Zanzibar – vocational training for underprivileged women

Two-year dual training as a seamstress

The projects in Zanzibar benefit from the cooperation and the many years of experience of the locally registered NGO, Pamoja Zanzibar.

As a constituent state within Tanzania, Zanzibar has its own government, parliament and president. The average annual income is $250. More than half of the population lives below the poverty line. It is estimated that about 12 % of the children suffer from acute malnutrition.


The educational system in Zanzibar is overwhelmed by the sheer number of young people being that the average age of the population is just 17 years old! The result: Limited training opportunities, with their quality leaving much to be desired. As is all too often the case, the situation for young women is even more dire due to cultural restraints. If they are fortunate enough to complete an apprenticeship, many times their husbands will not allow them to work outside of the home. This very often leads to economic dependency on their husbands and furthers exploitative structures.

Two birds with one stone …

The locally registered NGO, Pamoja Zanzibar, has been running a sewing school as a project partner in Zanzibar since mid-2015. Every year, 15 young women are trained in a two-year dual apprenticeship as seamstresses. The graduates receive a state-recognized certificate upon completion.

With the training, two birds are killed with one stone: On the one hand, the young women receive excellent training. On the other hand, due to the nature of the work, the training enables them also to be able to work from home. Because all they need for their job is a sewing machine and some space, they can then work either outside or inside the home.

In this way, the project specifically supports the women in their fight against poverty and dependency.

Specific goals

In order to be able to offer more work stations and a higher quality of training, we want to empower Pamoja Zanzibar to be able to purchase ten more sewing machines. In the current time, the first-year apprentices must work in pairs on one sewing machine!

Additionally, the training will be expanded through the purchase of two embroidery machines and the required hardware and software. This gives the sewing students significantly better chances on the job market.

Markus Schranz

Member of the Board and Finances

"PartnerAid convinced me by its direct, uncomplicated way in which help is provided on the ground.”