Dar es Salaam

SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Tanzania).

Dar es Salaam was Tanzania’s capital until 1996 and remains the largest city in the country. It is located on the eastern Indian Ocean coast and has a population of over 4 million. Its seaport makes it an important economic and commercial hub in the region. Although the city is the most developed in the country and poverty levels have been reduced in recent years, living conditions remain very difficult for large sectors of the population. The city is growing rapidly and many families end up living in slums. Children here grow up in very poor conditions, with limited access to basic services, healthcare or schools.

Since 2007, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Dar es Salaam.

Of households do not have access to sanitation


Dar es Salaam is one of the fastest growing cities on the African continent. However, the infrastructure cannot keep up with the rapid growth. More and more people do not have access to basic services. Most live in slums, and power rationing remains a problem for the entire city. In addition to the rapid population growth, internal migration to the city also puts an additional strain on the already fragile social system. The lack of sanitation can lead to the spread of diseases: in fact, only about 10 % of the population in these areas is connected to the sewage system. During the rainy season, the situation is even worse, as floods regularly destroy the already poor infrastructure.

Of children in Tanzania experience violence

Physical punishment and abuse

Unfortunately, the hardship experienced by families in Dar es Salaam and other parts of Tanzania can impact children in many ways. A large proportion of children and young people in the country experience violence and abuse, often within their family environment. Close to three quarters of children under the age of 17 report having experienced some form of violence or threat. Domestic violence is generally accepted in families and violence against children is further reinforced by legal frameworks that legitimize corporal punishment of children at home and in schools. Furthermore, early marriage before the age of 18 is common in Tanzania. This increases young girls’ vulnerability to violence and abuse and reduces their chances at getting a formal education.

Your support makes a difference for children in Dar es Salaam

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Children and young people
Learn at our kindergarten and school
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children in our care having fun playing together. Siblings grow up with each other, and often form bonds that last a lifetime. (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Tanzania).

How your support helps in Dar es Salaam

Strengthening vulnerable families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.