Beyond Surviving

Single mothers in Tanzania face many obstacles in obtaining an education, health services, and employment opportunities. In response to this prevailing issue, WellShare’s Survive and Thrive Group program for divorced, widowed, or unwed mothers was established in Bariadi District, Tanzania in 2012 to equip single mothers with the education and skills to thrive economically and improve the health of their families. With a population of 266,256 people and average household size of 7 people, there is a high demand for our services. Bariadi District is covered with arable land fit for agriculture and livestock keeping, and home to the beautiful Serengeti National Park, which is known for its massive annual migration of wildebeest and zebra.

Our community health worker (CHW) approach fosters ongoing education and support. By properly training our CHWs and providing them with iPads equipped with various training videos, we distribute essential education materials, such as informational videos on women’s reproductive health, ways to overcome poverty, and promote health. In 2020, we focused our efforts on our COVID-19 education campaign. Despite COVID-19’s economic impacts, we were successful in safely helping 407 mothers sustain their small businesses and encourage economic innovation. Adapting to the community’s needs, many mothers sold liquid soap and hand-made masks to hinder the spread of COVID-19 and survive economically. Follow-up visits within these villages indicate our educational efforts are making a remarkable impact on hand-washing and distancing practices. After administering educational materials on preventing both infant mortality and the spread of COVID-19 and liquid soap, we observed subsequent improvements in both of these issues. With the mortality rate for unborn babies declining and hand-washing procedures improving, we are ecstatic that our education is improving the lives of community members.

By virtue of the amazing Tanzania WellShare team, including 37 CHWs, we have implemented health campaigns in 25 villages of Bariadi District, Simiyu Region, Tanzania. In 2020, 754 COVID-19 education materials were distributed across 39 villages. All of the Survive and Thrive Groups started group or individual-level income generation such as gardening, selling vegetables and fruits, selling peanuts, keeping chickens, and weaving hair. Our success in improving the health of single mothers and their families by promoting health education and economic opportunities is possible because of donors like you. Thank you for your ongoing commitment and support.

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