Brussels — At 23, Allan Martin, from Ifakara District in Morogoro region did not expect that he would one day wake up to find a free and clear path that would eventually change his life. After graduating from his o-level education in 2013 at Kibaoni secondary school, he wanted to be a heavy truck driver but had no means to pay fees for driving lessons.
"My father died when I was just five years old and my mother who was doing small businesses had to take all the responsibilities including ensuring that my siblings and I go to school. She went through difficult situations however she at least managed to pay for my education in government run primary and secondary schools", Allan narrates.
In 2014, Allan went to live with his brother but he had to become a casual laborer until September 2015, when Plan International Tanzania in partnership with other partner organisations launched the Youth Economic Empowerment (YEE) project in his district. Amongst other things, the project aims at improving and increasing opportunities for wage and self-employment among marginalised young men and women dependent on the informal sector in Dar es Salaam, Pwani, Morogoro, Lindi and Mtwara regions. The three year (2015-2018) project worth over EUR 3m is led by Plan International and funded by the European Union. The EU funds projects to support young people to develop the knowledge and skills they need to succeed socially and economically and creates job opportunities to promote stability and sustainable development.
Allan is one of 9100 beneficiaries that the project targets come April 2018. He benefited from a six-month driving course and is now employed as a Bajaj (tricycle) driver.
"After obtaining a driving license and a certificate of completion from VETA, everything has changed completely. I am employed since February 2016. I am now assured of fulfilling my basic needs and can comfortably support my brother's family", Allan Added.
Allan says he earns a maximum of TZS 30,000/= and a minimum of TZS 22,000/= per day whereas he is required to submit only TZS 18, 000/= to his employer, implying that the extra money is his own.
Allan dreams of owning his own tricycle (Bajaj) and is saving money for further studies until he gets a license allowing him to drive heavy trucks. He also dreams to own his fleet of trucks one day.
"My long term dream is to have personal tricycles and trucks, which I am saving to achieve right now. But as of now besides driving, I am saving for my own tricycle which will enable me to further my education for a license to drive heavy transnational trucks" he concluded.
Allan says he is very much indebted to Plan International and its partners for the support, and advises other youth to effectively grasp the opportunities that come around their areas and find ways to self-employment. He urges youth to invest the little that they earn to attend vocational training centers and obtain skills which would enhance their employability.
The project has so far reached around 2030 young people out of whom many have already reported that they have begun enjoying the fruits of the vocational skills they have acquired.
Copyright European Union, 1995-2017
SOURCE European External Action