VSO Tanzania volunteers work on both the mainland and the island of Zanzibar, which is a semi-autonomous part of the United Republic of Tanzania and has its own constitution and a separate parliament. VSO’s work in Tanzania is focused on education, secure livelihoods and HIV and AIDS.
The abolishing of school fees, compulsory enrolment measures and the recruitment of additional teachers saw primary school registration in Tanzania increase from 59% in 1990 to 80% in 2002. However, despite increasing enrolment rates the quality of education remains weak; repetition by students is high, retention is poor and the pass rate for the primary learning exam is less than half.
Many teachers have minimal support and their salary is often insufficient and that affects their morale. Other issues include public expenditure constraints; slowness of educational reform; lack of skills needed for effective management and planning; poverty and lack of parental involvement in the education process. Volunteers working as teacher trainers, school development advisers and educational resource mangers, are working to improve quality of education children receive by improving teaching methodology and resources, school governance and planning systems and the professional support teacher receive.
HIV and AIDS
HIV and AIDS prevalence is currently estimated to be 7% of the population, approximately 1.1 million Tanzanians. In response the Ministry of Health has launched an ambitious Care and Treatment Plan, which aims to provide quality care and treatment to at least 400,000 people before the close of the decade, with over US$500 million are committed to its implementation.
VSO Tanzania supports this plan by placing doctors, nurses, nurse trainers, counsellors and pharmacists in regional and district hospitals. Additionally, volunteers with management, fundraising or advocacy skills are working with local non-governmental organisations and local government authorities that are raising awareness of HIV and AIDS within local communities and supporting activities such as home-based care and local support groups.
Many disadvantaged groups in Tanzania are prevented from earning a living because of issues such as limited employment options, poor environment for enterprise, little understanding of basic business development skills, and lack of specialist and technical skills in areas such as agriculture.
To ensure secure livelihoods for vulnerable groups, VSO volunteers are involved in:
the promotion of small to medium business enterprise
supporting vocational training and skills development in local trades
strengthening structures and networks of community-based organisations that are involved in economic development.
Get in touch with VSO Tanzania at:
PO Box 6297, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania