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Tanzania Savings and Credit Groups - Stories of Impact
In June 2019, Mothers' Union held a four-day long refresher training of our savings and credit groups that were formed in 2018 in various dioceses across Tanzania and we are inspired to see the growth that has occurred over the past year.
Across the 187 groups, there are 3900 members and a total savings of TSH 602 million (approximately £209,000 GBP).
In addition to these savings we are delighted that:
- 93% of groups report doing regular bible study (at least 1 x month—many weekly)
- 92% of groups report regular giving to Mothers’ Union
- 82% of groups report regular giving to the Church
- 80% report giving/planning to give to the community at share-out
These contributions include one group in Tanga diocese donating money to a local primary school for the construction of a new classroom. The same group have also purchased uniforms, food and soap to an orphanage and a special needs centre in their community as well as donating money to Anglican Hospice Care. Another group paid for hospital treatment of a young deaf orphan boy and another member was able to expand her environmental conservation project and plant different kinds of trees in her community such as fruit trees, timber trees and shadow trees.
In Zanzibar, a group member donated some of her savings to drilling a well for the community and another regularly donates toiletries to the local prison. A different group wanted to bless their church by purchasing materials to decorate the alter with and another in Mpwapwa donated money towards building the Bishop’s house.
As well as contributing to their churches and communities, group members have been able to either start up or expand businesses and income generating activities through savings and/or loans acquired through their Vicoba groups. This has, in many cases resulted in them being able to pay their children’s school fees or feed their families regular nutritious meals, which they were less able to do before. In Tanga one group started a chair hire enterprise which has brought in a good profit for them. In Kiteto members have started a pharmacy shop and a soap selling business. A member in Ruaha was able to purchase a large piece of land to expand her farming and another one began a successful cake baking business. A group member in Mpwapwa even built her own house because she could buy bricks with the money she had saved.
Agnes from Diocese of Central Tanganyika shares how being a member of a Mothers’ Union savings group has changed her life,
“Some years back I had some life challenges to the extent that I was not able to educate my child because I had no money. When I found that I was not able to get any help from anybody else I decided to tell my situation to other group members that I was facing lot of challenges. They advised to give me a loan that would help me to pay the fees for my child. The group gave me a loan of TSH 120,000 so I was able to buy uniform, exercise books, pens and a chair for my child at school. Therefore, the group helped me a lot to educate my child and this group is located at Mvumi parish in Dodoma”.
Alongside this members of the group are engaging more with the local church. The parish priest of Rubungo says that "Mothers’ Union is the pillar of the church through their savings groups".