Call for Proposals: Promoting sexual reproductive health rights, focusing on child marriage and FGM in Tanzania

Important note: the deadline for submission of proposals has passed. Proposals are no longer accepted.

1. Introduction

About Terre des Hommes Netherlands

Terre des Hommes Netherlands (TdH-NL) is a development organisation dedicated to children; it is named after a book by the famous French writer and World War II pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – author of "The Little Prince". Even before this book was published, he wrote "Terre des Hommes" (Earth for Mankind) in which he called upon 'the people of the earth' to take their responsibilities seriously and to show solidarity. He said: "There is no third world. There is one world for which we are all responsible."

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is the cornerstone of all our programmes. This Convention represents the recognition by the international community that not only do children deserve to be protected, but that they have a right to be so. These rights have been enshrined in this almost universally accepted treaty and have subsequently been incorporated in national legislation in an overwhelming majority of the world's nations. 

The main theme of TdH-NL's work centers on the issue of child exploitation, the most serious violations of the rights of the child. TdH-NL's definition of child exploitation covers: (a) the Worst Forms of Child Labour; (b) Child Trafficking; (c) Sexual Exploitation of Children; (d) Child Abuse. Increasing numbers of children fall victim of human trafficking, sexual exploitation or hazardous forms of child labour as defined by the ILO's 1999 Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (ILO Convention 182). TdH-NL strives to prevent child exploitation, remove children from exploitative situations and ensure that they can develop in a secure, healthy and supportive environment.

TdH-NL’s approach

TdH-NL's programmes are based on the Theory of Change (ToC), aiming to create a world free of child exploitation (please refer to Annex 1 - TdH NL Theory of Change). Because TdH-NL wants to stop child exploitation in a structural manner, the organisation does not only help victims but also tackles the problem at its roots. The main strategies in this ToC are the 5 P's: Prevention, Provision, Promotion, Prosecution and Partnership & Participation.


To prevent child exploitation, TdH-NL invests in education, but also in raising awareness among children and adults. And because poverty is the main reason for child exploitation, TdH-NL also offers parents the opportunity to increase their incomes via savings and credit groups.


Children who are victim of exploitation, need protection. TdH-NL provides shelter, health care, counselling and education and help them build a new future. The organisation also offers help to family members and involves the community in protecting children.


It is important that victims can stand up for themselves and perpetrators are not allowed to escape justice. TdH-NL thus helps children to report cases to the police. They can also count on legal assistance and help during the criminal prosecution. The organisation also trains local police and justice. 


TdH-NL stands up for children's rights. The organisation campaigns to raise awareness of children's rights and conducts research to identify and call attention to trends and developments in child exploitation. Furthermore, TdH-NL follows and influences decision-making of local and national governments, businesses and international organisations (like the UN) and advocates for the implementation of these decisions. To prevent children from being exploited and to ensure victims of exploitation receive adequate help.


TdH-NL strengthens civil society in the promotion of children's rights as a precondition to ensure children are protected. The organisation invests in the organisational and institutional development of southern civil society organisations.

TdH-NL always works through local project partners. These partners are familiar with the situation on the ground and know the best ways of reaching out and helping the children concerned.

Terre des Hommes Netherlands in Tanzania

Terre des Hommes Netherlands supports Tanzanian NGOs and networks in the execution of projects in i) the Mwanza Region, ii) Mara Region, iii) Mtwara and iv) Shinyanga regions. This is underpinned by work at national level. Within the field of Child Protection, 4 Child Exploitation areas have been identified as programming priorities: 

Children in Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL) with a particular emphasis on child domestic workers and those children working in or around areas of mineral or oil extraction. 

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC): TdH-NL promotes national and local level strategies to promote actions against CSEC at the policy and community level. 

Child Marriage/SRHR: TdH-NL detects, prevents and responds to child marriage and provides support to victims of child marriage, teenage pregnancy and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Child Trafficking: TdH-NL will work towards the elimination of child trafficking linked to recruitment and employment areas for child domestic workers.

2. Call for Proposals: Promoting Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, Focusing on Child Marriage and FGM in Shinyanga and Mara Region, Tanzania

Tackling child abuse and violations of SRHR is an important theme in TdH-NL's current strategic plan (2011­-2015). As part of its new strategic plan (2016­-2020), TdH-NL plans to increase its support to comprehensive projects addressing child abuse and / or violations of SRHR in Eastern Africa. Initial focus will be on three year projects (2016-2018).

Invitation for applications & eligibility criteria

TdH-NL is inviting non-governmental organisations (NGOs or CSOs) with the required framework to submit a full proposal. 

