Tanzania 2018 - and we rocked it!
A huge thank you to our sponsors who made this summers return visit to Africa so productive. Each year we continue to grow and this is only because of YOU! We hope you enjoy reading the stories and sharing the journey with us through the pictures and videos. Asante sana! Thank you!
Founder & Managing Director
Founder & Managing Director
Celebrated our final graduating class of 30 mamas from the village of Newlands
One of the highlights of any visits is participating in the celebration of program graduates who are successfully completing their 1-year program. This year’s celebration (they do all the planning) was very entertaining with a choir, dancing presentation and a few skits. We had over 115 in attendance including spouses and children, village administrators/chiefs and past program participants. To showcase for me some of the things they had learned, they did a skit showing 2 business owners – 1 giving good customer care (customer service in North America) and 1 without. It was like ‘Saturday Night Live’ and had the entire hall laughing. There was a LOT of tears and joy when the certificates were handed out – followed by dance and celebration. I must admit many of the tears were from me as this was the final class from Newlands. We have been working with the mamas for the past 4 years (100 village women) and they have become like sisters.
Committed to training five (yes, FIVE) new groups of mamas in different village areas (30 women per group)
We have been receiving increasing pleas from various tribal leaders/village administrators to train in their village, eliminating the extreme poverty and giving women and their children hope and a future. With our programs in the Newlands complete it was time to reach out and identify which new areas we would move into. We had meetings with three main village areas – Kyungi, Kelaso and Kidia. Our intent was to meet with the village organizers and Mamas themselves to outline the program and ensure everyone knew the commitment we expected, if we made the decision to move forward. Based on these meetings we would prioritize and determine our next area of focus. Well … its hard to say no!!!. Based on the incredible need ~ combined with the passion of the women we met with ~ there was no prioritizing. I committed to do the training for five new groups from the three village districts. I’m not sure how we’re going to do this yet (total cost of between $4-$5K) but we’ll figure it out. :-)
Spent time with our Zanzibar partners ~ training youth, celebrating community and exploring new opportunities (including SAITT business faculty/students teaching our Biashara business course in Zanzibar this summer)
In addition to training, I got to connect with many of the youth in the evening when everyone joined together to cook special dinners to break fast each day (I was there during Ramadan). I must admit it was tough fasting all day (no morning coffee was the killer) but the evening celebration and sense of community made it all worthwhile. We discussed our future collaborations including SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) sending teams of business faculty and students to Zanzibar to teach our business program over the summer. Looking forward to debriefing on ways to improve the materials once they return to Canada.
Researched bringing a container of bicycles into Tanzania ~ some for our graduating mamas businesses on a loan basis with others generating funds to support our work
We have been in discussions with Bicycles for Humanity (Canada) around having a container of bicycles shipped into Tanzania. Affordable transportation would allow our mamas to travel to neighboring villages/markets to sell their products and they would also save money travelling to suppliers. Transportation costs are a huge challenge and barrier in Africa. The other 2/3 of the shipment would be sold with all proceeds going to support our ongoing work. The team and I did our market research checking out various bicycle shops, quality, selling prices, etc. We also identified locations in two separate busy village areas where we could sell the bikes (both existing businesses with good store front owned by family members of our trainers). Projections show the proceeds from the sale of the bikes sold would more than double our existing annual budget!!! Everything is still in the discussion phase but we are keeping our fingers crossed.
Hugs, tears and inspiration with business site visits
I love meeting with previous program participants at their place of business to see how they have flourished and the impact of the businesses on their lives and the lives of their children. Once they are able to cover the bare necessity of shelter and daily food, they always make it a priority to use profits towards school fees so their children can receive an education – something very few of them ever received. But of almost equal importance, one of the greatest benefits is seeing the impact we have had (yes donors, that’s you) on their confidence and self-esteem. They have hope for a better future and a purpose ~ and it clearly shows.
Mapped out a plan to further support our existing village trainers (100) AND facilitate train-the-trainer sessions for an ADDITIONAL 90
Since our original train-the-trainer for 100 village trainers, new materials have been developed in response to requests from our mamas as their businesses started to grow. Our goal is to do 1-day refresher training sessions to further support these trainers. ADDITIONALLY, in the past 18 months our team member Rehema has formed 90 new VICOBA groups (Village Community Banking). These established groups of 30 have identified group leaders who are awaiting train-the-trainer sessions from OneLove so they in turn can go back and deliver the training to their group members.
Took two more steps to sustainability by starting the NGO registration process in Tanzania and welcoming an Administrative Manager to the team
As our outreach and activities are expanding it is important that OneLove register as a separate NGO in Tanzania. It saddens me because there is so much we could do with the $500 that needs to be submitted annually but I recognize it is a necessary step in the evolution. We also welcomed Mosses Uisso to the team as our Administration Manager. Mosses is no stranger to OneLove and has been a big support (volunteer) for the past several years. His extensive experience in accounting, banking and the hospitality industry (plus an entrepreneur himself) will be a real asset as we have a stronger presence in Tanzania as a registered NGO. We are also pleased that Mosses is providing us with office space (mandatory for government registration) and helping with some shared office services (i.e. photocopying for our trainers).
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