Changing lives one at a time
Give a Heart To Africa is renting a store space in Moshi which currently houses 6 of its former graduates’ business. GHTA pays for the annual rent of 1,800,000Tsh. Women in the co-operative conduct their business free of charge for a one year period which allows them to build up their inventory save up money to afford a store space of their own when they move out. Give a Heart to Africa carefully selects these women from a pool of graduates – based on school performance and family situation – they are required to write a viable business plan and GHTA then gives them a grant to start a small business.
Zaina is 38 year old a single mum, she studied very hard and improved her English tremendously. She always has a smile on her face and is very kind. When she was chosen to join our women’s co-operative she decided to sell ladies’ clothes. She is targeting young ladies and purchased fashionable clothes in Dar es Salaam.
Total investment: GHTA donated to Zaina 2,000,000Tsh to purchase her 1st inventory.
Monica is a 36 single mum of two who has struggled to provide for her children. But she studied very hard, she brought her children to our after school program and she was determined to start a new, better life. She is selling women’s shoes and has a great sense of fashion. She helps the other co-op women and always smiles.
Total investment: GHTA donated to Monica 2,000,000Tsh to purchase her 1st inventory.
Esther lives with her husband and children but they have struggled to have a home they can call their own so they have been living with the husband’s family. This has not always been the easiest arrangement but Esther and her husband hope that Esther’s new source of income will rent two rooms in town where they can live alone. Esther is a lovely woman and her husband is supportive of her having new business venture. Esther loves children and thus she chose to sell used children’s clothes.
Total investment: GHTA donated to Esther 2,000,000Tsh to purchase her 1st inventory.
Fatuma is the most mature woman in our co-operative and she’s worked very hard to support her family as a single mum. She sold kangas, home equipment, food…she’s tried it all. So when we approached her about what kind of business she’d like to have, she said: anything, as long as I have a small business. She is hard working and driven. Life taught her to be tough and to persevere. Fatuma is selling bras and we believe she will be very successful as there isn’t undergarments only store in Moshi.
Total investment: GHTA donated to Fatuma 2,000,000Tsh to purchase her 1st inventory.
Amina is 36 years old and lives with her son and daughter, aged 14 and 12 respectively. Amina’s husband died about 11 years ago, and, although his family had the means to help her, they did not. But Amina did not give up. Before she started going to school at GHTA, she managed to pay for her children’s school fees with the income she made from selling small fish on Saturdays in the streets of her neighborhood (she had to take out a loan to buy the fish) and from renting out two of the rooms she owns (a total of 10,000 Tsh a month) in the compound where she lives. While she was going to school at GHTA, Amina would wake up every day at 5am and leave for school at 6am so that she could make it in time for class. She was a dedicated, hard-working student, and her efforts paid off when she was chosen by GHTA to become a member of the NGO’s co-op, from where she has just recently launched her women’s clothing business.
Total investment: GHTA donated to Amina 2,000,000Tsh to purchase her 1st inventory.
Pendo is in her early 30s and has a 5-year old son whom she is raising by herself. She is divorced and receives no financial assistance from her ex-husband, who lives in Kenya. Pendo lives with her son and her sister in 2 rooms that they rent. Before joining GHTA’s co-op, Pendo made money by walking around Moshi selling socks, singlets, boxer shorts, to people on the street of Moshi, as well as to offices and stores. She was a very outgoing student and loved to participate in class. She graduated at the top in her class in computers, and was a very strong student all around. Now she is making her own batik/tye-dye fabrics and soaps to sell in GHTA’s co-op.
Total investment: GHTA donated to Pendo 2,000,000Tsh to purchase her 1st inventory.
Hadija is just a genuinely nice and caring woman, who is single handedly raising her 3 children, she is taking care of her aging mother and before she came to our school, she struggled to support her family by selling chapati on the street. She joined our women’s co-operative in November, 2011 and she chose to sell children’s clothes, as children are clearly near and dear to her heart. She moved out of our co-op in October 2012 and now has a store of her own.
