Laughing women in Zanzibar | VSO


We've worked in Tanzania for over forty years, building healthy communities, strengthening inclusive education systems, and supporting people to develop secure and resilient livelihoods. We currently operate in seven regions in mainland Tanzania, as well as on Zanzibar.


We reached 75,000 people across all our programmes in 2018-19.


Interactive theatre performances reached 18,003 people, engaging them with issues surrounding teenage pregnancy.


Our livelihoods programming is supporting 2,000 entrepreneurs with technical advice, skills development, and expert mentoring

Healthy communities

A group of girls huddle together under a sign reading 'Organisation for women empowerment'

We're working to empower girls and young women in Lindi.

In Lindi, one of the regions with the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the country, teams of youth volunteers are using an innovative combination of drama and participatory learning to empower girls, and engage community gatekeepers on the issue.

Through interactive theatre and workshops, young people are empowered to tell their stories – including to those in positions of power - and advocate for change, while performances within communities help to raise awareness of risks and educate young people on healthy behaviours.

Using drama to challenge harmful social norms

Inclusive education

Two schoolboys work at their desks in the classroom
VSO/Sophie Tremblay

Our education programmes help make lessons more engaging, even when there are limited teaching resources.

Our Inclusive Education programme focuses on pre- and primary schools, working to empower all children to access high-quality education that allows them to reach their full potential.

We focus on the most marginalised young people, particularly those living with disabilities, those in crisis situations, and hard-to-reach girls. We work to develop teachers’ knowledge and skills in child-centred learning, improve school management, encourage community support for local schools, and develop comprehensive child protection and safeguarding systems.

In collaboration with three main partners, last year we reached 17,271 children and education professionals across 48 schools in some of Tanzania’s most vulnerable communities. In the rural Kagera region, exam pass rates in our project schools rose from 78% to 96% in Standard IV and from 64% to 95% in Standard VII over three years.

Resilient livelihoods

A young woman stands amidst cassava plants which reach the height of her head

We're supporting farming households to diversify their crops and improve their agricultural practices.

In the Muleba district we’re working to increase food security for marginalised farming households, by improving agricultural productivity, sharing knowledge about nutrition, and supporting farmers to diversify their crops. So far we’ve trained 1,200 households on good agricultural practices, microfinance and business skills, as well as further engaging 80 lead farmers and 12 agriculture extension officers, who will now work to pass on their knowledge to others in the community.

We’re now focusing on establishing kitchen gardens for 650 of the most vulnerable households – including those headed by widows, people living with HIV, and/or people living with disabilities – who will be further supported by extension officers specifically trained in horticulture and good nutrition.

We’re supporting SMEs to thrive through establishing Enterprise Innovation Centres, where volunteers with technical expertise provide business development services, coaching and mentoring for 2,000 entrepreneurs. By strengthening people’s business skills and improving their access to finance, technology and markets, we’re helping to create new jobs and assisting entrepreneurs to get their start-ups off the ground.

Encouraging grassroots growth

In the Lake Zone region, we’re empowering marginalised young people – especially pregnant girls and young mothers – to develop the skills and confidence they need to secure sustainable livelihoods, and challenging the gendered norms that can prevent women becoming valued members of their community. Through outreach programmes, apprenticeships and skills training, we’re supporting 3,000 young people to succeed in the formal sector, whilst establishing 80 income generating groups to help entrepreneurs develop their own businesses.

Lake Zone Youth Empowerment

A strength of VSO is the flexibility in terms of planning, developing a project from the beginning, including everyone consulting together … this means that there is flexibility in implementation and decisions … there is real partnership with VSO and this leads to better outcomes.
Tanzanian Ministry of Education and Vocational Training

Contact us

We work with a number of partners in Tanzania including the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Cuso International, Randstad, the Tanzanian Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA), Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO), and the Tanzanian Women Chamber of Commerce (TWCC).

If you are interested in supporting our work, or if you have another query, get in touch:

Address: Amverton Tower 4th Floor Unit A1, Plot #1127 Chole Road - Masaki, P.O.Box 6297 Dar Es Salaam. (Open Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 16:00 EAT)

Tel: +255 222 780 121

Volunteer with us

We are always looking for more skilled specialists.

Find out more about volunteering with us in Tanzania

Find out more about our work in:

Regina Mwaba sharing her story and encouragement to some young girls inside the Youth Friendly Space at Mbabala Clinic.
Chosa Mweemba

Inclusive sexual and reproductive health and rights

Supporting the most vulnerable people to realise their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Children using tablet computers on the VSO Malawi Unlocking Talent project

Education system strengthening

Developing inclusive education systems that leave no child behind.

A student watches intently as her instructor demonstrates machinery in a welding and metal workshop

Employment and entrepreneurship

Ensuring that everyone has access to decent employment and market opportunities.

Tailor Rafiki Bienvenue goes over paperwork in his workshop

Enterprise development and job creation

Supporting small and medium enterprises to grow.