This blog post was written by our Creative Communications & Events Officer, Megan Henderson.
As our Tanzanian partners often tell us, Tanzania is a vast country. In fact, Kenya would nearly fit into Tanzania twice over. Five Talents started our latest Tanzanian programme in Morogoro Diocese in 2017 - a large area nearly four times the size of Wales. Today, the programme has over 1,000 members.
On a recent visit to Tanzania our Programme Manager, Hannah learned why members find it important to join Trust Groups. Members mentioned they enjoyed helping each other; being united; loans; savings; exchanging ideas; having a safe place; and they can pass the training on to their families.
Hannah also met lots of members who were benefitting from Savings Groups, including Mary-Ann. Mary-Ann joined the group because of her friend Jenny and immediately saw the benefits of business training. After saving 10k TSH Mary-Ann was able to start a business selling clothes in the market outside Gairo. She took her first loan with the group for 50k TSH and used it to buy materials to make her own clothes to sell. With her second loan of 90k TSH she was able to hire a tailor to help her. Mary-Ann has paid back both loans, and with the profits she made using the loans she has been able to make repairs to her home.
A third of young people in Tanzania are unemployed and so reaching them through the programme has been a priority. We’ve made sure we go to places where youth feel safe and welcome already - often choirs or sports clubs.
“We have a large population of youth in the community. There are some challenges but it is our goal to look at these challenges and find a way to address them. They have a large amount of unemployment. The community does not trust them because they are not engaged in economic activity. It is important that we help them.” - Jackie, Community Based Trainer
Through Five Talents, youth are becoming more involved in the local economy and are starting to grow their own businesses. They are quick to understand how the programme works and become leaders. Jackie finds that even as leaders they often doubt themselves, with such high unemployment, many feel they have little to contribute. She encourages youth leaders so they feel more comfortable in their new role. Often Jackie finds they make great leaders because they can respond quickly and make changes - she has found that groups develop quicker when the youth are in leadership positions. Since starting the Five Talents programme in Gairo, she has seen the value that youth can contribute to their community.