U.S. President Obama may be visiting Tanzania next Monday for his first time while in office, but his administration has already been here more than three years, working with Pact to help Tanzania’s at-risk children to break the cycle of poverty and disease.
Since 2010, thanks to the generous support of the American people through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Pact has been implementing a program called Pamoja Tuwalee in collaboration with Tanzania’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare for Most Vulnerable Children (MVC).
Pamoja Tuwalee is a five-year initiative that aims to help vulnerable Tanzanian children and their families measurably improve their lives and take ownership of their own future. To achieve those goals, Pact works with local nonprofits and governmental agencies that, in turn, work with their community’s families and caregivers to ensure at-risk children’s basic needs are met and that they access vital services, engage in personal development, and ultimately build self-confidence.
Often, our local partners find the best way to help vulnerable children is by helping their mothers earn a dignified living. Nearly 60% of Tanzania’s most vulnerable children live in female-headed households.
That’s why one of the most successful approaches of Pamoja Tuwalee is based on Pact’s acclaimed WORTH model in which small groups of women save together and make low-interest loans to one another that help them launch or expand small businesses that improve their income. Typically, these women have no other access to credit.
More than 18,000 households throughout Tanzania participate in Pamoja Tuwalee’s WORTH groups.
Since Pamoja Tuwalee’s start, Pact has worked with nearly 50 grassroots organizations and local governmental bodies to reach more than 43,000 children with services they need for a bright future. At Pact, we’re thankful for the opportunities that President Obama, PEPFAR, USAID and the American people are extending to Tanzania’s youth through Pamoja Tuwalee. And we’re excited by the prospect that, some day, maybe one those youths touched by Pamoja Tuwalee will grow up to be a world leader, just like the one visiting their country next week.