Join DMI

in our mission against

forced labor and sex trafficking


Slavery denies children and young women their liberty, wellbeing, and opportunities to thrive.

Human trafficking is a form of slavery, as traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control victims for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or labor services against his or her will.

Tanzania is the largest East African Country with a population of 52.5 million. 46% of the population are children. 6 million children between the ages of 0 – 14 live below the poverty line. An additional 2 million children are orphaned or abandoned. According to the 2016 CIA World Facts, 21% of all children between the ages of 5 – 17 in Tanzania are trafficked.

Unscrupulous recruiters lure poor and rural children into trafficking with false promises of education, well-paying jobs, and a better life. They are forced to pay off debts for transportation, health and living expenses, endure physical and sexual abuse, and threatened that they will be thrown out and rendered homeless if they try to run away. They are forced to work with little or no pay as domestic servants, in restaurants and hotels, and in bars and brothels.

Tanzania is on the U.S. State Department’s Tier 2 watch list for failure to fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In the last year, according to the U.S. State Department, Tanzania has secured only one conviction for trafficking and sentenced the trafficker to an unprecedented sentence of one-year imprisonment. Tanzania’s anti-trafficking statute allows defendants to pay a fine in lieu of jail.

DMI’s goal is to reunify girls who are victims of trafficking with their families whenever possible. To ensure that reunification can be accomplished safely and positively, DMI provides comprehensive counseling to families and their children prior to reunification. Reunification is not always possible, and some girls are taken in by DMI or with relatives or community members.

Resources on Child Trafficking in Tanzania:


DMI operates a shelter for trafficked girls.

DMI supports and invests in survivors of trafficking through Spring of Hope:

Daughters of Mary Immaculate (DMI) established Spring of Hope in 2010 as a shelter and safe haven for victims of human trafficking. The shelter is a campus located on 40 acres on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, with dormitories, dining halls, classrooms, and job training facilities. The girls range in age from 13 – 19. They were found by law enforcement, by concerned citizens, and through DMI’s outreach efforts.

DMI provides a year-long program of healthcare, psychological counseling, education, and job training. At the end of the year, the goal is to have improved the girls’ health, sense of dignity and confidence, provided job skills and, when possible, reunify the girls with their families.

No one knows the number of trafficking victims in Tanzania, but the number greatly exceeds the resources available to rescue them. DMI has expanded the number of girls at the shelter every year since it was opened. When the shelter opened in 2011, it served 26 trafficked girls. Now it shelters 78 girls. It hopes to expand its capacity further, starting with the creation of a walk-in center in downtown Dar es Salaam.

DMI also works to reduce trafficking through:

to teach rural families about the dangers of traffickers and trafficking and how to spot and help victims of trafficking.

to encourage change in social norms; law and public policy, particularly the rights of girls and woman; and promoting trafficking prevention by working with community members, village leaders and government officials. DMI leads participation in several women's day marches and celebrations. The organization also runs a network of women's groups, which is one of their principle activities. Each women's group has 25-40 members. The groups focus on leadership and empowerment training, health care and micro finance, of which anti-trafficking education is a part.

to law enforcement and social service agencies to teach and encourage them to detect trafficking and to identify and rescue victims.

Learn How You Can Support DMI

DMI’s Spring of Hope shelter provides:


Many of the girls have been physically and sexually abused. Some have lived on the street. DMI provides medical treatment as well as counseling, one-on-one and in groups, to help the girls recover, restore self-esteem and confidence, and prepare for the challenges they will face when they return to independent living.

DMI provides primary and secondary classroom education. Private and secondary education are technically a right in Tanzania, but they’re still is beyond the reach of many poor and rural families. Spring of Hope provides schooling for the girls, and encourages those girls who are interested in continuing their education by providing full university scholarships.

DMI provides vocational training to help girls to support themselves financially. Poverty has been a gateway to trafficking, with traffickers luring girls with promises of high paying jobs. Economic self-sufficiency is key to escaping the cycle of vulnerability and dependency. The girls chose one of four skills training tracks: computer training, catering, tailoring, and hair-dressing. In addition they are taught basic agriculture, and farming skills.

DMI’s goal is to place each girl in employment upon graduation from the program. Upon graduation, each girl is given the equipment she needs to begin work by opening her own business or with an established business. Whenever possible, they also try to reunify girls with their families whenever possible. To ensure that reunification can be accomplished safely and positively, DMI provides comprehensive counseling to families and their children prior to reunification. Reunification is not always possible, and some girls stay with DMI or with relatives or community members. DMI staff members track girls for a year after graduation.