Latest update

Access to basic services, including safe water, healthcare and education, is an ongoing struggle for millions of Tanzanians living in poverty. One of the biggest issues facing children in Tanzania is child marriage and disrupted education. Nearly two out of five girls in Tanzania are married before their eighteenth birthday and the majority of adolescents are not enrolled in school.

In some rural areas, children get married as young as 11 years old. Compassion advocates for vulnerable young girls by offering a safe place for connection, community and mentoring at the centre. Staff members also provide home visits and educates parents about how vital it is for girls to receive a complete education.

Watch the video update below to hear more from our Tanzanian neighbours.

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Country update

How is Compassion currently operating in Tanzania?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Centres in Tanzania have reopened and are now holding normal program activities.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    Letters are currently being delivered as normal in Tanzania. We encourage you to write a letter to your sponsored child today—your words of care and hope are incredibly uplifting for children in poverty.

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts continue to be distributed as normal in Tanzania. Local workers will meet with the child and family to determine the best use of the gift and ensure it meets their greatest need.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for staff, churches, children and families in Tanzania.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray for Lydia's family, as they are experiencing financial and health difficulties.
  • Pray for children's safety as many travel back home for the holidays.
  • Pray that God would bless the new child development centres in Kibiti, Kilwa and Mchinga as they reach out to children in poverty.
  • Pray for peace and confidence for secondary students preparing for exams.
  • Praise God for His continued wisdom and guidance for the national team in Tanzania as they make decisions for the future.
  • Pray for peace and strength for the women who are expecting their babies to arrive in the upcoming months.
  • Praise God that the outbreak of the Marburg virus has been successfully contained.
  • Pray for health, provision and unity in Tanzania.
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Breaking the Cycle

Education is key in breaking the cycle of poverty and now, for the first time in Maria’s family, children are going to school.    Read more open_in_new


Please note: Centres in Tanzania have reopened and are now holding normal program activities.

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in Tanzania

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care.
  • Children aged 3 to 5 visit the Compassion centre for six hours on Saturday.
  • Children aged 6 to 11 attend for six hours on Saturday and two hours during the week.
  • Students aged 12 to 18 attend for four hours on Saturday and four hours on a weekday.
  • Students aged 19 and older attend the centre for four hours during the week.

Compassion Program Activities in Tanzania

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Compassion assisted children in Tanzania typically attend program activities at their local child development centre on Saturdays, as well as a couple of hours after school during the week. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in Tanzania.

8:00am - Breakfast and a time of devotion. When they arrive, children are usually given tea served with a snack, usually an egg, bread or buns.

9:00am - Spiritual lessons, when children sing songs and learn Bible stories.

10:30am - Break time, when children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships.

11:00am - Social-emotional lessons ranging from conflict resolution to developing healthy self-esteem and a godly character. Children often come from challenging home environments and are taught social and personal skills.

12:00pm - Lunch and social time. Children usually share in a meal that comprises rice and beef, beans, ugali (stiff porridge) and fruit. Local staff aim to increase children’s protein intake.

1:00pm - Health lessons, in which children learn practical health and hygiene tips. Example topics include how to prevent malaria and HIV transmission.

2:00pm - Letter writing and career planning. Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests and set goals for their future.

Children are encouraged to join in activities such as sports, games, camping, and tree-planting and cleanliness activities in the community. They also participate in public celebrations such as AIDS Day, the Day of the African Child or Uhuru Day. Additionally, parents and caregivers are offered parenting classes.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in Tanzania


mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births


of people live below the poverty line


of people lack access to basic sanitation

Tanzania is home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa at almost 6,000 metres in elevation. Agriculture is an important part of the country’s economy, and many families continue to observe a traditional, pastoralist way of life—including the Maasai people in northern Tanzania.

The modern nation was established in 1964 when Tanganyika and Zanzibar united to form the United Republic of Tanzania. The constitution was amended in the 1990s to allow multi-party politics and Tanzania has enjoyed relative political peace and stability ever since.

But domestic stability has not translated into economic prosperity, and many Tanzanians still live in poverty.

The most affected group live in rural or semi-rural places and work as small-scale farmers. They remain personally vulnerable to poverty because large sections of the country are vulnerable to severe weather events. In 2019, a late onset of seasonal rains meant crops were reduced—and then flooding in some regions wiped out crops entirely.

So, while the economy has been growing, agriculture is growing slower than other sectors, meaning that the majority of families living in poverty aren’t benefitting as much as others.

The country’s poverty rate has come down over the past decade from 34.4 per cent in 2007, but the absolute number of people living in poverty has held at about 13 million, due to high population growth.

Yet access to basic services—including safe water and proper sanitation, adequate healthcare and good education—is an ongoing struggle for millions. The government’s efforts in many of these areas have been undermined as the population has grown faster than services and infrastructure.

Meanwhile, local churches across the country are working hard to nurture and protect vulnerable children, to ensure they have opportunities to develop and experience the unfailing love of God and His church.

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