Total investment: GHTA donated to Hadija 2,000,000Tsh to purchase her 1st inventory.
Margret is a quiet and kind woman, she is a single mother to a wonderful teenaged girl whom she was supporting by walking through the streets of Moshi, selling used women’s clothes. She joined our women’s co-operative in November, 2011 and she now has a safe place to run her business. She loves fashion and she decided to sell lady’s purses. She moved out of our co-op in October 2012 and now has a store of her own.
Total investment: GHTA donated to Margret 2,000,000Tsh to purchase her 1st inventory.
Gaudencia was a student in the third GHTA class and graduated as one of the Top 5 students. She is a busy mother; very driven, anxious to improve her family status, and keen to see her children succeed. While working for a short time in a hair salon, she developed a passion for women’s beauty products. Thus it was an easy choice for her to select cosmetics as the business she wanted to start. Women in Moshi love to wear make-up but, because make-up is not produced locally, it can be expensive to purchase. Gaudencia saw an opportunity in Moshi to offer a wide range of cosmetics at good prices. She joined our co-operative in November 2010 and in November 2011 opened her own cosmetics store next to busy Mbuyuni market.
Total investment: GHTA donated to Gaudencia 2,000,000Tsh to purchase her 1st inventory.
Christina was a student in the third GHTA class. She is a very ambitious mother of two beautiful children. She started sewing in her home a few years ago but was unable to expand her ‘business’ due to lack of funds and space. While she studied in our school she excelled in her classes, improving her spoken English and knowledge of business. She is a lovely, kind, and honest woman.
Christina worked very hard on her Business Plan to start a business selling fabrics. She spent a lot of time researching and selecting her inventory, and advertising her new business. The local fabrics in Tanzania are called “kangas” and “kitenges.” These fabrics come in bright colours and many different designs. Tanzanian women wear traditional fabrics everyday so they need to purchase new ones often. Christina travels to Dar es Salaam to buy fabric in bulk and then sells it for a profit. She receives a lot of support from her husband and parents, all of whom came to the grand opening of the Co-operative.
Christina has been working very hard since the launch of her business. Her customer base has expanded significantly, as have her sales of fabrics, kangas, and kitenges. Given her ambition and business savvy, she will definitely become an accomplished business woman. After she purchased her first inventory, in all the excitement she exclaimed “I will be able to drive my children to school one day!” All of us at Give a Heart To Africa know her dream will come true and are proud to be helping her on the road to her future. Christina moved out of our co-op in November 2011 and started her own star on Dar Street.
Total investment: GHTA donated to Christina 2,000,000Tsh to purchase her 1st inventory.
Eunice was a student in the third GHTA class. She is a lovely woman and a wonderful mother. She always has a smile on her face, is very polite, and is kind to others. Eunice had not attended classes since elementary school. She found the classes at GHTA’s Adult Education Center challenging but Eunice rose to the challenge. She worked very hard, came to every extra help class offered, passed all three subjects, and graduated with a certificate from Give a Heart To Africa.
Shoes are expensive in Moshi and hard to come by. There is always a demand in the market for more shoes. Eunice recognized this and decided to use her space in the Women’s Co-operative to start a business selling footwear. Eunice travels to Dar with GHTA to purchase her inventory. Shoes are less expensive there and there is a greater variety of styles. Eunice sells these shoes at a profit in Moshi. GHTA gives Eunice extensive business coaching. She is putting what she learned at the Adult Education Center into practice and working hard to become an accomplished business woman. Eunice is so proud to be running her own business and supporting her family, and we are thrilled to see her succeeding. Eunice moved out of our co-op in November 2011 and opened her own store close to where she lives.
Total investment: GHTA donated to Eunice 1,500,000Tsh to purchase her 1st inventory.
