Arusha is, in every respect, an expanding city which lives mainly from tourism.
Since the first piece of land made available proved to be unsuitable, the government provided a new piece of land for free in 1996, on the outskirts of Arusha.
The cornerstone laying ceremony took place on 24 October 1998, in the presence of numerous guests of honour such as the local clan leaders, the village elders, the mayor of Arusha, and representatives of the SOS Children's Villages Regional Office for East Africa. In May 2000, the first children were able to move into their new family homes.
The SOS Children's Village Arusha is located on the outskirts of Arusha, some 13 km away from the city centre, on the highway to Nairobi, Kenya. There are two airports nearby, the largest of which is the Kilimanjaro International Airport, about 55 km away from Arusha on the road to Moshi.
The SOS Children's Village comprises 10 family houses, the village director's house, an aunts' house (SOS aunts care for the children in the absence of the SOS mothers), a guest house, a multi-purpose hall, a workshop, and an administration and services area.
There is a market and a hospital relatively near to the SOS Children's Village. An SOS Kindergarten has been added to SOS Children's Village Arusha. It consists of four group rooms, a kitchen, additional rooms and a playground. About 100 children from the SOS Children's Village and its neighbouring community are cared for there.
Since May 2004, an SOS Hermann Gmeiner Primary and Secondary School is in operation. Before the school had been completed, the SOS children were being taught in adapted rooms in the SOS Children's Village.
The SOS Hermann Gmeiner School Arusha is about half a kilometre away from SOS Children's Village Arusha. The students in the SOS Hermann Gmeiner School are taught in seven primary and six secondary school classes. The school also includes two buildings for the teachers, three labs for chemistry, physics and biology lessons, three workshops, a library, a computer room and an administration area. If working to capacity, up to 500 students can be taught in the school.
The establishment of the SOS Hermann Gmeiner School Arusha was made possible by the generous contributions of the Norwegian SOS Children's Villages Association.