Since 2015 the Tanzania YES Alumni Association (TAYAA) has run a vocational training school. This school provides affordable training on 12 different topics ranging from  hotel management to English language to jewelry making. However, up until very recently, the school was not recognized by the Tanzanian Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA).

After months of hard work by TAYAA, the school has been recognized by VETA. VETA was founded in 1994 by  the Tanzanian government as a way to build vocational training in communities, in turn resulting in a stronger infrastructure with more educated workers. This verification from VETA demonstrates the success of our alumni and the much needed contributions they make to the community. 

The TAYAA training center is unique in that it is run almost entirely by skilled YES alumni. The courses are taught by TAYAA volunteers and most of the administrative work is done by the group. The principal of the school, Ester Mduma, is even a YES alumna, and many of the administrative functions of the school are managed by Tanzanian IRIS Country Coordinator Grace Foya. For Grace, this VETA verification is the culmination of much hard work, but only the beginning.

“Personally, I won’t be satisfied until we see the classrooms full of students.”


For principal Ester Mduma, this opportunity means so much. Ester was an 08-09 exchange student through IRIS who stayed in Clear Lake, Iowa and attended Ventura High School. It is the culmination of much hard work in persuing her teaching career, in her dedication to being an alumni group member and in volunteer work. It is the intersection of many different points of her life.

“The TAYAA Vocational Training Center being accepted by VETA is really a dream come true. I remember once we were only imagining having our own school that will represent us as YES alumni in Tanzania. This is a huge success and personally it means a lot because I will be able to work in something that defines me and I have so much history with.”

In the future, TAYAA hopes to increase awareness of the school and its offerings within the community. The VETA certification is only the beginning for what is sure to be a very bright future for the Tanzanian YES Alumni Association Vocational Training Center.

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