Dar es Salaam: Irene is a young mother who has dared all odds in pursuing her dream. She was pregnant at 16, dropped out of school and at some point she believed it was over for her, as many others did.
Now at 21, she recalls a difficult journey making ends meet and caring for her child without a stable income.
"Like so many girls, I had a lot of dreams. One of them, to become very rich through motor vehicle engineering and help my family out of poverty because I have grown see it struggle for even a daily meal. When I found out I was expecting, I thought all was lost. I despaired."
But through Youth Economic Empowerment (YEE) project, Irene has revived her dreams. She got an opportunity to pursue an Auto mechanics Course under the Vocational Education Training Authority (VETA). Despite the social cultural constrains, she has managed to accomplish her course and is now earning her income. She is the leader of five other young Motor vehicle mechanics and they have applied for loan from the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Youth Development to open up their own garage.
Irene says she is now very happy and on track to achieving the long cherished dream. “I am extremely thrilled by this job, even though a lot of people criticized my choice of profession. I do my work carefully and diligently, and many vehicle owners come to see how I work, they appreciate it and most people wish I become their mechanic."