European Union External Action

Tatu learns her disability is not an inability - EU funded project in Tanzania empowers the most vulnerable

02/01/2018 - 08:18
On the ground (case studies)

July 26, 2016… A day to remember by some of the residents of Visiga ward in Kibaha town council. The once marginalized 175 youth in the area before September 2015, shed off that ‘label’ after graduating in various technical courses. Among them, 34-year-old Tatu Kondo Mshindo - deaf, and orphaned at a young age - who graduated in electrical installation.


The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Regional Administration (LGRA) Hon. Selemani Jaffo presided over that important event and handed over certificates to the graduates as a sign of completing the six-month training and transition to another level of lifestyle.

Tatu was subjected to many difficulties in life, but never lost hope and eventually was admitted in the Youth Economic Empowerment (YEE) project. Against all odds she graduated in domestic electric installation and was excited to have reached that level, something she had never imagined would actually happen. “At the age of 13 when I lost my mother, I became desperate sort of, a situation that forced me into a petty business, selling fried cassavas for twenty years, until early January 2016 when I enrolled in the YEE education programme,” Tatu narrated.

On why she chose this profession among all others, Tatu said that she always wished to be an electrician one day, and through this project she has realized her dream.

“When I used to see electricians my feelings would always rise.  During my secondary studies it was very difficult because I had no one to translate for me. But under this project with the apprenticeship system, it is a perfect means to realize my dream. I now prove to the world that being disabled, and a woman above all, does not mean that you cannot do anything, I think I am the first deaf woman to has this profession in my area,” said Tatu.

She enrolled in the second batch of Year One through apprenticeship and was attached to Mr Sande Ligata of NS electrical engineering as her master craft together with other four male trainees.

“From when Tatu started her training in February 2016 to her graduation, she proved to be a capable and trustworthy character, and has been given responsibility to lead others to accomplish given tasks like wiring, fixing switch sockets, assembling main switches and many others”, Sande reported.

The former trainee at the master craft, Shabani Athumani, helped her in sign language communication.

Tatu is one of 1,500 youth in Kibaha district, Pwani region to be reached by YEE project by 2018. The project is funded by the European Union which aims to invest in creating job opportunities to support the empowerment of the most vulnerable, particularly youth and women, socially and economically. It is implemented by Plan International, VSO, VETA, UHIKI and CODERT in five regions including Morogoro, Mtwara, Lindi and Dar es Salaam.