A CROSS section of girls who are beneficiaries of the International Labour Funding (ILO) funding through Kyela District council have offered a piece of advice to other girls in the district and across the country to form groups and confidently seek loans from various sources if they indeed want to transform their lives.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Tanzania has teamed up with NonGovernmental Organisations in Kyela under the SAUTI Project to fight HIV/AIDS through scaling up evidence-based economic strengthening interventions to vulnerable adolescent girls and young women as a way of accelerating efforts to achieve an AIDS-free generation.
The girls, who benefit from the programme, said by forming groups, they have enjoyed free trainings on entrepreneurship skills, family planning and birth control as well as proper means of accessing loans, boosting business capital and proper utilisation of both social and economic opportunities.
Speaking to ‘the Daily News’ yesterday, some of the girls, who have been supported through SAUTI programme, said they have managed to start up various businesses after getting training and loans from ILO through the district council.
“We were informed by the economic empowerment workers from Kiota Women’s Health and Development (KIWOHEDE) on the importance of forming groups and attending trainings on entrepreneurship, family planning, HIV/AIDS preventing measures and many others. We were also encouraged to live our dreams and make sure we work hard to fulfill them,” said one of the beneficiaries, Ms Eva Ngalaba.
According to Ms Ngalaba, she joined Umoja group along with other younger girls and that her group managed to get a loan amounting to 3m/-. “From our group, seven of us got 427,000/- each and we have started different small scale businesses to support our lives,” she said.
Ms Ngalaba who operates a small ‘kiosk’ said so far her capital has increased from 427,000/- to around 900,000/Ms Suma Mwambene, who operates a coffee shop, said ILO supported her group of six girls with 2.5m/- in March, 2017.
She said each member received 410,000/-which enabled them to start various businesses. Ms Mwambene asked other girls across the country to join forces by forming groups that will enable them acquire loans easily and start up their own businesses.
Moreover, Ms Angel Banda said the loan from ILO enabled her to establish a hair-cutting sa loon, which brings her 5000/- per day. “I started this business with a capital of 320,000/- from ILO loan through the district council. Today my business has grown bigger, and thus I make 150,000/- a month as profit,” she said.
According to the 21-year old Ms Banda, she is realising her dreams because she made the right decision to join a group that enabled her to acquire the loan that has helped change her life for the better.
Another girl, Emile Mwile said her capital has been growing from time to time since she acquired a loan from ILO through the district council. She said before getting a loan, she had invested only 20,000/- in mobile phone chipcards business, but after receiving 166,000/- loan, she has opened an office as M-Pesa agent.
“Things have changed, I get between 80,000/- and 90,000/- from this business every month, I am optimistic that in the near future, my business will grow more and more,” she noted.
Earlier, giving the scope of the SAUTI project in Kyela, Ms Lilian Kisanga, a Social and economic empowerment specialist, under SAUTI project said the programme has proved to be positive for HIV intervention because under this programme, most of the girls are busy with income generating activities which are freeing them from engaging into risky behaviours.
“There is a notable transformation from this type of intervention. With ILO support, here in Kyela, a total of 12 groups have accessed loan amounting 29.5m/- which was disbursed into three phases since February this year.
Giving the arrangement on how they execute the project, Miss Kisanga says as part of the DREAMS initiatives, they earlier mobilised girls to form groups and later trained them on economic issues, gender and entrepreneurship skills and other risk behaviors so that they understand their role and manage to at least accomplish their goals through their own business by identifying opportunities from which they can earn their living by starting income generating activities.
“We give them opportunities to first plan their own business plan, identify potential areas that need improvements and also ensure they get registered under the municipal by laws as a pre requirement to access loan.
As part of the SAUTI Project portfolio, the economic strengthening intervention and revolving funds support for vulnerable adolescent girls and young women (vAGYW) is implemented by Jhpiego in partnership with Pact, EngenderHealth and Kyela District Council with Support from ILO and USAID through the U.S. Government’s PEPFAR under the DREAMS initiatives.