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About Utoto Salaama/Peaceful Childhood

Utoto Salaama/Peaceful Childhood

Understanding and preventing sexual and other forms of violence against children in Zanzibar

Very little is known about the root causes of childhood violence, including sexual violence, in Zanzibar, or which preventative strategies may prove appropriate. Save the Children UK and Save the Children Tanzania engaged the LSHTM in early 2015 to conduct research to support Save the Children’s programming to address violence against children in this context. Our overall research endeavour consists of a series of phases. The first phase, which has already been conducted, was a scoping phase to learn more about violence in Zanzibar from published literature and by speaking to key stakeholders on the island.

We have just completed the second phase, which involved in-depth anthropological research to explore the context of violence against children, and possibilities for intervention. We conducted qualitative research with different groups of people — children, parents, school staff, madrassa (Islamic religious school) teachers, community members and community leaders. Early findings suggest that madrassa schools are a key site where violence against children occurs, and that staff and other stakeholders would appreciate support to help them address sexual and other violence against children.

Our next phase will involve further qualitative and survey work to understand patterns of violence in madrassa schools, and to inform development of a tailored intervention to prevent violence in madrassas.

Who we are

The study is a partnership between LSHTM and Save the Children International UK and Tanzania.

Who we are Utoto Salaama/Peaceful Childhood


Associate Professor
Principal Investigator


Associate Professor
Principal Investigator


Research Fellow

Heidi Grundlingh

Research Fellow
Utoto Salaama/Peaceful Childhood Publications
Local narratives of sexual and other violence against children and young people in Zanzibar
Lees, S; Devries, K
Culture, health & sexuality. pp. 1-14. ISSN 1369-1058