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Mt Kilimanjaro, TZ – VICOBA group offers relief and opportunity through knowledge, credit, and relationships – 19 Sep 2017

lishe teresia juma 20170908_181733The GOMM family continues to benefit from the credit, knowledge, and relationships they are gaining from the Mkyashi VICOBA. The family has now received 3 loans and benefited from the group’s family assistance fund.

The GOMM family was one of the first families to join Lishe Bora and open an organic vegetable garden in 2013. The mother of the family joined Mkyashi VICOBA when it started in 2016. In 2016 she received her first loan from the group – a small business loan for 50,000 TZS (US $23.26).

Mama GOMM bought wholesale bunches of bananas from neighbors worth 50,000 TZS. She brought the bunches to the markets and sold them at retail for 65,000 TZS. She did this twice per week on market day for the 3 months until the loan was due. Each day she would take her 15,000 TZS profit and purchase food for her home as well as food for the 2 pigs she was fattening at home.

Mama GOMM’s second loan was for 100,000 TZS (US $46.51) to buy 2 piglets. Mama GOMM already had 2 pigs she was fattening previously. She sold 1 fattened pig to buy food for the new piglets, and the other pig to repay her 100,000 TZS loan. She raised the 2 new piglets until they were old enough to get pregnant. 7 months later her pigs gave birth to 12 piglets which she was able to sell for 600,000 TZS (US $279.07).

Mama GOMM’s third loan, which was provided by a donation from Rollins College students,lishe teresia juma20170908_173527 was for 200,000 TZS (US $93.02). She used this loan to pay the final installment of secondary school fees for her daughter, Mary. Paying the final installment on time ensured that Mary was able to take her national exams and receive her exam scores immediately after finishing coursework. This greatly improves students’ ability to retain and apply knowledge for the exam.

Mama GOMM says she is as grateful for the relationships she has built as she is for the loans she has received. 2017 has been a difficult year for her. Her husband, a porter on Mt. Kilimanjaro, suffered an accident while working construction in the off-season. The family had to pay for hospital bills and the father missed months of construction work as well as a whole season on Kilimanjaro. During this difficult period, Mama GOMM requested an interest-free loan from the group’s family assistance fund. She received the loan as well as the moral support of many group members.

The GOMM family is now looking forward to getting back to normal and making sure their daughter Mary gets to continue her education for as long as possible.