Tanzania

We are working to address the hardships facing Tanzania’s most vulnerable children by collaborating with communities, local institutions, and the government to provide a full range of services and opportunities to keep them healthy, safe, schooled, and remain HIV negative.

Tanzania

We work closely with the Government of Tanzania to strengthen communities and local institutions’ capacity to provide a full range of services and opportunities to children and families affected by HIV/AIDS. We work with public secondary schools to reduce dropout rates for girls; sensitize communities and local government authorities to support girls who have already dropped out of school; train teachers to prevent and respond to gender-based violence; empower students to act as mentors and influence social-norms change in their communities; address economic barriers in families, schools, and communities that restrict girls’ access to education.

INNOVATIONS:

We are equipping teen moms who were forced to drop out of school with social assets, financial literacy, and entrepreneurial skills to help them to achieve stability and health and pursue longer-term goals for growth. We are also piloting an innovative early warning system in secondary schools to identify girls at risk of school drop-out, and providing them with the supports needed to retain them in school.

Health and HIV

The impact of the HIV epidemic in Tanzania is enormous with an estimated 1.4 million people living with HIV, and about 55,000 people infected each year. While HIV prevalence is declining due to the government’s extensive treatment initiatives, the combination of poverty and HIV has to disrupted family structures and an estimated 1.3 million children orphaned or vulnerable. As a result, health and HIV are prominent themes throughout our various programming.

Our programs are evidence-based and provide a full range of services and opportunities to children and families affected by HIV/AIDS to keep them healthy, safe, stable, schooled—and remain HIV negative. For children and adults living with HIV, we support enrollment, adherence, and retention of antiretroviral therapy through a range of socio-economic “wrap-around” services and referral networks. In schools, we work with students and teachers to carry out curriculum focused on life skills, changing the stigma around HIV, and providing students with the tools necessary for remaining HIV negative.

We are currently working to implement a multi-sectoral school assessment to generate HIV Testing and Counseling (HTC) referrals in secondary schools. These referrals will be linked to the National Integrated Case Management System in Tanzania to ensure service delivery.

Livelihoods

Despite being one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, Tanzanian communities and families are severely poor with 47% of the population living on $1.90 a day. High HIV prevalence, lacking education systems, and little access to financial institutions has kept many communities in mainland Tanzania below the poverty line.

Through our Livelihood Improvement for Mothers and Caregivers of Adolescents (LIMCA) groups, community members are able to participate in savings and credit activities to strengthen household economic resiliency and social support networks. We believe layering additional services on top of VSLA groups influences desired behavior change. Our Economic Empowerment Volunteers are trained to deliver parenting skills curriculum that includes a rights-based approach to gender that challenges harmful attitudes and practices that discriminate against girls and prevent families from investing in girls’ education.

Education

Even with high drop out rates at all levels of education Tanzania has an additional 61% of secondary school aged girls who are not in school. The lack of education has serious implications on a girl’s ability to live healthy and safe lives including being more likely to be a victim of early child marriage and gender-based violence, lack control of their future, and are more likely to become HIV positive.

We work with public secondary schools to reduce dropout rates for girls and with communities and local government authorities to support girls who have already dropped out of school. In schools, we train teachers to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in order to create a safe and supportive school environment. We also support girls and boys directly with Protect Our Youth Clubs that allow adolescents to build confidence and learn important life skills to help them succeed in school. We empower young leaders to combat gendered beliefs and practices by putting girls at the center of their own agency. To support girls who have already dropped out of school and cannot re-enter, our programs in Tanzania provide life skills and non-formal education, entrepreneurship training, and linkages to health and support services.

Social Protection

We support national-level collaboration, leadership, and capacity building to increase access to and quality of services for people living with HIV, adolescent girls and young women, and vulnerable children and their families. We believe supporting national and local governments to take ownership of initiatives focused on supporting orphans and vulnerable children and their caregivers is the best to ensure wrap-around services have the most impact.

We work with the Government of Tanzania to expand the social welfare workforce with a special emphasis on communities. We support national-level collaboration, leadership and capacity building in social welfare and protection to increase access to and quality of services for people living with HIV, adolescent girls and young women, and vulnerable children and their families. We have led efforts to develop a comprehensive referral and linkages system in Tanzania; the National Integrated Case Management System of NICMS. The NICMS connects and coordinates all service providers working with children across the different sectors of HIV/health, protection, and social welfare.

empowered to combat violence and gender discrimination

participating in community savings groups

equipped to prevent and report gender-based violence

Success Story

Woman with her cows

Poverty seems like an unexplainable phenomenon in Bashey village of Karatu District in northern Tanzania. With one planting season that lasts hardly three months per year, reliance on farming enterprises, and no local financial institutions, community members are simply out of work for the better part of the year, waiting for the next rainy season to make ends meet.

“This is the root cause of our misery here,” says the mother of five, Katarine Amsi (51), adding, “We have ideas, but it is very challenging to achieve them in these circumstances.” Household poverty and economic shocks contribute to a family’s decision to pull children, particularly girls, out of school and thus feeding into the cycle of poverty.

To learn more about how our programs are helping Katarine to become financially independent, read the rest of this story here.

Testimonials

His perspective has changed because in the past/previously he would not involve in me in making decisions, but now he involves me in business deals and family decisions.

Caregivers Day
LIMCA savings group participant