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3D mock up of a building in Tanzania

A new multi-purpose centre

Designed to support young, unemployed and unskilled women from the poorest communities in Dar es Salaam, the new centre will start construction this summer. The brand new facility will be situated in in the Kiluvya Area, Ubungo Municipal, north west of Dar es Salaam.

Whilst the young women receive accredited vocational training in sewing or commercial cookery, their young children will be looked after at a Kindergarten attached to the training centre.

Women learning how to use sewing machines

Meeting an urgent need in Tanzania

This new venture which is based on a pilot established by the Sisters in 2018, supplies quality vocational training for young Tanzanian women who are out of education and have no work.

It is estimated that a total of 5.1 million children aged 7 to 17 are out of school in Tanzania, including nearly 1.5 million of lower secondary school age. Formal vocational training is unavailable to many of the children who want it. There are only three technical colleges in the whole of Tanzania, with none in a major city like Dar es Salaam. Girls in particular face many challenges accessing an education on account of their gender.

Two nursery children holding hands and balloons

What will the centre offer?

Almost two out of five girls marry before 18 years; and thousands of adolescent girls drop out of school because of pregnancy. Government policies specifically discriminate against girls, enabling schools to expel pregnant and married girls from school, robbing them of an education.

So at the new centre, 100 young women will receive accredited training in sewing, design, commercial cookery, electronics and solar panel installation and will be awarded a certificate at the end of their studies. The acquisition of these marketable and practical skills will help the women get employment or set up an enterprise from their home and earn a good income to support their families. Whist they study their vulnerable children will be cared for.

The day-care facility will be available for boys and girls, aged between three and six. It will provide three nutritious meals each day and a full range of early-learning and play activities. The centre will have its own staff of qualified teachers, training instructors, cooks, security guard, a nurse and a volunteer doctor.

A group of women with the new sewing machines

Based on the 2018 Pilot

The design of this project follows a successful pilot which has been running near to the Sisters’ new secondary girls’ school in Dar es Salaam.

A small sewing workshop set up for 20 young women in Kiluvya has been operating since late 2018 and the impact from this pilot has been significant.

The young women who have accessed this course and learnt new skills have been successful in gaining employment and setting up sewing businesses. They now provide for their families with their newly acquired, marketable and practical skills.

Casta working at a manual sewing machine

Meet Casta one of the first students at the pilot project

“My name is Casta. I studied for three months at the Sisters of Mary Training Centre from November 2018 to February 2019. I went there without knowledge in sewing but now I am very skilled to cut cloth to make skirts, dresses, and different fashion clothes. After completing the training, the Sisters helped us to get money to buy a sewing machine. Now that I have it, I am accepting orders to sew customised clothes from some ladies nearby our place and sometimes, the Sisters also give me some uniforms to sew. Now I am able to support myself, my siblings and family.

“With the Sisters of Mary here in Tanzania, they help many poor girls like me to have means of livelihood, while staying at home. Before I was just doing nothing and just depending on others to eat and provide my needs, but now I can even help a little to others too. From our training in sewing, the Sisters have given us an opportunity. Lastly, I like to give thanks to the Sisters for showing us love from the beginning of our training until now. We are very thankful to them because they taught us to love others and help them in their needs.”

Casta Tanzania