Women in the Mbezi Chezamane village have recently been assured continued development support from the Canadian, Can Aid Africa a non profit making organisation committed to working in partnership with national and international communities towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
Earlier this month, Dr Shiraz Datoo, Secretary-Can Aid Africa who was in the country for a three weeks work visit exclusively to get a first hand experience of conditions in the area and to also hear directly from the women of Mbezi Chezamane as well as to acquaint himself with Tanzanian Can-Aid representatives.
“During my visit I was very impressed with the handloom products that are a direct result of entrepreneurship training and donated funds from Can Aid Africa…” he said
Can Aid Africa plans to provide additional handloom machines and yarn to boost the trade but also more funds to facilitate a soft loan initiative. The group further intends to support disabled women obtain tri-cycles and other basic necessities.
Upendo women group based in Mbezi was one of the praised groups for productivity and in his words, “…I was very impressed to see the products they have produced…” he said and assured them of marketing assistant abroad to increase the sales of their products.
Dr Shiraz Datoo called on all women who participated in the training on entrepreneurship skills but who lack a source of income, to write business plans that will help them secure loans.
Can Aid Africa has donated 4m/- in loan facilities ranging between 200,000/- and 300,000, to some 16 women in the area after their proposals were accepted and even described as admirable. 37 other women have submitted proposals and 20 are said to qualify for the micro- loans.
The group trains the women in financial management, preparation of business plans as well as other entrepreneurship skills to develop their business concepts and set up business as well as to utilise the revenue for further development of their projects.
Thanks to the programme a considerable number of women have engaged in various income generating activities including, livestock keeping, handloom making, poultry keeping and are reported to be enjoying expanding capitals and growing profits.
Given the interest rates charged on loan facilities been very high for a majority of the women the soft loans are proving to be a working alternative as one beneficiary, Christina Godrey testifies.
“…we are very happy for the support because right now our life has changed and we have managed to support our families, pay school fees for our children and even start construction of our own houses…” explained the grateful and proud owner of a promising livestock project.
Can-aid is federally incorporated and given the most reassuring results so far, the group is achieving its own objectives to aid countries attain their set millennium goals and on top of that list is eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women. From the groups website canaidafrica.com, the organisation believes that only through strong communities can Africa feed itself, develop and manage its natural resources, provide adequate education and vocational training, address people’s needs for health care and disease prevention, achieve economic well-being and live in peace.