For a long time there has only been the Mafinga Lutheran Vocational Training Centre (MLVTC) that provides teaching about renewable energies. Since this training course was quite unfamiliar to companies, graduates were confronted with difficulties in finding work in the field of renewable energies. After finishing school, a lot of them ended up working in other sectors
To alter this situation DTP and TAREA initiated the REN programme. It offers graduates an opportunity to acquire additional qualification in a one-year practical internship in a company working in the renewable energies sector. In the beginning the companies’ reaction – most of them were based in Dar es Salaam – was sceptical. To instigate the project, the companies were offered a team of German and Tanzanian volunteers at the same time. The company Umeme Jua Ltd in Dar es Salaam was the first one to take one Tanzanian volunteer from MLVTC together with one German volunteer. Moses Materu has been the first participant of the programme. He started his internship in September 2007 and received a permanent contract at Umeme Jua Ltd afterwards.
In 2008 the company Ensol Ltd hosted Godwin Msigwa as a REN volunteer. Directly at the end of his voluntary year he was employed by the Rural Energy Foundation (REF) and worked for the project “Solar Now”. By now, Godwin conducts trainings about solar energy all over East Africa.
In 2009 the programme was funded by URBIS (2 places for volunteers), the North South Initiative e.V. (NSI, 2 places) and the Senate Chancellery Hamburg (1 place).
Three of five volunteers had been employed directly by the companies they worked for. Eng. Matthew Matimbwi, technical adviser of TAREA, had placed two to other companies. He is the Executive Secretary of TAREA since August 2009 and is very committed to the REN programme.