Where Can We Go?
Arusha is Tanzania’s second largest city with a population of around 1.2 million and is experiencing rapid commercial growth. It acts as a magnet to young men and women from rural areas seeking employment, most of whom have limited formal education and few skills. For these youths, the opportunities for employment are still very limited. In Arusha about a third of all active people are unemployed of which youths make up nearly half – approximately 150,000 individuals.
They often end up living in shanty or squatter areas; some are engaged in dangerous mining activities but the majority becoming involved in illegal employment: petty theft, robbery, drug dealing and the sex industry, leading to imprisonment, HIV and AIDS and premature death. This situation is compounded by their limited knowledge, formal education, experience and entrepreneurship, as well as a lack of start-up capital to invest in small-scale businesses. Opportunities to find training and education, earn a decent living and improve their own lives are very few, particularly for young people from poor backgrounds. Additionally, education and awareness around issues like HIV and AIDS remains relatively low.