follow. Tujibebe was created from the idea that most girls in Tanzania know they have potential. But, they face many challenges in their lives – and, too often, lack the knowledge, confidence and support to overcome them and achieve their ambitions.
“When girls see that being a girl is not a pain but a potential; not an obstacle but an opportunity, our country will not be the same again. Every girl can make the most of her opportunities and reach her potential when supported to realize that the opportunities available to her are relevant, valuable – and possible. Families will prosper and our country’s economy will prosper.
“I know what it’s like to be a girl growing up in Tanzania. Girls have questions and curiosities, and often do not know where / to whom to contact on various topics. Tujibebe exists to create this space where girls can find information. They are to fulfill their potential through our radio series on Clouds FM which follows the lives of three teenage boys (Tunu, Rehema and Jojo) as they navigate friendship and learn about their health, friendship and seek out support. helps with “embarrassing” problems such as a yeast infection. . The girls’ comments are so powerful – we get messages about how the content has increased their confidence and helped them open up to their parents and friends when they are facing difficulties, and cannot. not wait for the second season. The feeling of having contributed to something bigger than myself motivates me a lot, ”she explains at length.
Ms Dorlosa says she is inspired by many people, the first of which was her father, the late Duncan Gitagno, who was the son of a polygamous Barbaig chief – and did not allow any of her 72 children to go to the school. Her father and one of her sisters alternated between herding the cattle and sneaking into school. Eventually, her father – whom she calls her hero – managed to run away from home for a Catholic mission where he was helped to complete his studies and become a veterinarian!
She also says her journey cannot be separated from her first boss who trained, challenged, disciplined and loved her: the late Maryknoll Sister Jean Pruitt, founder of the Dogodogo Center Street Children Trust based in Kigogo, Dar es Salaam .
“This lady was best known for her activism in promoting Tanzanian art and defending the rights of Tanzanian children. She lived for others, and it taught me a great lesson in life. His legacy still lives on in me, ”says Dorlosa.
There are many Tanzanian women leaders who also inspire her and she gives examples are our Vice President Mama Samia Suluhu Hassan who is currently the outgoing President, the women ministers and members of parliament and her own mum Mama Gitagno who is fighting still for Barbaig the rights of women and girls through her NGO HAWOCODA, she adds to the list Rebecca Gyumi the founder of Msichana Initiative, Hilda Kisoka the founder of Purple Planet and many other heroes in the towns and rural villages that are wear well but not known and even do not have access to social networks.
Apart from Girl Effect which she runs and which exists to serve and support girls, Dorlosa collaborated with friends in 2014 and they founded “Women for Change”, a group of women from the Shinyanga region who support each other. and help vulnerable children get their education. This group is doing very well to this day and wants to make a significant contribution to the future of young talent in Tanzania.
Dorlosa ends the interview by saying, “Dear girls and young women, in a world where we want instant gratification, in a world where we seek followers rather than relationships, in a world where we are interested in comments. rather than through conversation, you need to stay focused ”. She adds that her trip has been a great lesson and she urges the girls to be selfless and kind; to network, set goals and constantly prepare for new challenges; and to avoid compromising shortcuts. “Faith and a deep sense of purpose can help you overcome obstacles and nurture a meaningful life.”