Serapia has been working very hard for the last two years as a single mom selling men’s shoes on the streets of Moshi. She started with one pair of shoes and has increased her business to over 20 pairs. She walked for 1.5 hrs to town with all the shoes on her back looking for customers and returned home well after dark. She joined our school in October 2010 and studied extremely hard. This is a woman who knows what she wants, to improve her families standard of living. She works very hard and thus was chosen to join our women’s co-operative as of May 2011. She found a very niche market, men’s sports shoes and now is the only business owner in Moshi selling new men’s football and running shoes. Serapia moved out of our co-op in May 2012, she owns a shoe store in town and in November 2012 opened a small restaurant. She is busy running two small businesses.
Total investment: GHTA donated to Serapia 2,000,000Tsh to purchase her 1st inventory.
Grace was one of our shiest students, she was almost in tears when she had to speak when she first joined our school. Over time, she became very confident, argued her point in class, expressed her opinions and studied very, very hard. She has one of the best business plans in class. When she was selected to join our women’s co-operative she decided to sell women’s clothes as she loves fashion. She joined our co-operative in May, 2011 selling jeans, t-shirts, dresses, bras and underwear. Grace moved out of our co-op in May 2012 and now owns a clothing store in town.
Total investment: GHTA donated to Grace 2,000,000Tsh to purchase her 1st inventory.
Linna is one of our former graduates, she always has a smile on her face and is just a joy to be around. Her life changed dramatically just two weeks after graduation when her husband passed away suddenly and she was left to take care of their two young children. After taking some time to grieve and help her children get through a very difficult situation, she approached us about starting a sheet business at a local used clothing market. On May 24th, 2011, she purchased 270,000Tsh ($200) worth of sheets; in 6 hours, she sold 20 sheets and made a profit of $50. She was overwhelmed with joy saying how blessed she felt. We wish her and her children ONLY the best. ….Update on Linna. Her sheet business wasn’t going well so she decided to invest her capital into milk and she is now supplying fresh milk to several stores in Moshi. Her milk business is doing well and she is able to provide for her children on her own.
Happy & Neema Coffee Company
The Happy & Neema Coffee Company was the first business launched with the support of GHTA. Happy and Neema are both single mothers who were struggling to support their children after their husbands left. These 2 women were thrilled to be accepted into the first group of students at the Adult Education Centre and worked very hard in their classes. They were in the first group of GHTA graduates and started their coffee business in January 2010. Thanks to a generous sponsor from the U.S., we were able to purchase the initial inventory of coffee beans for the women. This initial inventory included 5 bags of coffee 120,00Tsh each = 600,000Tsh, scale and two phones; total investment of 680,000Tsh.
Happy and Neema roast, mill, and bag the coffee themselves. They began by selling coffee on the street to other Tanzanians, a very common practice in Moshi. However, soon GHTA was able to secure 3 contracts for them with businesses in town. They now sell their coffee in 2 curio (i.e. tourist souvenir) stores and in a local coffee lounge (like the Tanzanian version of Starbucks!). In these locations, Happy and Neema sell their coffee in bags made from kanga (local Tanzanian fabric in bright colours) or burlap. The bags are made by another GHTA graduate. The label attached to each bag describes the women’s story. They also secured a contract at a local coffee lounge that now uses their coffee to make coffee with for all tourists to enjoy the delicious taste.
Tanzania is known to have some of the best coffee beans in the world and the coffee that Happy and Neema make is delicious. It is a wonderful gift so many of our volunteers purchase bags to take home for themselves and their loved ones.
Levina is a former graduate and her life has been far from easy in the last few years. She has been taking care of her two children and a very ill husband who passed away in November, 2010. To support her children, she has been washing people’s clothes, walking around all day looking for customers. Employees of Standard & Poors, Madrid, got together and donated several boxes of used clothes which we then in turn donated to Levina to start a small used clothing business. She has been working very hard to turn it into a success. Best wishes to her and her children.