Our Programme Areas

Our Projects

African Initiatives’ ultimate aim is to help the most marginalised groups in Tanzania, particularly women and girls, have the opportunity to live ‘Maisha Bora’ which means ‘a good life’ in Swahili. Our projects reflect this vision of supporting girls’ transitional journeys from childhood through to adolescence and to a fulfilling adulthood.

Our work focusses on three priority areas: girls’ education; health and well-being; livelihoods and resilience. Child protection, gender equality and disability-inclusion are also integral to all we do. Read more about each programme area below and click on the individual projects to learn a bit more detail about a particular project, its context, the people it is designed to help and achievements to date.

1. Education

We believe girls have a right to education and that when girls are educated, everyone in the community benefits. Poor families often struggle to send their children to secondary school and many parents do not recognise the value of educating their daughter when she will be married off at a young age, in exchange for a dowry. Girls living in pastoralist communities are particularly at risk of not receiving an education; high drop-out rates and poor performance are made worse by family displacement, initiation ceremonies (Esoto), female genital mutilation (FGM), and forced marriage (EFM). African Initiatives provides girls with a safe place to sleep, study and socialise and we also engage key community members in the importance of girls’ education and the responsibilities of parents, and the wider community.

Equal Rights

Improves access to and quality of education, governance and security of schools, as well as strengthening transition rates from primary to secondary school. Read more

Engisoma Ngorongoro

Improves both the quality of teaching and transition rates from primary to secondary school. Read more

Beacon Schools

Makes teaching more child-centred and inclusive through training and mentoring. Tightens child protection in school, and on journeys to and from school. Read more

Hope of a Girl Child

Reintegrates girls into mainstream schools and support them to transition from primary to secondary school. Read more

Girls’ Scholarships

Supports girls to enrol and attend secondary school, and works towards reducing the number of unplanned pregnancies. Read more

The Bed Project

Empowers girls by giving them a bed for the night near school; keeping them safe from long walking distances and wildlife attacks. Read more

2. Health and Well-being

We sensitise communities, parents and village leaders to the importance of HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health, and we work to improve access to health services for the most vulnerable populations. The sexual and reproductive health rights of women and girls in Tanzania are threatened by gender-based discrimination. For many women and girls, the freedom to decide when to reproduce, how often and with whom is rarely a matter of choice. Tanzania has a current HIV prevalence rate estimated at 4.7% of the adult population; women are three times more likely to be HIV+ than men, and amongst female sex workers, HIV diagnosis is currently at 28%. Our health and well-being programme reaches the most marginalised women and girls, including female sex workers and pastoralist girl mothers.

School HIV and AIDS Intervention

Raises awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention, and provides testing and early access to care and treatment. Read more

Accessing Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights

Increases access to SRH, family planning, HIV rights and services for female sex workers. Read more

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools

Strengthens WASH facilities in schools. Incorporates learning about menstruation into primary education. Read more

3. Livelihoods and Resilience

We believe everyone deserves equal rights to economic resources and that financial independence is paramount to ending the cycle of poverty. In northern Tanzania, pastoralist communities, including the Maasai and Hadzabe, continue to be forced off their lands to make way for purposes such as national parks and game reserves. Pastoralist women and girls are routinely denied the right to own land, property or the means of production and, hence, the means of income generation. Improved economic empowerment of women and people living with a disability through village community banking (VICOBA) schemes is critical to our work in building the livelihoods and resilience of the most marginalised communities in Tanzania.

Improving Community Resilience for Pastoralists: Land Rights and Gender Equality

Secures land for pastoralist communities through Customary Certificates for Right of Occupancy, allowing communal land ownership to be legally recognised. Read more

Disability Inclusion in Village Community Banking

Improves access to livelihoods opportunities, well-being and confidence for people living with a disability, their families and other vulnerable adults. Read more