DSW in 2016 – dispatch from Tanzania

Peter Owaga Development Cooperation, Introducing..., News, Tanzania, Youth Empowerment

DSW Tanzania is a DSW Country Office registered as a development and advocacy organisation. Our goal is to enable people to decide freely and responsibly about the number and spacing of their children. We believe that a person’s access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is both a fundamental human right and a crucial step towards eliminating global poverty. Our focus is on achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), which is fundamental to improving health and fighting poverty.


The year 2016 marked 10 Years Anniversary of DSW Tanzania Country Office. A decade of change that has witnessed transforming  lives of young people, women and community members, developed capacities of  health service providers and local civil societies. DSW partnered with numerous organizations at the national and regional levels to promote and advocate for friendly policies, health budget allocations and operationalization of various frameworks on the areas of reproductive health and youth development and youth inclusion in decision making.

DSW Tanzania began its operations in 2006 advocating for health improvement with focus on youth empowerment and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights targeting young people  aged between 10 to 24 in urban and rural areas mostly out-of-school. Through Youth-to-Youth Initiative (Y2Y) DSW has  worked in close cooperation with the beneficiaries to improve their knowledge of SRHR, club management, leadership, effective participation, advocacy and livelihood.

As DSW Tanzania celebrates 10 years of services in Tanzania, we are  proud to share a summary of 2016 annual programmatic achievements, lessons learnt and more importantly looking into the In 2016, DSW through its Youth development training centre continued to develop capacities of local CSOs on the areas of Organization Development and Youth programming. Anecdotal evidence collected from CSOs reached through DSW capacity development work shows there is huge improvement on organizational management, financial systems and program designing on the areas of reproductive health and youth development.

To support increase of youth friendly services utilization in rural communities, DSW in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children enhanced individual competency of health services providers from public health facilities on the provision of youth friendly and family planning services to young people.

During the year, in 12 districts we have endeavored  to put young people and young women at the centre of our work by reaching them with SRHR, leadership, entrepreneurship and advocacy skills as an essential empowerment to them to ably make informed decision, choices and active participation in decision making processes. Another noble lesson learn from our work we have witnessed increase of trust of community members to elect young people trained as FP champions to hold leadership roles in health facilities committees and village government councils to represent youth agenda and interests.

We are also glad to see that our services are now reaching urban youth in  Dar es Salaam region in two districts by  delivering program support to young women and girls by helping them to overcome poverty and risky sexual behaviors that contributes to new HIV and STIs affections and unintended pregnancies through community-based behavior change communication approach.

DSW is humbled by the support were provided by decision makers and Government officials at different levels to support DSW initiatives in promoting youth empowerment, friendly health policies and budgets. The Government has greatly boosted budget allocation in health sector that aligns with the new national road map strategic plan to improve reproductive, child and adolescent health in Tanzania.

By embedding youth works with local government authorities, we have recently observed youth clubs getting supports from local authorities in respective districts that guarantee sustainability of youth clubs activities to unleash their potentials.

For the coming year, DSW Tanzania will continue serving young people at all level through its various interventions/ projects in complimenting government’s efforts to improve the quality and standard of social services provided to young people. In addition DSW will continue ensuring that young Tanzanian population is meaningfully engaged in assessing their needs and other issues through, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation at community, national, regional and global levels.

DSW Tanzania reaffirms its commitment to continue working with all stakeholders for the betterment of youth health and development.