Nyanzala’s Story

Single mothers in the Bariadi District of Tanzania face many barriers to success.

Nyanzala is just one of hundreds of other single women who are making a brighter, more secure future for themselves and paving the way for many other struggling mothers.

Born in 1973 in the Bariadi district of Tanzania, Nyanzala only received a couple of years of education before she was made to drop out. “My parents did not want to educate their girls because women are the source of income in my culture. I spent most of my childhood at home, tending to our cows and other domestic and farm duties.”

At the age of 15 she married and went to live with her husband. Together they had 8 children.

“When my husband passed away, I was left caring for some of my children and now grandchildren. I have 10 people that are dependent upon me.

Although the Bariadi region of Tanzania is an area of rich agricultural tradition and resources, malnutrition is the leading cause of death among children under 5. With limited resources to provide for herself and her family, she joined WellShare’s Survive and Thrive Program and received a small business loan to make and sell soap.

After participating in WellShare’s program for six years, she states “I am happy because I can meet my basic needs from our program activities, and I even have my own savings account.”

Program Director, Anna Maria, shares that the greatest achievement of the program is the pride experienced by the women who are able to take out a loan, grow their business, and provide for their family. “They are learning about money and entrepreneurship, which would have been out-of-reach without the Survive and Thrive Groups.”

Last August, Nyanzala received Tza 80,000 from her Survive and Thrive Group share-out. This was a huge success for Nyanzala. “I was able to purchase 6 bags of maize seeds which I planted on 2 hectares of land. Now, I hope to get more crops this year!” Additionally, she is growing sweet potatoes which she hopes to harvest by this April.

“My family and I are very happy. The word hunger is no longer used in my family. We are living a much better life now. Thank you for your support to my community!”

Thanks to your ongoing support, WellShare’s Survive and Thrive Groups (STGs) reduce disparities by providing peer support and small business financing through strategies defined and self-managed by women-led cooperatives. Our Village Community Banking (VICOBA) Cooperative provides microfinancing loans to support income generation and economic self-sufficiency while strengthening social cohesion.

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