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Korogwe residents can now smile at their achievements

The attractive looking women are healthy, and if they told you that they are infected with HIV you might not believe them. Jolly and active, men find them appealing. Calling themselves “Kikundi cha Ufugaji Bora” (Literally meaning “An exemplary husbandry group”) the women keep 25 ducks and several chickens, and earn an income.

“It is not very expensive running this project. We sell the poultry after every six months. One duck fetches up to 25,000/- shillings,” says Sabina, adding that the profit obtained is divided among group members proportionally according to the amount a group member contributed towards the running capital. The women’s group has benefited from technical assistance rendered by the Tanzania Livelihoods and Social Development Association (TALISDA) based in Korogwe. TALISDA Executive Secretary, Mr Adolf Noya says that the group needs more capital to expand their activities and also enable them invite more members to join.

TALISDA runs a women’s group under the leadership of Asha Idrisa. The group has done quite a lot in helping women in Korogwe district get self employed. Members are involved in horticulture, as well as knitting. “We supply vegetables to learning institutes and government offices in Korogwe district,” says Asha. Members of the group Aziza Mponda, Agnes Makange, Mnyindo Hassan and Tabia Mndeme all agree they see a bright future. “We started making nutritious flour that improves the lives of people living with HIV/ Aids.

After securing a reliable market in Korogwe, now we are considering Tanga and Dar es Salaam as our next markets where we wish to start selling our products soon,” says Aziza. Apart from improving their socio-economic lives as a group, says Tabia, group members socialize and share their successes and challenges in life. “You might be having a personal problem and after you share it with one of the group members you may end up being relieved or getting a solution,” she says. TALISDA has also teamed up with the Korogwe based albino community to train members on how to improve their lives.

David Luhambaza, the Secretary General of Korogwe Albino community says that his group has 105 members, has run different projects on their own. Luhambaza admits that albinos in Korogwe have doubled their skills and have gained confidence and now engage in different income generating activities. “Though some of us are illiterate, TALISDA has taught us how to use easily found local materials to make crafts that we sell to tourists, and to visitors to our office,” says Luhambaza. “We are planning different
projects for our benefit.

At the end of the day we would like to enjoy social services just like everybody else in Korogwe,” Luhambaza says. Another group benefitting from TALISDA’s expertise is a cultural group, known in Korogwe as “Kikundi cha Sanaa na Uhamasishaji” (Art and Sensitisation group). Hassan Ramadhan who heads the group charges that though the team has received help in terms of capacity building, there is a need for the group to get funds that would enable them buy a small bus so that they can transport themselves to venues where they perform.

“The other day we were supposed to travel to Tanga to perform at a show, but, unfortunately we failed to go there because we did not have transport. Had we attended the event, we would have been paid 500,000/- that would have been very helpful,” says Ramadhan. One of the group members, Jabbir Hassan insists that the group needs to set up and run a studio. With a studio they feel they will be able to record and produce their own videos. “If we could get an instructor and some funds to establish our own studio, we shall say bye to poverty,” says Hassan.

Another energetic group found in Korogwe is the Jitegemee BodaBoda Group and if you ask bajaj or motorcycle “rider” if he knows TALISDA the answer would be “Yes I know the institution and it has helped me”. Michael Joseph and Bakari Abdallah who are members of Jitegemee BodaBoda Group say that TALISDA has conducted various trainings including classes on road safety. “A majority of us now know how to make use of credit facilities like SACCOS. All of us have valid driving licences,” says Joseph, adding that number of motorcycle drivers dying from accidents has drastically dropped.

According to TALSIDA Executive Secretary Mr Adolph Joseph, his organisation was registered in 2007 with the aim of speaking out on the rights of the marginalised people and to give hope to women and orphans. “Our primary aim is to help those who have been forgotten in various development activities, earlier research shows that in Korogwe district there are a number of people suffering in different ways,” he says. TALISDA received funds from the Foundation for Civic Society (FCS) in January last year to run a 9-month project.

The aim was to sensitise different groups in Korogwe district to know their roles and eventually build capacity. TALISDA has already formulated networking programmes that involve stakeholders, groups, government leaders, and Korogwe District Council. Implementing the project, TALISDA in conjunction with the groups mentioned above, worked in 12 wards in Korogwe, including Old Korogwe, Mtonga, Manundu, Kilole, Kwa Msisi, Kwa Gunda, Magunga, Rutindi, Makuyuni and Mnyuzi. In total, 84 groups have been reached in Korogwe district.

Joseph of TALISDA says they still have a long way to go as needy communities continue to grow everyday. Another challenge is that people who receive training normally do not have working capital to get them started. Joseph feels there is a need to establish a community Radio in Korogwe District that will be used for disseminating information to different groups of people in Korogwe.

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Author: DEOGRATIAS MUSHI

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