Looking back and planning ahead

As we celebrate the new year, I am pleased to thank you all for your support of Mboni ya Vijana in 2019. Your voluntary works and donations have much value to Mboni ya Vijana and the societies we serve, and to moving us far in transforming our poor communities.

In the next year, we are going to nationalize Mboni ya Vijana, as a graduation from a local to a national level. However, we will keep focusing on improving lives of the rural poor.

I would kindly like to thank the Big Give Campaign organized by Tanzania Development Trust for making us able to bring water to four villages in rural Kasulu. We have started on this work, and one borehole is already dug at Kacheli and three more are going in in January. We have bought the equipment to finish those four boreholes and we have made three water rope hand pumps, and the work is going on to finish the fourth pump early this month.

We supported 237 small farmers to improve food production and are finishing construction of a food factory to help famers from food loss after harvest which will start operating formally in March 2020.

The microfinance project continued to benefit women and youth, reaching 738 beneficiaries by 15thDecember 2019. We held an educational youth camp in 2019 which brilliantly produced new young entrepreneurs in Tanzania.

We have managed to bring in clean and safe water in Zeze village, implemented by Water Mission Tanzania with funds from the USA and Grundfos Denmark. We improved Zeze Secondary School with funding from Tanzania Development Trust and Raincatcher Imperial, both of the UK. The projects are improving the lives of youth and the community at large.

We are having a celebration of the new year 2020 with the villagers to share and enjoy the successes we have registered through our five years of working in Kigoma.

All these achievements we are getting with your help. We are looking forward to working with you more in 2020.

Congratulations for 2019 and Happy New Year 2020!

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Construction of new classroom after 55 pupils miss room to study in for form one examination

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Beans at young age with improved farming methods

 

PHOTO-2019-12-30-17-20-43Building rope hand pumps to be installed on boreholes

PHOTO-2019-12-30-17-20-54Supply of borehole and construction equipment

Happy Finishing the Year 2019

MBONI YA VIJANA GROUP sympathetically acknowledges those who walked together in promoting development of the poor. Since 2014, we have been implementing small projects to sustain the demands of the youth and poor communities at Zeze village and Kasulu in Tanzania. The major issues we have been addressing are food and nutrition security, income security, water and environments. We have been doing well in those areas and we are keeping on with such liberal initiatives to make everyone feel the earth the better place to live. 

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Since effective works started in 2015 to present, we have enabled 692 women to start small businesses by training and giving them starting capital as loan, We have trained 877 and subsidised 285 small farmers to run sustainable farming which has improved yields from 3 sacks to 24 sacks per acre, We have done 27 boreholes providing clean water and facilitated the big Zeze Community Safe Water Project serving above 9000 people, we pursue the community to trees planting and protect the available natural vegetation, we trained and educated youth in welding, carpentry, entrepreneurship and wind turbine and we harvest fishes from three fish ponds and honey from 67 hives which made us harvest 41 buckets of honey in 2019 only. 

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 We need to move beyond the present and that can be as of fast from the cooperation and supports we get from our friends, partners and donors. We all deserve better lives and we are working to improve and make it real life. 

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Founder Benedicto Hosea speaks at the UK Parliament

With Mboni Ya Vijana, Benedicto Hosea has set a standard of community-level developmental projects that are hard to follow. In his journey, Tanzania Development Trust has played a pivotal role, providing finance for many projects. For instance, in 2015, TDT gave funds for the construction of a village agricultural storage facility. Tanzania Development Trust has felt so passionately about Benedicto’s work and the positive impact he is having in the Kigoma region that they felt it was time for Benedicto to come to London and spread the word on his organisations success himself.

Benedicto’s trip to London has been one filled with plenty of highlights; he has had the opportunity to present his mission to British Tanzania Society, Geological Society of London and perhaps most notably, the UK Houses of Parliament.

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Benedicto Hosea with UK Trade Envoy to Ethiopia, Mr Jeremy Lefroy MP

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At the Houses of Parliament, Benedicto spoke candidly about his active fight against high rates of poverty and unemployment in the Kigoma region. He started his presentation retailing how upon graduating university, his love for the village he grew up in drove him to return and dedicate his time to fighting poverty in the region. He continued by detailing the success his microfinance scheme, created especially for training women and young people about businesses, has had. To date, they have trained more than 347 people in the community and given starting loans to impact their lives.

Anjera, a local woman living in Zeze previously had nothing to do, but with the help of Mboni Ya Vijana and their 68 pound loan she started to sell industrial goods and then shifted the business to the larger village of Morogomo where she made a larger profit. Benedicto highlighted how people have managed to completely transform their lives with a small injection of funds. His agricultural loan and training scheme has seen farmers increase yields from 3 sacks of maize to 24.

Benedicto described how his scheme not only tackles income generation but also problems of health and educational attainments. In Kigoma, access to clean water is poor and most people rely on contaminated water from ponds. Benedicto, seeing the detrimental effects this was having on the community developed manual drilling technology to drill boreholes up to 30 metres deep. This water is accessed with rope pumps that can be easily repaired by the local villagers.

To round off his presentation, Benedicto engaged with issues increasingly presenting hardships in Tanzania. Climate change was top of the list as it gradually lowers the water table in the ground and makes it harder to reach. While Benedicto has started to train communities in issues of environmental degradation, the talk shone a light on the pressing need for international governments to tackle climate change head-on. Nonetheless, Benedicto’s visit to London was inspiring and signalled the real potential community-level developmental efforts have.

Link to his presentation is here.