This call is open to organisations to apply independently as well as in a consortium / in partnership (i.e. more than one applicant). If an application is made as a consortium, the applicant should as the consortium lead clearly state how the project will be managed and should indicate a clear role for each partner. The appointment of a consortium coordinator position is recommended, to be included in the management costs.

Funding is only granted to national organisations (non INGOs) fully registered in the country of implementation. Any sub granting partners must also be fully registered. 

Outline of the requirements applicants need to meet in order to be considered for TdH-NL’s funding:

  • Applicant as well as (if applicable) co-applicants need to be fully registered in the country of implementation
  • Applicant as well as (if applicable) co-applicants need to demonstrate a successful track record in addressing child abuse and / or violations of SRHR
  • The proposal needs to show a coherent programmatic approach 
  • The proposed project needs to be based on the Theory of Change with related outcomes

Proposals that do not meet any of the criteria in this call and that do not use the formats provided will automatically be disqualified.


The Tanzania Marriage Act of 1971 officially allows the marriage of children (girls) at the age of 15 years, while it is not allowed to have intercourse with girls under 18 years of age without their consent (Sexual Offences Special Provision Act 2007) or to marry girls who are still in school (Education Act). This is confirmed by the Law of The Child 2009, but it remains a poor legal framework for the protection of girls against child marriage.

According to a UNICEF Press release (11th October 2012), Tanzania has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. On average, almost two out of five girls will be married before their 18th birthday. In 2010, about 37 percent of the women aged 20-24 were married/in union before age 18. In Tanzania, the prevalence of child marriage is highest in Shinyanga region (59 percent), followed by Tabora (58 percent), Mara (55 percent), Dodoma (51 percent).

In Shinyanga and Mara Region child marriages are persistent due to traditional values of the Sukuma and Kuria communities (among others). The traditional value systems of receiving bride wealth for young girls provide them with immediate economic benefits and status (related to cattle). Child marriages and FGM are forced upon girls to maintain the family honour and to reduce the economic risk of a lower bride price (in case of early pregnancies). The communities generally attribute low value to the education of girls. Shinyanga Region has low performances when it comes to primary school pass rates for girls (31%) and boys (50%); the gender gap is extensive in Mara (20%), Shinyanga has shockingly low literacy rates (Kishapu 64.4%, Shinyanga Urban at 64.2% and Kahama District 58.0%) (National Sample Census of Agriculture Shinyanga Region Report 2007).

Gender inequality is another contributing factor. The findings from the study on adolescents in Shinyanga region (UNESCO, 2011) also confirms the gender bias with evidence from focus group discussions demonstrating that these "are not cases of outright poverty but men's desire to exchange their daughters for cattle appears to be driven more by the desire for higher status than pressing economic need." Culturally the girls are not allowed to speak against the male members of the family or discuss their decisions; girls fully depend on their family for their survival and cultural identity, the responsibility of household chores falls particularly hard on adolescent girls, who are expected to do the brunt of the household work. 

Most of the young girls are physically not ready to engage in sex with adult men and the girls face sexual violence from the first intercourse as part of the early/forced marriages. The physical and mental immaturity for early childbearing causes serious health problems and risks for both mother and child. The girls are emotionally and physically not ready for motherhood. Risks include infant and maternal mortality, birth complications and high risk of disability, lasting health problems like fistula, anaemia and depression. Violence Against Children also plays a role as at least three out ten girls are sexually abused and gender based violence affects child brides more frequently.

Furthermore access to Reproductive Health education is poor and girls are therefore not aware of methods of preventing unwanted pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS. Findings from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA 2012) study, reveal that, the use of contraception was very low, with only 19.3 percent of adolescent girls in Kahama and 13 percent in Kishapu using condoms to protect themselves. A majority of respondents, 56.7 %, were not using modern contraception and some were using ashes to avoid pregnancy prior to sexual intercourse. 

Due to the poorly informed government officials, the child protection systems in Shinyanga Region are weak in addressing child marriage from the grassroots up to the regional level and referral systems for legal and other support is non-existing in most villages and districts.

However in 2014 and 2015, the Government of Tanzania drafted a new constitution including a significant section on children, with involvement of stakeholders/ CSOs who actively advocate against child marriage and FGM. We are awaiting the final enactment. SCI in cooperation with the EU supported the strengthening of child protection teams at district levels and the development of a One Stop Centre for victims of sexual abuse and Gender Based Violence in Shinyanga Regional Hospital. Agape ACP assisted 400 children directly involved in child marriage through strengthening referral systems and extensive awareness raising in 32 villages and started a shelter for victims of child marriage. Human Rights Watch published a report on child marriage, featuring the Agape/TdH -NL supported programme in Shinyanga including the following recommendations:

  • Revise the Education and Training Policy to include a provision that allows both married and pregnant students to continue with their education.
  • Take the necessary steps to enact a comprehensive domestic violence law. The law should criminalise sexual violence in marriage.
  • Increase access to post-primary education by taking all possible measures to ensure that children can access secondary education irrespective of their Primary School Leaving Examination results.

