In 1975, close advisors of the first Tanzanian president envisioned global engagement that would increase mutual understanding and cooperation between Tanzania and the United Kingdom. They launched the Britain Tanzania Society and its development arm Tanzania Development Trust to strategize and fund programs that would uplift communities facing extreme poverty, gender inequality, and resource disparity. With full commitment and continued tenacity, Trust volunteers have made remarkable strides over the past 45 years.
Rural regions in Tanzania are often deprived of reliable water and sanitation facilities. Government-sponsored infrastructures predate Tanzania’s independence, but water committees are unable to sustain funding for sufficient rebuilds. Villagers increase the spread of water-borne diseases as they share their resources with livestock. And a rapid influx of students have strained sanitation resources for primary schools. To decrease health risks and increase school retention, Tanzania Development Trust funds projects that improve accessibility to clean water.
Nine rural villages in Kigoma suffered severe water shortages due to dam damages. In collaboration with the leaders of the Bitale village, Tanzania Development Trust funded a structural renovation that benefitted the lives of over 51,000 people.
Women and girls in Kinyika were forced to walk 4 miles to retrieve water. After consulting a district water engineer, the village manufactured a system of water pipes that connected to a machine-driven water pump. Villagers were thrilled to see their shortage problem resolved, and their program ensured the delivery of clean water to over 4,000 locals.
Mvumi School of Nursing doubled their nursing student population, but their facilities could not accommodate water supply. Tanzania Development Trust funded four 5,000-litre SIM tanks with cement bases and adequate guttering to increase water retention.
Access to education for girls is often fraught with difficulties. Families force girls into domestic roles. Schools lack proper hygiene provision, especially for menstrual cycles. And long distances pose high risks of abuse from bus drivers, shopkeepers, and other adults. Tanzania Development Trust funds programs that discourage unwarranted male aggression, reduce burdens of domestic work, and increase opportunities for activities.
Nearly complete in renovation, Kaseke Girls Hostel anticipates opening for the new term. They are working with local district officials to ensure full completion. The hostel will provide a safer environment and adequate facilities for incoming students.
Ikondo Secondary School received funding to reduce their electricity costs and build a girls hostel. Last year, the school submitted a poultry farm proposal to a global business competition and won best business idea. Now teachers empower their students to exercise entrepreneurial skills at home, and they provide online opportunities to connect with aspiring entrepreneurs outside of Tanzania.
Tanzania Development Trust funded the first Safe House in Mugumu for girls at risk of female genital mutilation. The Safe House envisaged safety and protection, as well as the promotion of educational programmes and partnerships with international organizations. Over 300 girls have been protected during the first three years since its inception. After ‘cutting seasons’ end, teams coordinate with local police to ensure that girls return to safe environments, and if their families refuse to sign binding agreements, girls stay at the Safe House and attend a nearby school.
Relatively small amounts of money, when strategically invested, can profoundly transform the lives of women living in extreme poverty. When women are able to start their own operations, coupled with business training and ongoing coaching, they increase their family income and elevate their own roles in their communities. Poor agricultural practices resulting from income poverty have also increased environmental harm. Farmers burn bushes to discourage other creatures, uproot trees for herbs, and encroach on virgin soil just to provide enough food. Tanzania Development Trust funds programs that improve income, empower women, and deliver environmental education.
A group of widows in Mkongoro organized a palm oil business. They store oil in plastic containers until prices improve during the production year. Now they are more empowered to increase their incomes for themselves and their communities.
A young group in Nazareth requested startup capital to create soap. After their local community development officer arranged training sessions, they made significant profits from selling their own product.
A women’s group in Manyoni received a grant to expand their sewing business. As the team expanded, women began training children who left primary school. Sewing machines have continued to empower a full community of women.
During the past 45 years of operation, Tanzania Development Trust has funded over 607 projects and benefited around 608,000 people at a cost of £2.4 million. While many of these projects start small in scope, they become catalysts for building a brighter future. Thank you for helping Tanzania Development Trust change the trajectory of deprived communities.