By Aidan Tarimo, Youth For Change Tanzania
Following Natalie Dormer’s August visit in Tanzania, she shared a reflection on her three years supporting Plan International campaigns with youth advocates. In her words, “these are prosperous years with tremendous impact to humanity and advancing equality for young girls and women.” This was August 11th, 2017, and it remains to be a prompt and a spawn day for Youth for Change Tanzania Team (Y4C). Aristarick, Loveness, and I were honoured to represent our fellow youth advocates and witness the synergy that could be brought by the British actress Natalie Dormer in the most anticipated International Campaign to end Child Marriage in our country.
The objectives of our meeting were:
- Provide Natalie with a contextual understanding on Y4C Tanzania activities in the country
- Discussing with Natalie on her role in the upcoming Ending Child Marriage campaign at International level
- Collection of campaign materials – Video and Photography with Natalie
The time spent with her was heart-warming. She understood well the convolution that we work in influencing behavioural, law and policy changes. She was very enthusiastic to learn on our milestone, flip over our strategy and advice on strategic-advocacy for a more vibrant and visible campaign to end child marriage in Tanzania at both local and international level.
With her openness and transparency, we worked well together and successfully met all our objectives. She shared inspiring experiences from her days in high school where she used to travel with a public speaking team to inform, persuade, and entertain. This is similar to our outreach activities and my personal experience at both secondary and high school.
Furthermore, we also had the opportunity to accompany her for a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children where we met with the Minister responsible, Honourable Ummy Mwalimu. Natalie was startled on the relationship that exists between the government and public. The communication gap is so apparent between decision maker and the public. She expressed it to the Minister who appreciated her insights and invited her to come back in the country and visit the most affected areas by Child Marriage in Tanzania.
They say “all great works of art have inspiration from other works” and so I BELIEVE her visit and support shall influence our campaign. On that account, we shall achieve the amendment of Section 13 and 17 of the Law of Marriage Act of 1971 [CAP 29 R.E 2002], to raise the minimum age of consent for marriage to 18 and eventually end child marriage in the country.