grantees » Frida Chuwa

Frida Chuwa, Tanzania

Tell us about yourself: My name is Frida Chuwa and I am working with WATED (Women Action Towards Economic Development) in Tanzania. My passion to the environmental field started when I was in secondary school, back in 2011. The place where I lived was affected by floods, and many families lost their properties. Fortunately, my family volunteered to use our house to host neighbors who lost their belonging and their houses were still full of water. Later, the government and NGOs assisted the families to recover from the impacts of flood. The whole incident was life changing for me. I saw how much one can do with help of the community, and while I started traveling across the country for studies my passion to work with communities to address environmental impact increased.

I still had no knowledge of environmental justice. After joining WATED, I was given opportunities to explore different activities and in 2018, I was given the opportunity to work directly with grassroots women and coordinate the project ‘Women’s Rights and Environmental Justice’. This project was successful because we were able to identify women’s groups who are now champions of environmental justice, while also bring in my experiences of working with rural communities.

What did you do with the JWH grant? Seeing the gaps I had as a young female leader, I used the JWH grant to develop myself in areas which will enhance my leadership skills, particularly in engagement with policy makers. I attended a short course of strategic communication for women leaders and a short course of climate basics for community resilience. Currently, I have developed a diary on my leadership journey which will be shared in a session of youth (especially girls) attending several climate change events. Also, I am planning to share my journey of leadership in climate justice with women and girls at other places and develop a documentary which will serve as a tool with living stories for women and girls addressing climate change its impacts.

What has the leadership development program brought you? The JWH grant helped me to acquire new knowledge on climate change and community resilience, and through such platform I was able to network with different environmentalist from different countries and shared knowledge, experience and skills on how climate change affect all nations especially developing countries. I realized we share the same challenges in respect to women’s impact towards climate change crises. I was able to learn different projects from fellow participants. For instance, a participant from Kenya was ready to share knowledge with environmental justice group that I am working with, specifically on issues relating to agriculture. Travelling to Dubai to attend the course of strategic communication for women leaders accorded me with knowledge which have improved my confidence and communication pattern including planning. I was able to co organize with my supervisor participation of our organisation and coalition on a week-long environmental week in Dodoma. I was able to join the campaign to plant trees and also a brief discussion with Minister of Environment. Definitely I am proud to state my knowledge in communication has improved, I have increased networking skills and sharing my knowledge on climate justice with colleagues across continents on different platforms.

What is your dream? As I am planning to acquire my further studies on environmental issues and policy, my dream is to become a female expert on leadership and environmental issues, specifically on climate financing and women’s participation. With teaching background, my aspirations is to enhance my understanding of climate finance and environmental rights to girls and young women. I do believe my career path and work experience positions me with possibilities of using multidimensional approaches to complement national climate change strategies and 2030 SDG goals and Africa agenda 2063. Thus, the ability to impact skills and knowledge’s to community to be the change they wish to see, but also being able to access the right information at the right time in order to address and on climate and to environmental crisis. Additionally, possibility of harnessing citizen science and women’s agency to ensure communities are sustained in terms of their livelihood by having clean water, health and secured food and access to climate finance. These skills to analyze different policies and strategies will facilitate advocacy and influencing and leadership, specifically in relation to climate change and environmental challenges in rural communities. Thus, movements in these places will be better supported and engaged to demand just climate solutions with inclusion of women’s leadership.


Frida Chuwa

Winnie Chuwa


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