Karibu Tanzania Organization (KTO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (MoEST) is implementing the Elimu Haina Mwisho, a Skills Development Program for young women through 54 Folk Development Colleges (FDCs). The programme targets young mothers and young women who dropped out of school due to various reasons, including early pregnancies, early marriages, poverty and other social-cultural issues.
The Elimu Haina Mwisho (EHM) programme empowers young women with opportunities to access secondary education through a non-formal setup, vocational training, life skills, and entrepreneurship; the skills needed to create opportunities for further studies, or bridge them into employment and enable them to thrive in the labor market.
In response to, and prevention of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and other harmful practices, EHM programme provides the young women with a comprehensive life skills education programme including human rights and gender equality, GBV, HIV/AIDS, and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). At the end of the two-year programme, participants will not only gain new knowledge and be employable or continue with their studies, but also gain self-esteem, self-confidence, and be empowered to tackle life challenges and become true examples of life-long learning.
Tanzania, a lower middle-income economy is among the fastest growing economies in Africa, with one of the world’s youthful populations. However, the Tanzanian society suffer from gender disparities that restrict accessibility of basic rights and services for girls and women. Child marriage and adolescent pregnancy rates are high, contributing to an alarming rate of school dropouts. Out of 60,000 children who drop out of lower secondary school every year, half of them are girls with 5,500 girls dropping out due to pregnancy (WB, 2020).
In line with the inclusive Education Strategy, KTO in collaboration with the Ministry of education, science and technology (MoEST) developed the EHM programme to provide an alternative pathway through FDCs, for young women and mothers who dropped out of school for various reasons. The initiative aims at strengthening young adults with a focus on young women’s rights and opportunities for active citizen engagement, and help them gain the skills to acquire formal-sector employment, self-employment and or continue their education even further. It also involves personal development, capacity building for the participants to acquire new knowledge, skills in democratic participation, and deeper understanding of community problems and finding ways through which young women can participate in solving them.
The programme recruits young women to FDCs allocated in different regions all over Tanzania. The young women come together for a two-year course (which is flexible depending on participants wish) of social rehabilitation, skills-building combining both theory and practice, and short-term internships. The course activities are also used as a tool in the work towards attitude and behavioral change in society, bringing awareness about girls and young women´s situation in the community through Community dialogue activities.
To enable young mothers to attend the courses well, childcare services are provided at day-care centers at the FDCs. While the MoEST and the FDCs supports with ensuring the availability of classrooms and childcare workers, KTO supports the day care centers with training and learning materials including books, furniture, children play facilities, and training of childcare workers.
The EHM programme is in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 5 as it strives to ensure that young women and mothers get quality education irrespective of their status as dropouts, while promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. Once these young women are educated and empowered, they get opportunities to engage in different income generating activities including employment. Hence, contributing to achievement of SDG 1.