Pastoral Women's Council PWC Tanzania
The 'Ebeneza B' VICOBA Group first began with women members of the local Ketumbeine Baptist church who came together in 2013 when World Vision kick-started the group with a gift of 65 chickens.
By 2014 there was so much interest in the group that PWC became involved to support the women involved and in the end one large group was split to become Ebeneza A & Ebeneza B.
“PWC gave us the training on business skills and then they trained us on how to establish a VICOBA" says Ebeneza B member Furaha, who has been involved in the project since its inception.
“Through PWC's support we are now very confident and organised. When World Vision announced they would recruit service providers in Ketumbeine for cooking for their staff, Ebeneza B just knew we could do it. Because we were already established and had the savings to invest we were able to win the tender" she says.
Winning the World Vision catering tender changed everything for the women of Ebeneza B.
“With the World Vision work we are paid 12,000 tsh per person per day for our cooking services. This amounts to over 1,800,000 tsh per year for the group. Together with the World Vision work we also invest in group members with loans for small businesses" Furaha explains.
“When the VICOBA first started I borrowed 50,000 tsh and started a business selling sugar, greens and fruits. In the second loan round I then obtained another 200,000 to grow my business further.
"Now, my family is no longer eating ugali for every meal! We can afford variety and healthy vegetables and meat. Food is no longer a problem for my family.
“Life is very good now. My children have new clothes, and I bought my husband a phone which made him so happy.
“After joining the VICOBA I am now very appreciated by my husband. He is so pleased I am in the group and he encourages – sometimes even insists – that I attend the meetings. It makes such a difference to my family.”