Femina Hip transitions with new leadership
Celebrating milestones when something is achieved is an occasion for fanfares and bringing the dance to stage. After celebrating 20 years since the organisation was established, Femina Hip spent the year 2020 finalising its new five-year strategic plan, re-organising and laying the foundation for a new leadership to take it to the next level. For more on these developments, here is a Q&A with the outgoing and incoming leadership.
*Swahili version below
Q: So, who is the new leadership?
A: First, we must say a thorough internal recruitment process took place over several months, identifying candidates who will constitute a complimentary team. We are excited to announce the outcome, and believe that the new leadership of Femina Hip, comprising of a combination of experiences, capabilities and competences will secure the operations for the next decade. Ruth Mlay is the new Executive Director of Femina Hip and Amabilis Batamula is the Deputy Director, effective March 1, 2021.
Q: What’s the story behind the change?
A: The year 2020 was one of organisational change for Femina Hip. After having celebrated 20 years of operations in 2019, it was to be a year of organisational as well as leadership transition. The change management process was, in spite of virus challenges, dynamic and managed to achieve set goals, all embodied in Femina Hip’s new Strategic Plan 2021-25 staking out the direction for Femina Hip for the coming years! As the government of Tanzania introduced new regulations for the registration of NGOs, Femina Hip was obliged to go through a re-registration process as NGOs could no longer be registered as a company limited by guarantee under the Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA). Femina Hip is a partner organisation to the Foundation HIP Edutainment in Sweden, both organisations having the same founder, Dr Minou Fuglesang. She has also served as the Executive Director of Femina Hip for the past 20 years developing the organisation, its ‘edutainment’ way of working, building a competent team and a popular, nationwide ‘brand’. As foreigners cannot be founders of local NGOs, it was decided to register Femina Hip as an INGO ‘affiliate’ of HIP Edutainment, as links to global technical expertise and fundraising opportunities is of huge value. Femina Hip will remain its own legal entity, have its own registration and Board of Directors but will embrace the core values, ‘edutainment’ and SBCC approach, management systems and policies set by HIP Edutainment in line with the vision and intention of the founder.
Q: How is the succession plan being realised?
A: Femina Hip has set up a new Board of Directors. Dr Fuglesang will stay on as the Chair of the Board and serve as a technical advisor for three years on a declining basis, to ensure management systems, guidelines, institutional memory as well as funding are in place to secure the implementation and day to day operations as she moves towards retirement. The transition in organisational registration, structure and identity, has been merged with the succession plan of the founder and Executive Director. A leadership change process was set in motion during 2020. It was decided to localise leadership, we decided on an internal recruitment process as competent leaders aspiring to the role were present within the organisation. The Board of HIP Edutainment, the parent organisation, took charge of the process, setting criteria for the competences needed for a new leader that can take on the day-to-day operations, assisting in building an independent accountable organisation that is compliant and works in partnership with the government. Empower Limited, a reputable recruitment agency, was procured and presented an assessment report of the candidates’ capabilities.
Q: Ruth, as you take up this position, how do you see the future?
A: As Mama Minou passes on the baton of leading Femina Hip, I can’t help but think about the legacy she is leaving in our hands. Generations of youth have grown through the work that she has started, and today, these youth are leaders in various capacities. The vision will continue as we look to engage parents more to ensure youth have every possible support to reach their full potential.
Q: Amabilis, how will Femina Hip ensure that its institutional memory is secured?
A: We have taken time to revisit, review and improve our key guiding documents and policies, at the same time we are working to enhance knowledge management and sharing mechanisms so that every time the past meets the present going into the future, a logical connection exists. What we did in the last 20 years will definitely be of important reference in the coming years and decade.
Q: Dr. Minou, what can the larger Femina Family across the country expect?
A: After 20 years of growing Femina Hip this is the right time to step aside. We have recruited the new leadership from within, a strong team that is competent, committed and inspirational. They will keep the organisation relevant, a continued flagship for youth voices and storytelling in Tanzania. They will have my full support as Chair of the board of directors of Femina Hip. We are 'Femina Family’!
Femina Hip yafanya mabadiliko ya uongozi
Kusherehekea hatua muhimu wakati mafanikio yanapopatikana ni hafla ya kushangiliwa na kuserebuka. Baada ya kusherehekea miaka 20 tangu shirika lianzishwe, Femina Hip iliutumia mwaka 2020 kukamilisha mpango mkakati wake mpya wa miaka mitano, kujipanga upya na kuweka msingi wa uongozi mpya utakaolipandisha shirika kwenye ngazi nyingine. Kwa mengi zaidi juu ya maendeleo haya, haya hapa maswali kadhaa na majibu yake toka kwa uongozi unaoondoka na unaoingia.
Swali: Kwahiyo, viongozi wapya ni nani?
Jibu: Kwanza, lazima tuseme mchakato kamili wa kuwapata ulifanyika ndani, kwa miezi kadhaa, miongoni mwa waajiriwa, ili kuwatambua ambao wataunda timu yenye uzoefu na ujuzi tofauti tofauti. Tunafurahi kutangaza matokeo, na tunaamini kwamba uongozi mpya wa Femina Hip, unaojumuisha watu wenye mchanganyiko wa uzoefu, uwezo na umahiri utaimarisha utendaji kwa muongo mmoja ujao. Ruth Mlay ndiye Mkurugenzi Mtendaji mpya wa Femina Hip na Amabilis Batamula ni Naibu Mkurugenzi, kuanzia Machi 1, 2021.
Swali: Ilikuwaje hata kukawa na mabadiliko?
