Better Lives

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Kilimanjaro, TZ – Family uses garden to help balance budget – 22 Oct 2014

The SAMI family started their garden alongside volunteers from Rollins College in June, 2014. Since starting their garden they have increased their income and decreased in expenses.

The SAMI family garden.

The SAMI family garden.

The mother estimates that the family eats approximately 3,000 TZS (US $1.88) of vegetables each week from the garden. They used to spend about this much each week to buy less vegetables that were less nutritious. The money the family is saving each week is put aside for school expenses like fees, supplies, uniforms, and other unforeseen expenses.

The family is also selling around 1,500 TZS (US $0.94) of vegetables per week, which they are able to use for household expenses like salt and soap. The total difference in family cash flows of 4,500 TZS per week makes a huge difference for the family and has taken a lot of financial stress off their backs.

Like many families living near the poverty line, they have a difficult time balancing the household budget. Unforeseen expenses often mean having to choose which basic necessities to cut out. For this reason the family has a goal of increasing the amount of vegetables they are able to sell so that they can increase their savings for hard times.

One way the family wants to increase sales is buy learning best practices that will allow them to grow out-of-season vegetables. They believe that if they can learn to grow certain vegetables out of season they will have a higher price.

After establishing their savings, the SAMI family’s next goal is to help all of their children continue with their education. They have already seen how better nutrition and income mean fewer missed school days because of illness or late fees. They also appreciate the practical education the children receive by working in the garden. They hope that by building up savings and investing in new projects they will be able to afford higher education by the time their children reach the appropriate age.