Government of Canada

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Reducing poverty: A small contribution makes a big difference in Tanzania

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Reducing Poverty

CIDA's Canada Fund for Local Initiatives supports small projects suggested and managed by local organizations in some 80 countries around the world.

A small contribution makes a big difference

Good morning. Welcome to the Jambiani Tourism Institute in Zanzibar. My name is Patricia Elias. I'm the director of the Jambiani Tourism Institute here.

We offer different training programs at the Jambiani Tourism Institute. We have short course certificate programs and a long-term two-year diploma program, and we offer it to people who are poor. They have no money to be able to further their education, so this is an opportunity for them to come and get their training and learning.

We've had a wide range in backgrounds for the students coming to school here. Some of them have had no education at all. They've lived lives where they've had to go out and work with their parents, either fishing or farming, because the parents are so poor—the family is so poor. Some of our students have had only a Grade 3 education. They're adults 35 to 50 years old and have never had an opportunity to go to school.

With assistance from CIDA's Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, the Institute was able to purchase essential training tools such as kitchen equipment, classroom and office furniture, and computers.

We have in the short course—they're 12 weeks long—we have English, keyboarding, IT, math and usually hotel/hospitality programs. In the diploma program, we offer a two-year program in tourism and hospitality, and the courses range from accounting, leadership, all the hotel/tourism training courses.

Overall, we've trained approximately 1,200 to 1,500 people, some of them in the short course. We've graduated our first-year diploma program students and we are now just taking our new intake of students for September. It's now March. We have to do the interviews this early so that people can get their lives in order and try to put money together so that they can live whilst they're coming to school.

It's a very good opportunity for them, but it's also really hard work on their part to be able to survive whilst they're training.

I think the biggest comment that I get when people talk about how school is changing their life here, it's the word "hope". That's the biggest word that we hear here. "This opportunity has given me hope for my future. I can make a life for myself."

So, I'd like to thank Canada on behalf of the students and the people in the village of Jambiani, Paje, Bwejuu, who have received such benefits because of the support we've been given by them. So thank you very much. Merci beaucoup. Asante sana.

"Tanzania needs a pool of highly trained local staff to serve in the tourism, hotel and hospitality industry."

President Jakaya Kikwete, East African, 20 July 2009