Under this, AJISO has formed Village Community Banks (VICOBA) comprising 30 Members each and provided them with entrepreneurship education and skills to enable them to improve their livelihoods. AJISO encourages them to start small businesses and other income earning activities which will enable them to have money for buying shares from VICOBA and at the end to be able to take loans for capital expansion in their economic activities. So far there are 30 VICOBA groups making a total of 900 members in five divisions of Rombo District i.e. Tarakea, Usseri, Mashati, Mkuu and Mengwe. Apart from providing them with Entrepreneurship skills, we also teach them various laws through our legal officers and paralegals to widen their understanding of what is entitled to them as citizens.
Unemployment is one of the biggest challenges facing many youths in Tanzania. AJISO has noted that young people are more likely to be self-employed if they are given entrepreneurship skills and knowledge. Through VICOBA groups young people have acquired entrepreneurial education and thus began to employ themselves.
“I joined Amani Vicoba for almost a year now wherein, I received an entrepreneurial education through AJISO, I managed to purchase shares of 200,000Tshs which allowed me to borrow 600,000/=Tshs which I used to expand my retail shop business where it gives me an income of 100,000/=Tshs per month. Currently, I am able to pay my son’s school fees, buy enough food for my family and also earn a living, I am very happy within my group and have started the process of mentoring other youths so that they can join in these groups in order to overcome poverty.” Says Mr. Floridi
One of the Major causes of poverty in the community is a lack of proper nutrition in the families which affect their health and engagement in economic activities. AJISO has managed to integrate nutrition education as a cross cutting issue in all Vicoba groups, Members have started to cultivate different fruits and vegetables to include in their meals. “I’ve been able to set up a vegetable garden in my home, this garden helps me to get nutritious foods for my family and I use it as a class garden for other community members to learn, thus it has become a source of income to me. The income enables me to provide other necessities for my family .I sell vegetables daily and earn 2000 to 2500 Tshs,so in a month I earn up to 60000 /=Tshs”.Says Mrs Donata
Trifonia J Oiso, who is one of the beneficiaries of KICHACHASA group from Tarakea Division testifies:
“I have gained confidence from trainings and meetings which are conducted within the group. Additionally, I have afforded to send my son and daughter to secondary school and fulfilled school requirements such as buying uniforms, books and transport for them to and from school as they are day scholars. This is a result of investing in agriculture where I grow bananas. I am happy, I was able to repay the loan in time and remained with my own capital.”
“Just because I have a retail shop does not mean that I will stop farming. Some of the women who got assets (from VICOBA) say that they don’t have
time to work on the farm but I am doing it, and I am managing it well because I am able to provide food for my family and the extra money I make from selling my produce, I invest back in the VICOBA. The more I save the more I can borrow and do other big things,” says Esta Donati (49) from Usseri Division.