3/8/2016 – International Women’s Day
This is Brenda*. Brenda lives in a village called Mwasinasi, in rural Tanzania.
Brenda joined the micro-savings and health education group for women in her village (part of WellShare’s Survive and Thrive program) in August 2014. These groups use a Village Community Banking model, or VICOBA.
Community banking is a non-traditional form of money-lending, where unlike banks, the funds lent to borrowers are gathered by the local community itself.
Brenda’s group has 30 members, all women, who attend health education classes taught by other members of their community on topics such as malaria prevention, HIV/AIDS, and family planning. In addition to these health classes, the women receive business and financial literacy training, and pool their savings in order to provide loans to each other.
In November 2014, after participating in the group for three months, Brenda took out her first loan of 50,000 TZ shillings (about $23) to purchase sewing materials and start a sewing shop. She used these materials to make and sell dresses for women in Mwasinasi and the surrounding villages, and now has a comfortable, steady income and a thriving business.
“I am so happy I can now afford to provide my family with the food and medicine they need to be healthy. I am proud of my work, my business, and everything I have learned and accomplished with the help of this micro-savings group.”
Read more about WellShare’s Microsavings Groups for Women in Tanzania here.
* Name has been changed.