Jibu: Mwaka 2020 ulikuwa mwaka wa mabadiliko kwa shirika kwa Femina Hip. Baada ya kusherehekea miaka 20 ya shirika mwaka 2019, mwaka uliofuata ulikuwa mwaka wa mabadiliko ya shirika na vile vile uongozi. Pamoja na changamoto za virusi, mchakato wa usimamizi wa mabadiliko ulifikia malengo yaliyowekwa, yote hayo yakiwa ndani ya Mpango Mkakati mpya wa Femina Hip wa mwaka 2021-2025 unaodadavua mwelekeo kwa shirika kwa miaka ijayo! Wakati serikali ya Tanzania ilipotangaza kanuni mpya za usajili wa NGOs, Femina Hip ililazimika kupitia mchakato wa kujisajili upya kwani NGOs hazingeweza kusajiliwa tena kama kampuni iliyo na dhamana chini ya Wakala wa Usajili wa Biashara na Leseni (BRELA). Femina Hip ni shirika linaloshirikiana na Foundation HIP Edutainment ya huko Sweden, mashirika yote mawili yana mwanzilishi mmoja, Dk Minou Fuglesang. Ametumikia pia kama Mkurugenzi Mtendaji wa Femina Hip kwa miaka 20 akiliendeleza shirika, kuikuza mbinu ya mawasiliano ya ‘elimu burudishi’, kujenga timu makini, pamoja na "chapa" maarufu nchini. Kwa kuwa wageni hawawezi kuwa waanzilishi wa NGOs za kitaifa, iliamuliwa kusajili Femina Hip kama INGO 'mshirika' wa HIP Edutainment, kwa kuwa ushirikiano wa kitaalam kimataifa na fursa za kutafuta rasilimali fedha ni wa muhimu. Femina Hip itabaki kuwa taasisi kisheria, kuwa na usajili wake na Bodi ya Wakurugenzi huku ikibeba maadili ya msingi, 'elimu burudishi' na mbinu ya SBCC, mifumo ya usimamizi na sera zilizowekwa na HIP Edutainment kulingana na maono na nia ya mwanzilishi.
Swali: Je, mpango wa kurithishana uongozi unatekelezwaje?
Jibu: Femina Hip imeunda Bodi mpya ya Wakurugenzi. Dr Fuglesang atakaa kama Mwenyekiti wa Bodi na atafanya kazi kama mshauri wa kiufundi kwa miaka mitatu, kuhakikisha mifumo ya usimamizi, miongozo, kumbukumbu za taasisi na ufadhili vipo ili kuhakikisha utekelezaji wa shughuli za kila siku anapoelekea kwenye kustaafu. Mabadiliko katika usajili wa shirika, muundo na utambulisho vimeunganishwa na mpango wa kupokezana uongozi kati ya mwanzilishi na Mkurugenzi Mtendaji. Mchakato huu ulianza 2020 na iliamuliwa mchakato wa kuajiri ufanyike ndani kwa ndani kwani viongozi wenye uwezo na waliokuwa tayari kulibeba jukumu hilo walikuwepo tayari ndani ya shirika. Bodi ya HIP Edutainment, shirika mama, ilisimamia mchakato huo, kuweka vigezo vya uwezo unaohitajika kwa kiongozi mpya anayeweza kuchukua shughuli za kila siku, kusaidia kujenga shirika huru la uwajibikaji linalotii na linalofanya kazi kwa kushirikiana na serikali. Empower Limited, wakala maarufu wa uajiri, walipewa jukumu la kuwatathmini wahusika na kuwasilisha ripoti.
Swali: Ruth, unapopokea kijiti hiki, unazitazama vipi siku zijazo?
Jibu: Wakati Mama Minou anakabidhi kijiti cha kuiongoza Femina Hip, siwezi kujizuia kufikiria juu ya urithi anaouacha mikononi mwetu. Vizazi kadhaa vya vijana vimekua kupitia kazi ambayo aliianzisha, na leo, vijana hawa ni viongozi katika nafasi mbalimbali. Maono yake yataendelea tunapotazamia kuwashirikisha wazazi zaidi kuhakikisha kuwa vijana wanapata kila msaada unaowezekana ili kufikia uwezo wao kamili.
Swali: Amabilis, Femina Hip itahakikisha vipi kumbukumbu zake zinahifadhiwa na kutumika?
Jibu: Tumechukua muda kupitia, kukagua na kuboresha vitendea kazi vyetu muhimu pamoja na sera zetu, wakati huo huo tunafanya kazi kujenga namna bora ya usimamizi wa maarifa na mifumo ya kushirikishana taarifa ili kila wakati yale tuliyoyaona na kuyafanya siku za nyuma yakutane na tunayoyafanya sasa huku tukijiandaa kuelekea siku zijazo. Ni muhimu sana kuwepo na uhusiano mzuri kati ya hayo matatu kwasababu yale tuliyoyafanya katika miaka 20 iliyopita hakika yatakuwa rejea muhimu katika miaka ijayo.
Swali: Dk. Minou, Familia kubwa ya Femina kote nchini itarajie nini?
Jibu: Baada ya miaka 20 ya kuikuza Femina Hip huu ni wakati mzuri wa kukaa pembeni. Tumeajiri uongozi mpya kutoka ndani, ni timu makini ambayo ina uwezo, utayari na inayotia hamasa. Watalifanya shirika liendelee kuwa muhimu na kinara wa sauti na simulizi za maisha ya vijana nchini Tanzania. Timu hii itapata msaada wangu kamili kama Mwenyekiti wa Bodi ya Wakurugenzi ya Femina Hip. Sisi ni 'Familia ya Femina'!