Trade Aid is a small UK charity, operating in Mikindani, Southern Tanzania. Its aim is to work with the people of Tanzania to create sustainable employment by providing vocational and English training. Trade Aid also encourage local enterprise and support the community in the conservation of historic buildings.
In 1996 after Trade Aid Chairman Brian Currie visited Mikindani, Trade Aid began the process of renovating the historic German Boma built in Mikindani 1895. The purpose was to create jobs, and to promote sustainable employment by providing training opportunities in Mikindani. Trade Aid, directed by a local committee in Mikindani, transformed The Old Boma into a fully functioning vocational training hotel. Trade Aid hopes that through tourism, sustainable jobs can be created.
The Old Boma hotel trains forty young people a year in hospitality and job skills as well as English, IT and Maths. This training is free of charge and is fully funded by Trade Aid. Students, many of whom have only attended primary school are given their first experience of employment and a chance at a career.
English and IT classes are also provided to the local community each week and all resources are made available to the local community.
In 2018 Trade Aid fully converted the spot where Dr David Livingstone stayed before his final journey into the interior into a community-led cultural museum providing tourists with a place to visit as well as empowering the local community with a sense of history and pride. This site will be used to encourage the local community to maintain and utilise their heritage by collecting Mikindani’s history through oral testimonies of those who live there and educating the next generation in the importance of heritage and conservation.