ADD International in Tanzania.

Our journey.

Our history in Tanzania...

In Tanzania, like many countries, disability has been viewed as a misfortune deserving sympathy, which can lead to shame and exclusion. When the country gained independence in 1961, the only active disability-focused organisation was the Society for the Blind.

In 1969 the Tanzania Association of People with Physical Impairments (CHAWATA) was formed to represent people with all disabilities. They soon recognised that people with different physical impairments had their own specific needs and during the 1970s-1990s they supported the formation of five new impairment-specific organisations.

In 1992 a group of disability activists formed SHIVYAWATA, the Tanzania Federation of People with Disabilities Association, a national umbrella organisation that now has nine affiliate DPOs who work together to demand their rights through advocacy and lobbying.

With ADD International’s support and training, the relationship between SHIVYAWATA and DPOs has vastly improved. They have each acquired vital skills needed to confidently and effectively decide their own priorities and activities. They have also built strong links with the government and other international charities in order to ensure disability is included in their plans and policies.


Learn more: how we work with disability activists


What have we achieved?

Three of our recent accomplishments in Tanzania:

More women activists.

In 2008, more women than ever competed for leadership positions in the disability movement. Several disabled women appeared in TV programs, confidently addressing issues specific to them.

Partnerships with the media.

We provide media institutions and journalists with disability training in exchange for coverage of our work and disability issues.

Hearing aids.

In 2014 we encouraged the Starkey Hearing Foundation to assess 500 children from poor families and provide 260 free hearing aids.

You can help more disabled children access and education in Tanzania.

Donate today


Our partners.

Our country teams support DPOs with information, training, mentoring and funding. To encourage independence they help DPOs identify other sources of funding.

DPO leaders hold meetings with their members throughout the year to discuss their plans and aims and attend annual meetings with ADD International to plan and agree the next 12 months’ work and enter into formal partnerships.

In Tanzania we directly support the Federation of Disabled People's Organisations - SHIVYAWATA. The federation represents six local groups:

  • Tanzania League of the Blind.
  • Tanzania Albino Society.
  • CHAVITA (representing Deaf and hearing impaired people).
  • CHAWATA (representing people with physical impairments).
  • Tanzania Association for Mental Health and SWAUTA (representing disabled women).

For further information on the organisations we work with in Tanzania, please see our annual reports and accounts.

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Stories from Tanzania

Meet our heroes. Read their stories.

Projects in Tanzania

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Nasra, standing in front of a wall

11 year old heroNasra's story

Nasra goes to the local school and travels there on foot - but for someone like Nasra, walking by foot anywhere can be life threatening.