Today countless Americans will be celebrating their independence across the country; and rightly so. The Tanzanian Children’s Fund and Rift Valley Children’s Village are also celebrating, not the liberation of a country but the freeing of a Tanzanian woman from a life of poverty through our micro-finance program!
Meet Veronica Kazi, 43, known simply as Mama Kazi by her fellow villagers in Camp Nairobi, a workers camp on the coffee plantation where she lives and works.
Mama Kazi was born in the village of Umbulo where she grew up. Like most girls from rural Tanzania she took on a whole host of household responsibilities when she was still a young girl. Married at an early age, she was soon raising a family of her own.
Today she is the mother of 8 and has all of her children attending primary school, secondary school or teachers college; a feat unthinkable if it weren’t for the help provided by the Tanzanian Children’s Fund micro-finance program. The average income in Oldeani for a woman like Veronica varies from $200 to $600 a year. The cost of schooling alone for one child per year can be $350. As a result, most families struggle to send even one of their children for formal secondary education; let alone 8!
An independent businesswoman, Mama Kazi runs a small shop, known locally as a duka, in the coffee workers housing camp neighboring RVCV. She was one of the first to join our micro-finance program when it launched in 2008 with an initial loan of approximately $100. Over the years, and with the continued support of our micro-finance staff through small loans and monthly training seminars, her business grew.
Her latest loan was for a staggering $1250 and her annual income is now close to $9000 more than enough to provide each of her children with the education they deserve! Always looking forward, Mama Kazi’s next plan is to move her house and duka to a new plot of land she has bought close to the local town of Karatu.
Veronica Kazi – ‘TCF’s small loans program is very good, without it I would have struggled to put my children through school. Life would have been hard!’
TCF’s micro-finance program has been helping more and more people just like Veronica since 2008; today the program is working to grant independence to around 450 Tanzanian families and continues to grow!
Find out more about our micro-finance program and what else TCF is accomplishing along with RVCV using the links below: