Rebeca Gyumi

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Rebeca Gyumi
Born (1986-12-03) December 3, 1986 (age 32)
Alma mater

Rebeca Z. Gyumi is a Founder & Executive Director at Msichana Initiative, a Tanzanian NGO which aims to empower a girl child through education, and address key challenges which limit girl’s right to education. She has worked for over 8 years with Femina, a youth focused organisation as a TV personality and youth advocate. .[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

She was born in Dodoma Tanzania. She went Mazengo Primary School in Dodoma for her primary education. She obtained her secondary school education from Kikuyu Day Secondary in Dodoma and later went to Kilakala High School In Morogoro for high school level. She then went to University of Dar Es Salaam where she graduated with Law Degree


Rebeca Gyumi is a Founder & Executive Director at Msichana Initiative, a local NGO which aims to empower a girl child through education, and address key challenges which limit girl’s right to education. She has worked for over 8 years with Femina, a youth focused organisation as a TV personality and youth advocate. [3]

A lawyer by profession, Rebeca pursued and won a landmark case on child marriages, through the petition she filed at the High Court of Tanzania to challenge the Tanzania Marriage Act, 1971 which allowed girls as young as 14 to get married. The decision which raised the minimum age of marriage to 18 for both boys and girls.[4] [5][6]

Rebeca has a vast experience working on youth engagement and advocacy; she has been at forefront advocating for various youth issues through the organisations she has been a member of and through her individual initiatives as a volunteer and ambassador. [7]

She has travelled to different parts of Tanzania engaging young people to discuss their pressing issues from civic engagement, sexual and reproductive health and rights and economic empowerment. Her bold character in speaking for youth issues in Tanzania gave her a platform to panel and facilitate different national and international forums with focus on youth and girls.

She has garnered trust among many youth in Tanzania which led her become chair, moderator and board member to various youth initiatives.Rebeca served as Vice-President for Tanzania Association of US State Alumni (TUSSAA), Trek4Mandela Tanzania leg ambassador [1] and sits on the board of SNV-Netherlands, Opportunity for Youth Employment (OYE) project. She chaired and moderated National Youth Constitution Forum in July 2013. Forum brought together youth from Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar to discuss, evaluate and validate the draft Constitution and come up with recommendations for dissemination to reform commission. [1]

She chaired the National Consortium of Youth CSOs in advocating for enactment of National Youth Council, which led to the inclusion of National Youth Council in the proposed Constitution and passing of the Bill by the Parliament of United Republic of Tanzania.[8] In 2015 she led a girl power election campaign for the Tanzania general election, ensuring that youth and girls agenda in particular were rightly presented for politicians to take on in their manifestos, and girls in particular were encouraged and empowered to participate in the general election. This involved working with Global Peace Foundation in Tanzania and advocating for peaceful participation during election processes.[9] January, 2017 she participated and contributed in the 28th AU Summit with focus on youth “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend by Investments in Youth”. [10] She paneled in the discussion “Technological Innovation: using social media to integrate social and financial education” in the Aflatoun Global Meeting, Nairobi Kenya. Where focus was on how to design youth initiative with focus on the technological advancement and use of new and social media.[11]

In Nov, 2013, she was selected by US embassy Tanzania under US Department of state to attend International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) for youth with leadership potential. She won 2017 inaugural IVLP alumni award for social innovation and change for her landmark win at the High Court.[12] [13]

She is known for her voice and commitment in advancing young women rights and participation from national, regional and international level. In 2012 she was the ambassador and coordinator for national campaign under the government through Tanzania Education Authority (TEA). The campaign aimed to fundraise for the construction of girls’ hostels in 8 regions in Tanzania and rescue girls who had to walk long distance to school, or drop out completely. [14]

October 2016 she was invited to be the main Speaker at UNICEF Global commemoration of International Day of a Girl Child, New York, USA. And she was awarded The Social Change Award recognizing the work done by Rebeca and the Msichana Initiative to win a landmark court case in July that ended legal provisions permitting child marriage in the country. [15]

She paneled with Melinda Gates to discuss about young women involvement in small-scale farming, challenges and possible solutions in 2016. [16] She was a panelist, International Women’s Day, Inspiring change: Woman to woman, discussion on the issue of gender equality and importance of empowering women and girls for community advancement on 8th March, 2014.

She is involved in different global campaigns for mobilization of resources for initiatives, which works on girls’ issues. In Nov 2016 she was involved by Girls not Brides in resource mobilization for child marriage initiatives in the world. She is among 9 members across the globe of UNICEF – UNFPA advisory committee member on global programme for ending child marriages. Rebeca is involved in different campaigns and social charities as a volunteer and ambassador, advocating for safe schools and quality education to Tanzanian students. [10]

She has written a number of publication and articles on youth and girls issues. In 2016, she was privileged to write a Foreword for Save the Children’s Global Report on Child Marriages “Every Last Child”.[17] Her popular articles are like “Government should involve youth in solving their problems” The Guardian, January 29, 2013.[18]

Rebeca is recognized nationally and internationally for her work in advancing youth and girls rights. She was named 2016 UNICEF global goals award winner for her work in advancing girls’ rights in Tanzania. [19] She was named among 2016 African Women of the Year by New African Woman magazine. [20] Rebeca is a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum and University of Cape Town Young Leaders Fellow.[21]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Event Prize Recipient Result
2013 Tanzania Under 30 Youth Awards Social Impact Category Herself Nominated
2016 United Nations Global Goals Awards Social Change Award Herself Won[22]
2017 International Visitors Leadership Program Alumni Awards Social Innovation and Change Award Herself Won[13]
New Africa Woman Awards New Africa Woman On The Rise Herself Nominated[20]
Clouds Fm Malkia Wa Nguvu Awards Inspirational Icon Herself Won[23]
2018 Tanzania Women of Achievement Young Achiever Award Herself Won[24]
2018 United Nations Headquarters New York Awards United Nations Human Rights Prize Herself Won[25]


  1. ^ a b c "Rebecca Gyumi - Global Shapers Community".
  2. ^ "Meet the young woman who helped end child marriage in Tanzania".
  3. ^ "Rebeca Gyumi «  AISA-GISS 2016".
  4. ^ "Rebeca Gyumi «  AISA-GISS 2016".
  5. ^ "Meet the young woman who helped end child marriage in Tanzania | World Economic Forum". Retrieved 2016-11-06.
  6. ^ "The woman who fought to stop child marriages, and won - CNN Video". Retrieved 2016-11-06.
  7. ^ "Mamlaka ya elimu Tanzania kuandaa mbio za hisani kuchangisha fedha za ujenzi wa mabweni". 2 August 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  8. ^ "Bunge la Pitisha Sheria ya Kuanzishwa Baraza La Vijana - Magazeti ya leo- Tanzania News -Tanzania Today". Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  9. ^ "FEMA TV SHOW NGUVU YA BINTI YATARAJIWA KUANZA RASMI - Magazeti ya leo". Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Passion behind Gyumi's struggle for girls' rights". 7 March 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ "Global Ties U.S. on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  13. ^ a b "IVLP Alumni Award for Social Innovation and Change". Global Ties U.S. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  15. ^ "UN Women commemorates International Day of the Girl Child". Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  16. ^ "Maria Sarungi-Tsehai". Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  17. ^ "Every Last Child" (PDF). Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  18. ^ “Youth Access To Information On Reproductive Health”, The Guardian, February 12, 2013
  19. ^ "Global Goals Awards honour champions for women's and girls' rights". Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  20. ^ a b "Who Is Changing The Game? Here are the 2017 New African Woman Awards Nominees". 7 April 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-11-06. Retrieved 2016-11-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-11-06. Retrieved 2016-11-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ "HAWA NDIO MALKIA WA NGUVU WA MWAKA 2017". YouTube. 20 March 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  24. ^ "The Women of Achievement on Instagram: "#GetToKnowTWAAwardWinners2018 Young Achiever Award won by @RebecaGyumi . Rebeca Gyumi is a Founder & Executive Director at Msichana…"". Instagram. Retrieved 2018-12-01.
  25. ^ "Mtanzania Rebeca Gyumi ashinda tuzo ya Umoja wa Mataifa". BBC News Swahili (in Swahili). Retrieved 2018-12-01.