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May 27th, 2020

Aid by Trade Foundation of CMIA Supports Sewing Education in Tanzania

In the East African country of Tanzania, the non-profit Aid by Trade Foundation together with local partners has opened a new vocational education centre. In the Bariadi district it is the first training centre ever. The training starts with four classes in carpentry, bricklaying, tailoring, food science and processing. 80 young people will receive a specialist training per course. The facility was officially handed over to the competent authority for vocational training.

To give some background to this, Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) is an internationally recognised standard for sustainably produced cotton from Africa. Established by the Hamburg-based Aid by Trade Foundation (ABTF) in 2005, the initiative employs trade rather than donations to empower cotton farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa to improve living conditions for themselves and their families while protecting the environment. In 2019, 125 million textile products bore the label of Cotton made in Africa.

Schooling in Tanzania is now free of charge to the end of secondary education, thanks to a new law that took effect in 2016. However, many students face unemployment after graduation, with no vocational school in the district to continue their education—thus far. Now, the new vocational education centre is meeting local needs with 20 places for each of tailor’s and carpenter’s apprentices as well as 25 apprenticeships in the field of carpentry, masonry, tailoring and food science and processing. During the months-long programme, all apprentices will receive foundational agricultural training supplemented by lessons in business administration.

“We are excited to offer young people in Bariadi district opportunities through the education centre in future”, says Aid by Trade Foundation’s Alexandra Perschau, project coordinator and director of standard and outreach, concluding, “This is an important step towards decreasing unemployment among young adults in rural areas. With more than 300 interested parties who immediately applied for the training places, there is an enormous demand in the region.”

The education centre contains four classrooms, equipped according to subject, as well as a canteen, sanitation facilities, and a vegetable garden. One of the centre’s declared objectives is to support young women in all four trades. Young people with physical disabilities receive preferential placement in the programme.

 

As part of their training, the young people are expected to work on real client orders, thereby also helping cover the centre’s ongoing expenses. Graduates receive a certificate upon successfully completing the programme.

 

Local partner Alliance Tanzania, a CmiA verified cotton company, is working closely with the Tanzanian authority for vocational training in order to ensure that qualified instructors are employed and the programme receives national recognition.

With projects like these, Aid by Trade Foundation is supporting the region with local community development surpassing the scope of sustainable cotton cultivation in accordance with the Cotton made in Africa standards. Projects are being funded in the fields of health, education, environmental protection, and the advancement of women.

More information is available at www.cottonmadeinafrica.org.





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