In August 2020, DSW Tanzania launched 2 Youth Empowerment Centres (YECs) in Dar es Salaam and Arusha. In Dar es Salaam the youth centre was launched at Makuburi Ward Ubungo Municipal Council and in Arusha the youth centre was launched at Tengeru in Akheri Ward Meru District Council. The event was witnessed by youth, community members and Government representatives at the Region and Districts. The launch showcased youth vocational skills related products exhibition, edutainment by DSW youth talent groups, health talks by youth friendly health service providers and inauguration of the centres. The youth were also supported with business kits for their income generation activities. The youth club members also conducted peer sessions for youth who attended the event on SRHR and HIV/AIDS.
DSW Youth Empowerment Strategic Approach ensures peer education through youth clubs and youth empowerment centres. DSW Tanzania works with youth and community leaders in identifying the location of the centres in a participatory manner where the location and establishment is owned by the community. The youth empowerment centres are hubs for networking youth activities at the community, supporting other youth clubs, linking youth with other services such as health extension services and an identity for youth edutainment. The centre is also stocked with a mini library for references. The centres are run by youth with support of youth officers in the community.
Hamson Mrema, representing the Meru District Council at the launch in Arusha stated “we request the youth to take advantage of this opportunity for gaining health and entrepreneurship skills through trained peers and Government extension officers. DSW is a great partner who ensures sustainability of its work by such community oriented facilities and interventions.” Also, Rose Mpeleta representing Ubungo Municipal Council at the launch in Makuburi Dar es Salaam urged DSW to reach more youth and ensure capacity through more youth centres as there is a need for more SRH related interventions to curb teenage pregnancies and employability for youth. Andrew Mkopi who is one of the youth leaders at Makuburi thanked DSW for investing in young people’s health stating they now have a place to meet to facilitate their exchange. Winnie Muine the DSW Youth Project Coordinator appreciated the Government support for facilitating establishment of the Centres and also supporting the youth with the government youth development fund.