A results-driven Human Rights advocate for Women and Children, and a veteran journalist, Valerie N Msoka is the current chairperson of the Tanzania Ending Child Marriage Network (TECMN).

As one of the twelve founder members of the of the Tanzania Media Women’s Association (TAMWA), she has made TAMWA a household name in seeking equality and social justice for women and children. Her highlights include:

Member of the Constitution Drafting Committee:  Lobbied for equality inclusions that are part of the proposed constitution; the age of the child; the protection of the girl child and women against harmful traditional practices such as early/forced marriages and FGM, Women’s rights to land and in leadership.

Led the launch of the ending child marriage free zone in Tanzania (August 2014) by moderating the event in Dar es salaam in the presence of government leaders, Graca Machel (the guest of honour), heads of Missions and UN agencies and programmes. The event was led by Children’s Dignity Forum, TECMN and UNFPA.

Media Advocacy: Highlighted the importance of the media in bringing about social change especially on harmful traditional practices and GBV especially on the girl child.  Has written articles and spoken of the issue on TV and radio as well as in community radio while visiting the different regions of Tanzania. Trained journalists on reporting GBV and written a manual on the same as a resource tool for journalists.

Prior to taking up her position as Chair of TECMN Valerie has held different positions in the media including Project Director of Internews Tanzania’s, Deputy Chief of Public Information for the UN in Iraq, Head of Radio in South Sudan, Producer for the BBC World News and for BBC Swahili Service. Her career has seen her reporting from Rwanda, Mozambique, DRCongo, Burundi and Uganda. She began her career in broadcasting at Radio Tanzania Dar es Salaam.  In between her different assignments she had three children, Bahati, Shangwe and Tuzo.

Valerie’s professionalism, commitment, integrity and confidence in engaging with people of different levels in both Kiswahili and English, makes TECMN feel confident that she will successfully lead it in its advocacy to end child, early, and forced marriage in Tanzania.