Reviving Lost Dreams through Vocational Educational Opportunities

August 18, 2023

“My dream is to become one of the most prominent businessmen in Tanzania,” declares 19-year-old Joachim Kavishe, during a roundtable discussion with the US Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr. Michael Battle Sr., on Monday, June 5th, 2023. “After failing my Form 4 exams, I thought my life was over, but now I have renewed hope.” Joachim is referring to the educational support he has received from the USAID Kijana Nahodha project.

Joachim is taking tailoring classes at the Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO). He says, “I was motivated to select the tailoring course because I see it as a clear path to making quality local products for export and creating employment for fellow young people.” Joachim is one of the 284 (169 female, 115 male) marginalized youth living in Dar es Salaam who have been enrolled in Vocational Training (VT) programs through the support of Kijana Nahodha. These young people were selected from a pool of over 2,700 applicants through a rigorous vetting process in collaboration with Local Government Authorities (LGAs), and are now receiving varying levels of support to ensure their academic success.

Youth in a roundtable discussion with the US Ambassador to Tanzania.

“Me and my four siblings are orphaned and live alone. I was 19 years old when I stopped going to school. Before I started this food processing course I was just in the streets,” says 22-year-old Christabela Milanzi. She concludes by saying, “I am excited to follow my passion for baking; this opportunity will change my life, and help me transition to the next stage of life.”

Aisha Ramadhani, 22, (left) and Mawazo Saidi, 23, (right) during the roundtable discussion with the US Ambassador to Tanzania

While the life circumstances that have lead youth like Joachim and Christabela to halt their educational journeys are different, Kijana Nahodha hopes to offer knowledge and skills that make economic opportunities accessible, becoming self-aware possible and improving their physical and mental wellbeing inevitable for all, reaching 45,000 young people in the next four years. Upon course completion, all young people receiving educational support, will be provided with startup kits as capital for starting their entrepreneurial journeys. Additionally, the project will connect youth to market opportunities, help them brand their businesses, and receive coaching and mentorship.