Stories from change-makers in Tanzania

Solitha James Mwajuma
Sponsored Girl In Tanzania Solitha
In Tanzania, only about one in every three girls is enrolled in secondary school.
There’s a host of reasons, from teenage pregnancy and child marriage to poverty. But the result of dropping out of school is the same: fewer opportunities.

Solitha had to drop out of school after fourth grade. She was an orphan, and spent most of her time taking care of her aunt, who has diabetes.

“I felt bad after dropping out,” Solitha says. “Without my own finances, I had to rely on my aunt, but life was difficult and I was unable to buy the things I needed, such as sanitary pads.”

She had almost given up hope of making a better life for herself until she heard through the local government offices about Plan International’s Youth Economic Empowerment (YEE) project. After being selected, Solitha took part in a six-month training course to learn tailoring skills provided by our project partner Vocational Educational Training Authority. Now, she runs her own tailoring shop where she also sells children’s and women’s fabrics and clothes.

“My life has changed since joining the course,” Solitha says. “Now I can make clothes and earn an income which makes me feel very happy. I am proud of my work and enjoy being my own boss. It has changed my life, from the way I look to the way I think.”
Meet two more young women who benefited from Plan’s job training.
Sponsored Child In Tanzania James
“I always wondered where I would be by now, had I not had my accident,” James says.
When he was 17, a bicycle accident damaged James’ spine and left him unable to walk.

“It took me some time to come to terms with my disability,” he says.

After spending a year recovering at a local health center, James was transferred to a special physiotherapy unit. There, he made friends with other young men recovering from similar injuries. And together, five of them decided to start a business.

The group was invited to join Plan International’s Youth Economic Empowerment (YEE) project. They took part in a six-month training course to learn electronic skills. After finishing the course, the group received a local government loan and a startup kit from Plan, which helped them to get their mobile phone and computer repair business up and running.

Now, James has gone from having no income and being reliant on his family to being fully employed and able to sustain himself. His business has also given him status in the community as a popular “fundi,” or repair man.

“I am now enjoying life unlike before,” James says. “YEE has tremendously changed my life. It picked me up when I had lost hope.”
Learn how Plan is supporting girls with disabilities during COVID-19.
Mwajuma Sewing As A Part of Plans Youth Economic Empowerment Project
Mwajuma used to work 16-hour days.
In the mornings, she sold secondhand clothes. Then, every day at 4 p.m., she went to work as a barmaid. The schedule didn’t leave her much time to take care of her young daughter, and her combined earnings from both jobs was only barely enough to make ends meet.

Then, she heard about Plan International’s Youth Economic Empowerment (YEE) project.

“I went for an interview, which I passed, and was enrolled into the tailoring course, which completely changed my life,” Mwajuma says with pride. “I went from a barmaid to an entrepreneur and owner of the Black Beauty Tailoring company.”

After graduating from the project, Mwajuma was given two sewing machines by the project and had the expertise she needed to open her own tailoring business. Starting by making and selling women’s hats, she now makes a profit of around $40 per month. She is able to save, and has even returned to school to take courses in catering and decoration — skills she plans to use to start up more new businesses.

“What can I say about the YEE Project?” Mwajuma says. “It has totally transformed my life!”
Read more about Plan’s projects focused on skills and work.

Plan International has been working to improve children’s lives in Tanzania since 1991.

Our work in Tanzania

Sponsored Child In Tanzania
Office & operations

Plan Tanzania’s country office is located in Dar es Salaam, with program units in Dodoma, Geita, Pwani, Kigoma, Mwanza, Morogoro and Rukwa.

Technical areas

Health, education, WASH, economic empowerment, protection, and disaster preparedness and response

Number of sponsored children

As of June 30, 2022, people like you sponsor 24,403 children in Tanzania through Plan International.

Our projects in Tanzania

Why sponsor with Plan?

Gender equality is a fight we must all take on together. Through sponsorship, you can change lives and create long-term impact in communities.

The full circle of Fate

When you sponsor a child through Plan, you form an incredible friendship.

Sunny Days Magazine Child using a viewfinder and smiling

But that’s just the beginning. With Plan, you also have the unique opportunity to:

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Send them birthday gifts and cards.

Little Treasures icon

Give them special holiday presents called Little Treasures.

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Subscribe them to Plan’s educational kids’ magazine, Sunny Days.

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Arrange a visit (pending any travel restrictions), with individual travel assistance from us.

Each gift offering is safely hand-delivered by us, and given to your child with personalized cards from you. It’s likely that the child you sponsor will have never seen anything like these gifts, and with the exception of Little Treasures they’re available year-round to make the bond between you and your sponsored child even stronger.

Meet a child to sponsor