YITA stands for Youth Initiatives Tanzania and is allocated in Manzese, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It is a non-profit, non-partisan, non-political, and a non-religious NGO that was registered in 2009. YITA supports youth groups in the age of 15-30 mainly in Manzese, a marginalized area of Dar es Salaam. With YITA’s support, the groups work towards sustainable income generating activities. The organization facilitates a three years training program in entrepreneurship and provides equipment boosts. At this moment, YITA works with eight youth groups that almost finished their first year. In 2010 we welcome five new groups. While doing this, YITA is still learning from its experienced partner YIKE (Youth Initiatives Kenya) that started in July 2003 in Nairobi’s Eastlands area. (www.yike.org).
The training program of YITA is based on the training program of YIKE. Youth actively involved in youth groups are empowered through various phases and different interventions. Besides the trainings and equipment boosts, we facilitate community events, we help with networking and linkages and policy and advocacy issues.
Both YITA and YIKE are local partners of UpToYouToo, a Dutch NGO (www.uptoyoutoo.org). UpToYouToo is focused on youth entrepreneurship and music in The Netherlands, Kenya and Tanzania.
In 2008 UpToYouToo conducted field research in Dar es Salaam. It was found that the youth in this city face similar problems to the youth in the slums of Nairobi. Youth engage in groups to generate an income, but face difficulties like unemployment, lack of education, lack of capital and lack of access to the (in)formal market. YITA started a pilot in 2009. Eight youth groups are currently being trained in different aspects of entrepreneurship every three months and are given a strict follow up and mentorship.