DSW Tanzania showcases Youth Empowerment Centres (YEC) and Youth Clubs as “Safe Spaces for Youth”

Philomena Marijani Success Stories, Tanzania, Youth Empowerment

In Tanzania the national commemoration of International Youth Day   took place from August 10-12, 2018. August 10, 2018 was dedicated for the community services that include planting of trees and visiting stakeholders’ youth programmes that illustrate this year’s International Youth Day theme “Safe Spaces for Youth.”  On this day there were field site visits where different stakeholders from national and international level; CSOs, development partners, government officials and youth visited DSW youth programmes. The participants to this program were Mr. Eliakim Mtawa, Government   representative from the Ministry of Policy, Parliament Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled, UNFPA, African Youth and Adolescent Network (AFRIYAN), ILO, AMREF, PSI, Pathfinder International, JHIPEGO and Government Officials from   Arusha Region and other regions.

The highlight  of the field visit were  volunteer tree planting at Tengeru and  visiting of   Ndili Youth club in Arusha; Red Apple  Youth Empowerment Centre in Kilimanjaro; Kaloleni Health Centre; Viboko Deaf Youth Club and  DSW Tanzania Training centre.  The delegation was able to see DSW hands on experience in youth initiatives and service provision that showcases Safe Spaces for Youth.

 

Delegates at maize farm of Ndili Youth Club

The delegation started by visiting Ndili Youth Club in Meru, Arusha Region that  showcases DSW youth Clubs Initiative  that comprises of  Youth-led Peer Education, Community Outreach, Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) Services,  Economic Empowerment and Sustainability. In Ndili Youth Club, the members of the clubs showed the guests the different projects that they are operating such as agriculture, fish farming and brick making.  They also displayed how they use the irrigation pumps donated to them by DSW in farming activities. It was reported that Ndili Youth club won the top  prize for  being the best quality maize producer in the village . The youth members explained how the youth clubs have been useful in their development.  They said that youth clubs have enable them to be recognized by the government and some of the youth have become leaders in their community. Both individual and club have  Income Generating Activities (IGA).  They have been able to reach 1000 youth through SRHR  peer  session within their village and neighboring villages

Delegates at the vegetable farm project of Ndili Youth Club

After visiting Ndili Club, the delegates visited Red Apple Youth Empowerment Centre. Addressing the Guests, the Chairperson of the Red Apple Youth Empowerment Centre (YEC) Ally Salim said that the YEC has been a safe space for youth within their area.  He mentioned the centre activities  to include  provision of SRH education to youth and community through arts, sports and dissemination of the Information, Education and communication (IEC) materials; conduct of business  activities like stationary and making of flowers and other community services like cleanliness.  He applauded DSW Tanzania for helping establish the centre in collaboration with the community, training delivery and provision of infrastructures that include photocopy machine, printers, computers and Television LCD, which has enable them to conduct their Income Generating Activities (IGA).  “Red Apple Centre has been always a place where we youth feel secure, it is a place where we could meet share different information especially on Reproductive Health and share our talents and creativity through arts and business activities. We are proud that now we have physical address, we are recognized and we are established to save fellow youth.”  said Ally. The delegation had a chance to see youth at the centre that showed their talents, SRH peer sessions and centre library.

A Government representative, Mr. Eliakim Mtawa from Ministry of Policy, Parliament Affairs, Labour, Employment and Youth commended the DSW and youth for such initiative and said the Government of Tanzania will continue to support these initiatives to ensure economic development for the youth.

In Kaloleni Centre, delegation was able to see how DSW collaborated with the other service providers to ensure availability of Youth Friendly Services.  It was explained that DSW supported Kaloleni Health Centre in provision of Youth Friendly Service.

 

The delegation also visited Viboko Deaf Youth Club which comprise of youth with disability. The stakeholders learned how the youth with dis- ability can be empowered to make a living and improve their lives. The members of clubs were able showcase the process of making shoes, beads and  boutiques.

Viboko Deaf Youth Club demonstrating shoe making skills at their centre supported by DSW

Delegates at Viboko Deaf Youth Club

On this day there was also trees planting session whereby more than 600 trees were planted by youth and stakeholders.

The day ended by delegation visiting DSW youth training centre and office situated in Tengeru. They were able to see and learn the programmes and services that DSW provide in the country and DSW staff share the different initiatives that DSW implements include capacity development, advocacy and youth initiatives. “This has been an excellent experience, I am so delighted to participate in DSW site visit program, I have learned a lot. I will share this knowledge and experience with my fellow youth in our region so as they can implement similar projects” said Oliver, a youth from Dar es Salaam.

Delegates getting information on fish farming from Ndili Youth Club Member