Testimonies are published under the responsibility of the author. They are subject to validation: these will be published only if they comply, in form and substance the spirit of this day as defined in the International Charter for October 17.
Some people are seen to have more value than others.
In preparation of this year’s World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty we met with some of the diverse members of ATD Fourth World Tanzania. They told us about their understanding of discrimination, times when they have been discriminated, and ideas on how we can overcome discrimination. These are some of their words…
A worker at the Fishmarket told us: “Discrimination is a situation of creating classes. Some people are seen to have more value than others. Those with value, when they want something, they get it, when they say something, they are listened to. For the people without value, when they want something, it is impossible to get it, and when they say something, they are not listened to”.
A young man from Tandale told us: “In our country, rich people discriminate poor people. They think poor people cannot give good ideas because of their poverty. However, their ideas can help the society to act in a better way”.
A friend from the Tunapenda group told us: “The most discriminated people are disabled people, even the government does not take care of them. Society does not understand that disabled people have healthy brains and can give our ideas”.
A worker at the Fishmarket told us: “Albino people are very discriminated. However, they have the same rights to live and to get their basic needs. They are equal to other people. We have to overcome the idea that Albino people have no value”.
A mother from Tandale told us: “There is no education when some people look down on others. People are not educated, they do not know we are all human beings, we are all equal”.
Workers at the Fishmarket told us: “It is about the personal behaviour of people. Some rich people don’t discriminate the poor, they are ready to help and be their friends. But others have bad behaviour and discriminate. Some people try to use their position to discriminate others, to destroy them. They forget they are human and that the others are also human. It is about selfishness”.
A young man from Tandale told us: “There is no equality in families. When a daughter is going to be married, the men of the family will sit together and discuss the marriage. Women are not allowed to join the discussion and stay away from the meeting. When the food is prepared, the best food is first eaten by the father, then, the wife and children will have the rest”.
A mother from Tandale told us: “When I gave birth at Mwananyamala hospital I asked for the announcement paper for my child. It is free but the nurse said I had to pay Tzs 5,000. I didn't have the money, so I left the hospital. When I went back two weeks later, I was told the same. However, when I was there, I saw some people getting their announcement paper without paying. The hospital staff were asking people to pay depending on their appearance”.
A mother from Tandale told us: “Many people discriminate me because I am disabled. For example, I can see the way they look at me. When you ask some people for help, they look down at you. This is discrimination.”
A friend from Tunapenda told us: “You have to start to raise awareness with children first. In the case of disabled people, one way to do this is to show the talents that we have”.
A young man from Tandale told us: “You have to educate people, to show them good examples, like a woman can do things as well as a man. We have to share and exchange ideas. When I was in school, the teacher would sit boys and girls together on desks, to mix them, this was a good way”.
A father from Tandale told us: “We need unity among the people so we can push the government to do better. To stop discrimination we need one voice for everybody”.