 

2015 in Review:

2015 was a great year for Mboni Ya Vijana and Zeze village. Here’s what we accomplished:

  • tanzania projectCreated a microfinance group which jump-started the businesses of over 100 women in the village
  • Fixed a water pump, sparing the villagers from taking hours out of their day to collect water from the nearest river
  •  Installed 67 bee hives, with the purpose of boosting agriculture and collecting honey for sale
  • Trained over 150 people on small business and entrepreneurship skills
  • Put roofs on the school labs
  • Set up broadband satellite internet in the school

Stay tuned for our next update!

Putting Zeze on the map

zeze tanzaniaIt’s the rainy season in Zeze so everyone is busy in the fields making the most of the precious water to try and grow enough to sustain their families over the dry season. The unpredictability of the rainfall and lack of any storage is not without it’s problems.  The roads quickly turn to inpassable mud and malaria rates soar.
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There is one minibus per day into town.  Otherwise if you need to go to the bank, hospital or council office you have to go by motorbike, which gets harder when it rains..
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These 11 year old boys had cut grass for an hour and then carried it for a further hour, to sell it for the equivalent of 10p.

african communities tanzaniaThe womens’ microfinance group is going very well with small loans continuing to transform lives.  I spoke to Deniza, getting a loan to expand her tailoring business.  Unable to walk, her life was transformed by her bicycle, but others are not so lucky.  Amos can only go to school if he crawls or someone carries him..

people of zeze tanzania

The secondary school laboratories now have roofs, but still no doors or windows.  I brought some simple science equipment such as springs and pH paper and so they excitedly did their first practical experiment – testing the pH of a local drink. Even the headteacher, a science graduate had never had access to indicator paper before.

If you look for Zeze on Google maps you will just see a huge empty space where there are hundreds of villages. So, using Epicollect+, a free app designed at Imperial College, London originally for mapping diseases, and donated tablets and phones we’ve been adding places of interest in Zeze and beyond to an online map here.  The idea is then to add it to Google maps and OpenStreetMap..

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our fundraising campaign.  We are using the money to purchase equipment for hand drilling and rope pumps, meaning we can dig water sources around the village for drinking and irrigation. If you would like to contribute you can do so here.

Microfinance in Zeze

20150815_175617In August I spent a week in Zeze village and met the chair, vice chair and secretary of the microfinance group, as well as many of the women who have received loans.

I  also visited many of them in their homes and businesses and spoke to the Village Chairman, Village Executive Officer, and chair of MVG, who are running the scheme who all confirmed the positive impact the scheme is having on the village.

20150815_175301Petronia had her loan in May, thanks to a new injection of funds from Wabia. She buys palm oil from farmers in the fields and resells it in the market, making approx. £8 profit per week.  Recently her 8 month baby started excreting blood and she was able to take her to the doctors and buy medicine.  Without her business she said she would have been unable to do that.

Pendo buys petrol in large containers and decants it into litre bottles which she sells in the market and on the road.  Her profits mean that she is able to pay for her son, who was unemployed, to study to be a mechanic.

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Edita received her loan last month.  She is making bible covers for 80p that she sells for £1 in Kasulu, the town 40 km away that she visits twice a week.  She had sold 40 to a shop there the previous day.  She is saving to purchase a second sewing machine so her husband can also make them at the same time.  She also wants to branch into mpesa (mobile money)

Josrene had an initial £18 loan which she repaid,  then a £50 loan in May.  She collects maize and beans from farmers in the field and then grinds flour and then sells in bulk to buyers from Kigoma.  She is saving to build a bigger house for her family with larger storage capacities as she wants to sell wholesale directly in Kigoma in the future.

20150818_173509Godliva had a second loan in June.  She also sells beans and maize, but also soap. She gets a profit of 80p  per box for this.  She is saving money to get a soap factory so she can make her own soap.  This would cost £120 but she estimates it would bring her “20 a week profit.

What was generally striking was the pride with which the women talked about their businesses.  They have noticeably grown in confidence since I met them in January, and have a higher status in their family and in the village as a whole. Originally I was told that there was resistance from some men in the village, concerned that women getting loans would be a threat to their authority.

20150818_180652Now the same men ask Benedicto when their wives can get a loan.  It was touching to see a number of the women working closely with their husbands as partners in the business, whereas previously they worked much more separately. This appears to have had a positive effect on their relationships, which was confirmed by the women themselves. In the training women were told “Don’t use your loan to exploit your husband, rather money should be a tool for strengthening the love in your family”.   They seem to have taken this to heart!

Investing in honey production in Zeze village

Transforming rural lives with bees..

I first met Benedicto by chance in September and was very impressed by the cooperative he founded and his meticulously costed plans to avert poverty in his village by developing agriculture.  I returned to Zeze this week and spent two nights in the village finding out more.

Zeze is 41km from the nearest town and electricity supply.  Water is problematic.  Almost all of the inhabitants are farmers growing maize and beans, with an average annual income per family of around 300,000 shillings (£112).   This explains why many of the children have ragged clothes and no shoes.

Benedicto and his group have many plans to raise income, including growing more lucrative crops such as Moringa.  Currently his immediate concern is to put in hives before March 15th when the bees begin to swarm. He has worked out that by sourcing the wood from one farmer and carrying it on foot to the local fundi he can get the hives made for around £20 each.  He estimates each hive will generate 30 litres of honey and he has already found buyers willing to buy in bulk.  Therefore when he harvests in October he should be able to make a good profit that can be used to support projects in the village.

His problem is capital.  He has identified

150 good sites for hives. Currently he has funds for 15 hives.  He would like to set up at least 40.  Therefore he is offering anyone who invests £20 in a hive now a return of £25 in November when the honey is sold.  That’s a return on investment far better than your bank, and a good cause to boot..

If you would like to invest in a hive in Zeze village, or to know more about this project please email j.chapman@tanzdevtrust.org.