SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Tanzania).

Arusha is a city located at the foot of Mount Meru in northern Tanzania, near the Kenyan border. It is the capital of the Arusha Region and has a population of approximately 416,000. Arusha is, on the one hand, a relatively developed city that draws thousands of international tourists and businesses to the region each year. On the other hand, there are overcrowded slums where people live in very poor conditions. The surrounding areas are mainly agricultural and most people live off subsistence farming. However, the drop in coffee prices in recent years has hit the local population badly.

Since 2000, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Arusha.

Of people do not have access to clean water

Access to proper infrastructure

Arusha is relatively developed, but the city’s rapid growth in recent years has led to insufficient infrastructure. Living conditions for the majority of the population have increasingly deteriorated and more and more people live in slums. These dwellings are neither stable nor safe and have no toilets, running water or electricity. Almost half of the population has no access to clean drinking water. The government has committed to increase access to improved sanitation to 95%, but much remains to be done. Without adequate sanitation, people are highly vulnerable to disease. Children are particularly at risk. Largely preventable diseases such as malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea kill 270 children under 5 in Tanzania every single day.

Children are out of school in Tanzania

Access to education

As in other parts of Tanzania, access to education in Arusha is not possible for every child. While the country achieved almost universal access to primary education a few years ago, the number of children of primary school age is declining. An estimated 2 million children between the ages of 7 and 13 are not in school. An even larger proportion of young people between 14 and 17 do not attend secondary school. Inequality is a real challenge when it comes to education. Primary school-aged children from the poorest households are three times less likely to attend school than children from wealthier families. Girls and children living with disabilities are even more likely to be unable to access education.

Your support makes a difference for children in Arusha

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children absorbed in painting for an art class. Strengthening communities and children. SOS Children’s Villages works hard to make sure that children stay at school for as long as possible (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Tanzania).

How your support helps in Arusha

Strengthening vulnerable families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run training so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start their own businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.