Expected outcomes

This Call for Proposals aims to protect children by promoting Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, focusing on child marriage and FGM in Shinyanga and Mara Region, Tanzania. It specifically aims to address the following outcomes:

1. Children at risk of child abuse / violations of SRHR and children who are victims of child abuse / violations of SRHR claim their rights

2. Families and communities protect children from child abuse and violations of SRHR

3. Government protects children from child abuse and violations of SRHR by making and adequately implementing laws and policies 

4. Law enforcement agencies convict abusers of children

5. Civil society organisations protect the rights and best interest of children (specifically children vulnerable to child abuse / violations of SRHR)

Intervention strategies - types of activities

Strategies to be considered by applicants should be in line with the 5 P's strategy of TdH-NL. A minimum of 2 of the 5 P's should be included in the proposed project. Examples of activities (important note: this list is for guidance purposes only and is not exhaustive):

1. Rescue of children involved in child marriage, provision of treatment and temporary shelter, with involvement of social welfare, police, hospitals and other NGOs/CSOs, school support and vocational training. 

2. Training of police, district, village courts and ward tribunals, social workers, district ward and village child protection committees to strengthen district referral and monitoring systems, linking in with community based child protection structures. 

3. Counselling of children at risk, victims of child marriage, teenage mothers and their families/parents/guardians.

4. Awareness creation events held in community and schools on SRHR, child marriage, harmful traditional practices, teenage pregnancy and reporting mechanisms 

5. Advocating for legal and public policy measures aimed at eliminating child marriage, including changing the legal age of marriage to 18 years for both girls and boys, and ending FGM; advocacy for the implementation of national action plans for child protection such as the NCAP OVC II, Law of the Child 2009, the Education Act and SOSPA, e.g. through existing or by developing new judiciary protocols. 

Applicants are invited to indicate innovative approaches that feed into the expected outcomes (i.e. beyond the examples listed above).

Geographical focus

The following areas in Tanzania are eligible for funding: Shinyanga and Mara Region.

Duration and budget

The initial planned duration of a project should be 33 months, starting on 1 April 2016. Contracts will be entered into on yearly basis; the first one to cover 9 months (1 April - 31 December 2016). 

Depending on the project design, the budget ranges from EUR 350,000 to EUR 450,000 for the full duration of 33 months.

The budget should be presented as per the required format (please refer to Annex 4 - TdH NL EA Project Budget Format), entailing the budget for the first 9 months as well as for the subsequent 2 years.

The budget for the first 9 months should not exceed EUR 110,000 for 2016. The proposed project budget should be at least 85% programme cost and not exceed 15% management cost (inclusive of a maximum of EUR 2,600 for ICT*).

TdH-NL's reporting and accounting system is Internet based; with a view to this, all project partners are required to have or acquire sufficient equipment and Internet access.


  • Publication of the Call for Proposals: Wednesday 21 October 2015.
  • A Q & A session about this specific Call for Proposals will be organised by TdH-NL for which all interested parties are invited.
    The Q&A session will take place in TdH-NL's office in Ndovu Road, Mikocheni, Dar es Salaam on Monday 2nd of November 2015 from 14.00 to 15.30 hrs.
    (prospective applicants should cover their own travel cost to this location)
  • Deadline of submission: Monday 16 November 2015 (12.00 EAT)
    Send your proposal to with subject heading: Promoting SRHR Project Proposal [+ name of (lead) applicant]. Include all required attachments / annexes. 
  • Review and shortlisting will be done by TdH-NL on or before 15 December 2015. 
  • Shortlisted proposals will be subject to a more detailed review including clarifying questions, validation of information and capacity assessment of project applicants.
    Deadline for shortlisted applicants to answer questions raised: 15 January 2016.
  • Final selection will be done by TdH-NL on or before 7 February 2016, after which the selected projects will be submitted to TdH-NL's Head Office for final review and approval.
  • Partner contracts for the first 9 months of the project will be signed latest by 1 March 2016.
  • Projects will start on 1 April 2016. If so required, a mobilisation period of 2 months can be built into the project design, resulting in an effective project (activities) start date of 1 June 2016.

List of annexes

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