Nkwimba Kiyumbi firmly holds a child in each arm while gazing into the camera. The only family she has left in Tanzania are her 4 children, two of which are newborn twins. Her parents and sisters have all passed away and her husband left her. With limited resources to provide for herself and her children, she took the opportunity to meet with a WellShare community health worker. Upon sharing her story, Nkwimba was encouraged to join WellShare’s unique Tanzania Survive and Thrive groups (STGs) and Village Community Banking (VICOBA) programs.
Single mothers in Tanzania like Nkwimba are often stigmatized due to their marital status, even if their husbands have died or left them. After joining the program, she says, “I had nothing to contribute but they helped me start a business of buying paddy and selling rice. I started to buy one 20kg of rice and sell it for 1200 per kg. I am planning to increase my purchases and sell many more kilos. I am changing my life and continuing with a savings and loan account. Now my hope and happiness are coming back.”
One foot forward, Nkwimba is paving the way for many other struggling mothers. She explains, “I lived on the street among other women who are living a difficult life as me. Some of them commit suicide due to the hardships of their life. I can share the education received to my fellow women while I am selling rice in my community.”
By having WellShare community health workers lead the lessons, the women can feel the support of the thousands of peers that WellShare has helped to build sustainable lives.