Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous archipelago of Tanzania, 25 km off the mainland and around one million people live here.
While the islands were once the world’s biggest producer of cloves, the industry has declined over the years, leaving many people unemployed and their families living in poverty.
Since 1995, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Zanzibar.
While the islands of Zanzibar were once the world’s biggest producer of cloves and other spices, international competition and other global factors have caused sales to decrease by 80% over the past few decades. This has led to increasing unemployment among the local population. Poverty levels on the island are high, and children suffer many of the consequences.
As many as 74% of children experience poverty, suffering deprivation in areas such as health, nutrition, water, sanitation, housing and education. Child labour and exploitation is also common here, especially during harvest times and the main tourist season.
In recent years, some improvements have been achieved in terms of gender equality in Zanzibar. The primary school enrolment rate is now almost the same for boys and girls. However, the situation looks very different in secondary school: many girls drop out early.
Forced and early marriages remain widespread, which has disproportionate effects for girls. Adolescent pregnancy leads to almost 3,700 Tanzanian girls dropping out of school each year.
Sexual and gender-based violence also continues to be a problem.