Population:44.84 millionLiteracy Rate:73%Religion: Christian (30%)
The Salesians are responding to the desperate situation in Tanzania, a country devastated by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. One in every 10 citizens has been affected, including 1 million children, many of whom are orphaned and caring for their younger brothers and sisters. A lack of educational opportunities in remote communities – particularly for girls – has fueled the misery and deprivation in Tanzania.
For more than 20 years, Tanzanian children and youth have had access to education through Salesian Mission facilities. Programs are developed based on the most critical needs of the community. For example, AIDS orphans who have dropped out of regular school learn a trade at a vocational school, and girls attend secondary school in Didia, where there had been no secondary school within 40 miles.
Schools and other facilities are providing new opportunities to children, youth and families in communities throughout Tanzania.
More Missions in Tanzania
In Tanzania, the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is nearly nine percent. The virus has orphaned nearly a million children and forced others to assume household responsibilities beyond their years, according to UNICEF.
To help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, students in 79 schools across Tanzania are taking part in the “Life Choices” program, as part of President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Of the 79 schools, 47 are primary, 23 are secondary and 9 are vocational training centers. The “Life Choices” program targets youth ages 10 to 19 with core messages of abstinence and be faithful to prevent HIV infection. The program also benefits the youth by employing a multipronged approach to HIV/AIDS prevention. This approach not only offers youth health education on HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, but also offers life skills training, parental/teacher/community support, recreational activities, sports, youth camps, counseling, and job placement.
In Tanzania, nearly one million children have been orphaned due to AIDS, according to UNICEF. Many of these children are forced to leave school due to poverty or to care for their families. At Salesian technical and secondary schools and youth centers, youth develop skills to overcome obstacles. They learn a trade of their choice and to stand on their own to create a productive life. For more than 20 years, Salesian Missions has been a leader for vocational training and currently provides education and leadership opportunities to youth in communities throughout Tanzania.
When a Salesian Missions secondary school opened in Didia, Tanzania, it was the first secondary school within a 40 mile radius. Just as important, girls had the opportunity to take part in classes at the co-educational facility.
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