New hope as project addresses youth unemployment in Kilimanjaro

07Jun 2016
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
New hope as project addresses youth unemployment in Kilimanjaro

JOSEPH Mosha is one of the villagers in Kahe East ward of Moshi Rural District, who have benefited from training on how to explore business opportunities in the area located on slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro—the Africa’s roof.

I knew nothing on business, but Kilitech has transformed my life to better. We’re able to acquire social skills and start our own businesses.

At his 30, Mosha never dreamed that one day he’ll become an entrepreneur in the area because of his socio-economic background. But now, he’s able to support his family through his business. He is engaging in cereal crops business. He sells those cereal crops as far as Moshi main market.

“This business has transformed my life,” Mosha said, commending the Kilimanjaro Technology Foundation (Kilitech) is one of the non-state actors, which comes to the government rescue and assist local communities in the implementation of development projects in rural areas in Kilimanjaro Region.

Kilitech—the US-based NGO, is dedicated to addressing challenges facing local communities in Tanzania. To do this, it has partnered with local NGOs to bring technology closer to the communities and boost business development so that these communities can be self-supportive to fund schools and improve social services.

“I knew nothing on business, but Kilitech has transformed my life to better. We’re able to acquire social skills and start our own businesses.”

He says unemployment remains a serious challenge facing the nation, but this can only be tamed if young people are empowered with entrepreneurial skills “and this is what these people of Kilitech are doing.”

“But through what Kilitech has launched, it means young people can acquire social skills and knowledge and start their own businesses as the government has been advising colleges and universities to do to address youth unemployment in the country,” he says.

Mosha appealed to fellow young people to utilise opportunities offered by the NGO to bring about development in their villages and the region in general. He thus thanked Kilitech management for launching those projects in their village, which he said they were long overdue.

It’s well known that large part of rural settings lack access to safe water, quality education and other social services—a situation which makes rural transformation extremely difficult.

Although local and central government authorities have stepped up “painstaking” actions to put things in order – such as improving the education system and providing essential social services, but their efforts have not born anticipated fruits due to financial and administrative constraints and other factors.

However, realising the fact that the government can hardly implement pro-poor development projects and succeed on its own, some non-governmental organizations are now chipping in, supplementing government initiatives by designing and implementing projects in rural areas.

The coming of KIITECH projects in the area which in most cases are people-centred, created an avenue for youth to be knowledgeable on social skills and knowledge to the people so that they can change their lives.

Accordingly, Kilitech has launched some projects in Kyomu Village in Majengo, Kahe East Ward, Moshi District. The aim is to improve people’s livelihoods. Its projects include a maize mill, a vocational training centre and beekeeping and carpentry.

"There are also other projects that are planned for implementation in the future such as a mobile clinic and poultry keeping," said Kilitech project manager, Nashon Chacha.

“Self-employment is a practical solution to unemployment for it creates jobs for the unemployed youth in the country,” noted Kilitech project manager.

Besides, Kilitech sponsors other projects such as porters education with Chikima Foundation, a project aimed at giving English lessons to porters during the low season to facilitate communication with tourists.

The NGO has also sponsored Moshi Institute of Technology (MIT) by donating routers and computers. Kilitech is also sponsoring young people from pre-school to university level.

Chikima Foundation is currently having five students on its sponsoring list, two at university level, two at secondary school level (a boy and a girl) and one at pre-school level. It is also planning more sponsorship for young people in the future.

Information communication technology is essential for education and employment opportunities. “Whether we are helping to build small businesses to be owned and operated by villagers, donating computers and supplies to schools or bringing power and internet services to communities, with every project we strive to enrich lives, increase education and employment and reduce poverty,” said Kilitech project manager.

According to him, the organization’s people-centred projects were likely to succeed all the time because they directly addressed people’s needs and met their expectations.

“I am glad that we have been accepted by the people here and as you can see all of our projects are people-centred and this encourages us to work hard for we now we are doing something positive to the people of Tanzania, especially rural dwellers,” he said.

Not only that, Kilitech is also working with TAREO, a non-governmental organisation, to help the above mentioned groups achieve what they have been longing for. These groups are formed by people, who have realised that they cannot work as individuals and become successful.

They have also realised that they have one common enemy, which is poverty and by working together they can eradicate it. Kilitech and TAREO have decided to make a difference in the lives of Kilimanjaro residents by starting with Kyomu Village.

Adamu Kiverege is a college student who is grateful to Kilitech for sponsoring him for before he had lost hope of pursuing college studies due to the fact that his parents, who lived in Bigwa Ward in Morogoro Region, were poor and could not afford to pay college fees.

He said he completed his secondary school education and joined MIT to study English and was able to meet Kilitech officials and after talking to them his family background and financial hardships he was experiencing they accepted to sponsor him to pursue some courses at certificate level.

Patrick Nyirenda, who is studying adult education at Hop Centre based in Himo, Moshi District attests: “Given my family background, I never dreamed that one day I would go for further studies, but Kilitech made it happened for him.”

“It’s important for the government to support Kilitech so that it can other people countrywide, especially children, who had failed to continue with studies to do so as he was doing,” said Nyirenda.

Moshi municipal director, Fulgence Mponji says the organization supported the district, by educating the youth and women’s groups entrepreneurship, describing the move as an important aspect for the district and Kilimanjaro development.

Sanura Sechonge, a teacher from Majengo Kidis School, which is being funded by Kilitech and situated in Kahe East Ward in Moshi District, said “the NGO was assisting the school with computers, books and paying teachers’ salaries.”

Kahe East councillor Kamili Mmbando also was positive about Kilitech for what the NGO was doing in his ward, saying: “Kilitech was helping villagers in many ways and promised to cooperate more closely with the organization.”

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