Thu, Jan 30 | First Congregational Church

Angela Benedicto on the fight to protect child domestic workers in Tanzania

Director of WoteSawa NGO, Tanzania, Angela will share her powerful life story, from child domestic worker to leading advocate to abolish child labor and poverty. She returns to Kalamazoo as an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumna from 2013. This is a free event.
Registration is Closed

Time & Location

Jan 30, 2020, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
First Congregational Church, 345 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49007, USA

About the Event

As a former Child Domestic Worker in Tanzania, Angela has dedicated her life to ending exploitation and abuse of child domestic workers in her country. In 2011, she created the NGO WoteSawa, which has empowered hundreds of current & former child workers to advocate for their rights and return to childhood by providing education, support, shelter, legal aid and vocational training. In 2015, Angela received the Young Leaders Award from Queen Elizabeth for her tireless work. Angela visited Kalamazoo in 2013 as an #IVLP guest of Colleagues International, and we are so excited to welcome her back. 

Angela Benedicto's long bio: 

Angela Benedicto has more than ten years’ experience in advocating for the rights of children and young Domestic Workers in Tanzania.  A former domestic worker herself, Angela has devoted her life to defend against the abuse and exploitation of Child Domestic Workers and to lead the fight against child trafficking. 

Angela has a bachelor degree in laws from The Open University of Tanzania, with her education supported by the Baker McKenzie Firm, through Children Unite, based in London.  In 2011, Angela attended the International Labour Organization (ILO) conference in Geneva and lobbied representatives from Countries all over the world to sign ILO Convention 189 (providing decent work for domestic workers).  In 2013, Angela was nominated by the United State Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Through Colleagues International, one of the cities she visited was Kalamazoo. In 2015, Angela was one of sixty young people, from Commonwealth Countries, to meet with, and receive an award from, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth for outstanding voluntary work that improves our society. 

Angela passionately fights against child labour, i.e. children under the age of 14 being employed as domestic workers. She supports the implementation of the Child Act of 2009, the Anti-Trafficking Act of 2008, the Employment and labour relations Act of 2004 and other International Conventions and NPA-VAC regulations. 

Angela is empowering Child Domestic Workers (the majority being girls) to understand their rights and to know the laws which protect them.  By being a strong leader and a successful woman in her community, Angela is a true role model for all those girls who think that once you become a domestic worker you cannot do anything else. Angela is actively involved in advocacy campaigns to local and central governments to influence the protection and welfare of Child Domestic Workers in Tanzania. 

About WoteSawa:

Wotesawa, which literally means ‘all are equal’, has evolved into an established and unique forum in which child domestic workers are represented and are able to address their interest and rights as one of the most vulnerable groups to abuse and exploitation in Tanzania. Wotesawa also acts as bridge between child domestic workers, government leadership, employers and law enforcers in advancing the interests of child domestic workers.

So far Wotesawa has been able to mobilize hundreds of girls to come together in order to have a collective voice and to redress challenges they are facing as child domestic workers. Wotesawa has established a unique participatory strategy where CDWs are mobilised and advocate for their own rights at a community level. This is achieved through Advisory Committees of Child Domestic Workers. Moreover, Wotesawa has successfully interacted with government, law enforcers and community based organisations so that child domestic workers rights are now being addressed. In the past child domestic workers were regarded as an inferior group in the society with their rights neglected.

Wotesawa is a youth led non governmental organisation, established in 2011 by current and former child domestic workers in Tanzania. Its office is currently situated in Mwanza, Tanzania.

The organisation is led by Angela Benedicto, a former child domestic worker who refused to remain silent when she was abused and exploited.

See the WoteSawa website here: http://www.wotesawa.org 

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