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Press Releases 2013

American People Award $10 Million Grant to Combat Child Labor in Tanzania

February 28, 2013
U.S. Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt, (2nd from left); presents a sixteen billion, three hundred million Tanzanian shillings grant ($10 million dollars) to the International Rescue Committee to combat child labor in Tanzania. (Photo: U.S. Embassy, Dar)

U.S. Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt, (2nd from left); presents a sixteen billion, three hundred million Tanzanian shillings grant ($10 million dollars) to the International Rescue Committee to combat child labor in Tanzania.

United States Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt addresses officials during the grant presentation ceremony. (Photo: U.S. Embassy, Dar es Salaam)

United States Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt addresses officials during the grant presentation ceremony.

On February 28, United States Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt joined Minister of Labor Gaudensia Mugosi Kabaka, and representatives of the Ministries of Education and Vocational Training, Agriculture, Health and Social Welfare, and Community Development, Gender and Children to bestow a grant of $10 million to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to combat child labor in Tanzania. The grant is funded through the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Affairs (ILAB).

Through this new project, entitled "Wekeza," the IRC will partner with local and national Tanzanian government officials and several non-governmental organizations including World Vision, the Foundation for Civil Society, Kiota Women's Health Development, the Tanga Youth Development Association and the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Dar es Salaam to combat exploitative child labor practices, and provide a new and brighter future for the victims of child labor, their families and communities.

During the ceremony, Ambassador Lenhardt, underscored the American people's commitment to help and support "the heart of Tanzania's future, Tanzania's children." The Ambassador noted that children in situations of exploitative child labor are deprived education, and lack the opportunities to rise to their full potential to lift themselves, their families and their communities out of a cycle of poverty. "By partnering with the Tanzanian government to help children and their families, we seek to build a brighter future for the country as a whole," the Ambassador added.

The project will target six districts in the Kigoma and Tanga Regions, where the issue of child labor has been most prevalent in agriculture and domestic service. Taking a multi-stakeholder approach, the IRC project will address both the victims of child labor, and government capacity to address it. IRC will get children into school, train youths in business and entrepreneurial skills, help raise household income, and link families to existing village community banks and social protection services. It also will work with local and national government to build their capacity to implement policies to eliminate child labor.

Since 1995, the American people have sponsored projects that have rescued approximately 1.5 million children from exploitive child labor around the world. Through the Department of Labor, the United States has funded 260 similar projects that have been implemented by more than 65 organizations in 91 countries. At present, the United States is sponsoring over $210 million of active programming to combat the worst forms of child labor worldwide.