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The Reverend Hilda Kabia’s report on the burgeoning entrepreneurship by the village women is astounding, exciting and absolutely amazing.  To think that it started with a very small loan on Karimu’s part brings me to my knees.  It also brings us joy to see what the women are doing with the money generated by their hard work.   You, dear readers and supporters are making our work possible.  Here is an Ethiopian proverb that I read just today:  “Kindness lifts a person up from the ground.”  We have said over and over that this is biblical territory.  You are helping to lift these people up and believe me, it is from the ground. 

I too send good wishes to each and every one of you for the new year.  2015!  We all start anew.

With love and blessings,


Pig Project Report send to Jessie 12 Jan 2015 –  Well, tried to download the report, but it didn’t work.  It is seven pages long, so will try to give the highlights for you all.  The projects now encompass Ikowa, Makoja, Ndebwe, Handali and Zanka parishes.  Let me begin by quoting from the last page of the report written by Rev. Hilda Kabia (who translated all the reports from Kiswahili to English, as well as gathering all the information and heading up the projects for us):  “I am very grateful to God for the total number of pig project beneficiaries since 2012 – 2014.  The total number is good and very encouraging.

Ikowa Parish – 428

Zanka Parish – 40

Handali Parish – 100

Makoja Parish – 104

Ndebwe Parish – 48 totaling 720 beneficiaries!!! All with good stories about KARIMU!!!”

Ikowa Parish – They have repaid the seed money for the new groups, but were delayed for the following reasons:  In 2012 and 2013, there was good profit for white millet which was 40,000 Tanzanian Shillings per bag.  This price convinced many women groups to sell their pigs and buy bags of white millet so that they could sell to repay their loans and keep some profits.  Unfortunately this year, 2014, the market price dropped from 40,000 to 18,000 as did the price of pigs.  They had another challenge as well, some groups lost their pigs from diseases because medication was too expensive.  I remember being with ranchers in Wyoming who spent many hours on their computers studying the markets and adjusting their businesses accordingly.  Unfortunately, the women in Tanzania have no way to do that.

“There have been successes in Ikowa, the women have supported different church activities including new church constructions, vicarage renovations and hosting different church meetings like parish councils and other activities like  hospitality to various church visitors.  Many women continue to build good houses and take care of their families.  They pay school fees for their children…support each other through borrowing money for development activities and other family businesses.  It has succeeded to bring many women of Ikowa together and strengthened their relationship and friendship as one family of God.  A total number of 25 groups benefited from the seed money borrowed on 28 October 2013 and returned on 28 October 2014.”  Since 2010, Ikowa Parish has 428 women beneficiaries!


Zanka Parish –  Three groups of 4, 3 and 3 members benefited from borrowed seed money on 2 December 2013 and returned 2 December 2014. Two groups of 4 and 3 members borrowed 210,000 shillings. The third group of 3 members borrowed 440,000 totaling 650,000 shillings.  Two groups have repaid their entire loan of 210,000.  The third group has not yet repaid it loan of 440,000, but will very soon.  40 beneficiaries.  The challenges for these women are animal diseases, the source of water is far, an hour and for some groups even more than an hour’s walk.  With the draught there was not enough waste products from the harvest for food for the animals.


Handali Parish – Five women’s groups borrowed 600,000 shillings seed money on 11 November 2013 and returned the loan on 11 November 2014. “The economy of the women in the groups improved.  They have established other small entrepreneurship groups from where they support each through borrowing money and use for their development activities like farming and other family businesses.  They take care of their families and pay school fees for their children,  church development and other activities.”  Total beneficiaries 100


Makoja Parish – Sixteen groups equal to 84 benefited from the borrowed seed money of 600,000 shillings.  As in the other groups, the women were able to pay school fees, shoes for their children and supporting their church activities.  In addition, some were able to extend their farms and hire tractors for that.  Total beneficiaries in Makoja 104


Ndebwe Parish – Six groups of women benefited from 600,000 seed money borrowed on 4 November 2013 and repaid 4 November 2014.  Some of their pigs died from disease, food and medication were expensive resulting in a few women being unable to repay their loans on time, but expect to this January.


In summary, some of the groups are struggling to repay their loans due to disease, the dropping of prices on the millet from 40,000 to 18,000, the increase of the cost of medicine and feed for their animals.  The committee which is overseeing these projects – The Rev. Hilda Kabia, Rev. Can. Moses Matonya, and Ruth Matonya are working closely with Zanka, Makoja and Ndebwe Parishes to see that they repay all their loans.  Once that has happened, they will meet to discuss whether to give back the seed money for them to form new groups, or give the seed money to other new parishes within the diocese.


On behalf of Tally and I, we wish to thank the committee and especially Rev. Hilda Kabia for her report and managing the projects for KARIMU.  They are all doing this in addition to their normal jobs and we are very grateful to them.  We also want to thank all who have continued to support KARIMU and these women in Tanzania whose lives have been improved so much.


There is more to do, we need to address issues of medicine for the animals, analyzing the markets and diverse projects.  Rev. Can. Moses Matonya will be coming to the States to do some work at Virginia Theological Seminary towards his doctorate.  We will meet with him and discuss the Women’s Empowerment issues at that time.


Thanks and a Happy New Year to everyone!!!  Jessie


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