In 2013, a group of 24 women in the town of Mto wa Mbu banded together to create a woman’s empowerment group. When HOP’s Tanzanian ambassador, Raymond Massae, told HOP about this group in 2016, they had already grown beyond their original goal of using small-scale micro-financing to send their children to school. Their membership had increased to 32 committed and motivated women, and they were running a small business selling goods at a local market. Their greatest need, they told HOP, was an office. Not only would a dedicated space give them somewhere to host their weekly meetings, it would also give them legitimacy and standing in the local community. With a cost of only $30/month, an office space was the perfect starting point for HOP to help these women. Since then, they have used the office as a meeting place, a shop, an office, and storage.
On HOP’s return visit in July of 2016, the women talked with excitement about the growth and improvement they had seen in their group since moving into their office. As they thought about their future, one sustainable business idea stood out: making and selling batik clothing. HOP provided the startup cost of $1,500 for their batik business. It is HOP’s hope that these small initial investments will allow these women to become self-sufficient, support their children in school, and empower others in the community.
The 32 members of Mama Na M’toto women’s empowerment group
An office space for meetings and storage
A small start-up investment
The women have started a larger-scale business making batik clothing
The women’s empowerment group is on its way to being self-sufficient and self-sustaining