Child sponsorship background from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Dar es Salaam, or "house of Peace" is the largest city in Tanzania and was established in 1859.   It is also the country's richest city and a regionally important economic centre.  Dar es Salaam is an administrative province within Tanzania, consists of administrative districts: Kinondoni to the north, Ilala in the center of the region, and Temeke to the south.  The city has a population of around 2.5 million people and is the capital of the Dar es Salaam region. 

After World War II, Dar es Salaam experienced a period of rapid growth and political developments independence from colonial rule in 1961.  Dar es Salaam continued to serve as its capital until 1973 the capital relocated to Dodoma, a more centrally located city.

Dar es Salaam is situated on a massive natural harbour on the Eastern Indian Ocean coast of Africa.  As the city is near the equator and the Indian ocean, the city experiences generally tropical climatic conditions, that is hot and humid weather during much of the year.  The city has around 1,100 mm (43 in) rainfall annually with two distinct rainy seasons during a year.  'The long rains' which fall during April and May, and 'The short rains' which occur during October and November.  The Summer season sees average temperatures reaching 29°C.

It is the country's most important city for both business and government. While the concentration of businesses in the city is high in comparison to the rest of the country, the work force is small - most of the Tanzanian population lives in rural areas.  As the focus for a natual harbour on the Indian Ocean it is a perfect location for the transport of the country.  Railways, which connect the city and country to neighbouring Zambia, and the road network start in or near the city.  The Julius Nyerere International Airport connects with other Africa countries as well as Asian and European networks.

Children from Dar es Salaam, TanzaniaIn the downtown of the city traders and owners run small businesses.  Many of these sellers descend from families from the Middle East and Indian sub-continent - areas of the world where settlements of the Tanzanian coast have had long standing trading.  Heavy traffic, workers, sellers and restaurants give it a buzz during the day but at night it is relatively peaceful.  Nighlife of the city can be found in the residential districts away from commercial centre.

Most of the suburbs of Dar es Salaam are inhabited by Tanzanians of African descent, with the exception of Oyster Bay, where there is a large population of foreign expatriates.  Though there is no racial hostility, the various ethnic communities of Dar es Salaam do not tend to mix heavily. These suburban edges of Dar es Salaam are spreading rapidly, putting pressure on the the transportation network (which aside from ferries, lacks any kind of mass transit facilities) and raising the prospect of future urban overcrowding.

Tourism has developed in tandem with the expatraite community in Dar es Salaam.  The city has a diverse culture. A number of international restaurants are open together with traditional Tanzanian cuisine.  These include "Nyama Choma" (roasted meat) and "Mishkaki" (Shish Kabob - usually barbecued and served with salt and various hot peppers on the side) together with long established Indian and Zanzibari cuisine.  Also, the music scene in the city is lively and wide ranging.   From Taarab, traditionally strong in Zanzibar but which has also found a niche through to "Bongo Flava", representing Tanzanian Hip Hop and R&B.

A variety of museums, including the National Museum, the Village Museum and the Botanical Garden are all near to the city.  Other attractions include the Kaole ruins at Bagamoyo.  The Msasani peninsula north of Dar es Salaam and at Kigamboni are home to beautiful beaches and trips to the nearby islands of the Dar es Salaam Marine Reserve are a popular daytrip where it is possible to snorkel, swim and sunbathe.  There are football clubs in the city and a multiscreen cinema opened in 2003, which was the first to show Western and Indian releases.

Dar es Salaam is also the educational centre of Tanzania.  The University of Dar es Salaam, Ardhi University, the Open University of Tanzania, the Hubert Kairuki Memorial University (HKMU) as well as the International Medical and Technological University (IMTU) can be found here together with other institutes of higher education such as the Institute of Financial Management (IFM), Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) and the College of Business Education (CBE). Dar es Salaam provides secondary education where students take O Levels and A Levels in accordance with national syllabus guidelines.  Additionally, a number of international schools operate in the city.

In view of the widespread poverty which seriously affects children and young people, SOS Children decided to build an SOS Children's Village on mainland Tanzania in 1994.  Arusha, which is a city in northern Tanzania with approximately 90,000 inhabitants, was chosen as the location for the new SOS Children's Village.  An SOS Nursery School and an SOS Primary and Secondary School have been added to SOS Children's Village Arusha.  As a result of the widespread poverty and the great demand for care centres for orphans, SOS Children decided to build an SOS Children's Village and an SOS Nursery School in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's largest city.  Construction work started at the beginning of 2005 and was completed in 2006.

The site on which the SOS Children's Village Dar es Salaam was built is located on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, about 10 km away to the north west from the city centre and near to the University.  It is reachable from either Ubungo Main Road Junction or Mwenge on Sam Nujoma Road and it will clearly be identified by the blue roofs of the house with coffee brown walls. The SOS Children's Village Dar es Salaam has 13 family houses, the village director's house, a community- and guest house, an administration and dispensary building, an aunts' house (SOS aunts care for the children in the absence of the SOS mothers) with a laundry and a services area including a workshop and a roofed meeting place ("Tukul").  Roughly 130 children live with their SOS families at the SOS Children's Village. The Children's Village also includes a SOS Nursery School with four group rooms including one Montessori/special needs room, kitchen and side rooms. The SOS Nursery School welcomes around 100 children to attend pre-school education.