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Impact stories

Promoting social inclusion in Tanzania

Oliva's ability to earn an income was hindered for many years as she could not read, write or count. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon in Tanzania, where around 25 percent of women and girls over 15 years struggle with illiteracy.

Three years ago, she joined the A+ program, developed by Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) NGO Caritas Australia in collaboration with its local partner Diocese of Mbulu Development Department (DMDD). By taking literacy and numeracy classes in her village, Oliva was able to develop essential skills to improve her life and livelihood activities.

“My business is growing because I can keep my financial records without confusion”, says Oliva.

Working with local communities, the program focuses on identifying key priority areas for improvement, as well as resources and ways community members can achieve their vision for a better future.

Over the last five years, more than 2,500 people were able to enhance their quality of life by improving food security, increasing access to water, sanitation and hygiene services, and promoting greater social inclusion.

One of the key issues identified by community members was the challenges faced by women and girls in attending school, as they tend to bear the burden of household tasks, with low participation in activities outside the home.

The program has given Oliva an opportunity to thrive in her community and to improve her personal life as well.

“Education has enabled me to come closer to my children, as we do homework together,” she says.

Oliva also noticed that other women were interested in the classes but were too shy and embarrassed to be in the same class as their children. Even though she was still learning herself, she set up a classroom in her mud house and started passing on her knowledge to her neighbours.

“My students are happy and highly motivated. I am proud to be a teacher who helps others to achieve their dream,” Oliva says.


Oliva and her neighbours
Oliva gives back to her community by teaching her neighbours how to read and write. Credit: Caritas Australia
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