Africare/Tanzania’s Pamoja Tuwalee Program is funded by USAID to improve the wellbeing of Most Vulnerable Children (MVC) and their caregivers. One way the program works is by strengthening the economic status of MVC caregivers through Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC), groups who pool money to boost the livelihoods of each member in turn. A shift from microfinance lending, SILC emphasize that anyone can participate and save, and Pamoja Tuwalee trains people to educate others in their community on SILC activities, allowing knowledge to cascade outward.
After attending a Pamoja Tuwalee SILC Training of Trainers workshop, Salama Madinda started teaching her community about the benefits of forming SILC groups. Surprisingly to her, many people were interested. She quickly organized them and helped them form groups of their own. Interest in the SILC groups grew so quickly that she was able to form new collectives with 30 members each. Today, Salama is responsible for the establishment of ten SILC groups that have recently formed a union in Tanzania’s Mpwapwa District.
SILC groups have boosted our income, while making our members happy and healthy. Everyone is working hard to achieve his or her goal.
These groups have been a vehicle of change toward poverty reduction, entrepreneurship, education, and community care for MVC.
Salama is now the facilitator of the SILC union whose members have saved a total of more than $82,000 to support 395 Most Vulnerable Children! The funds saved have gone toward school fees, shelter, other basic needs, and even start-up capital for new income-generating endeavors.
“SILC groups have boosted our income, while making our members happy and healthy. Everyone is working hard to achieve his or her goal,” said Salama.
Due to their efforts toward community development, the Mpwapwa District Authority recently recognized the SILC groups’ efforts, specifically with regard to their service to MVC households.
“SILC groups are a new bank that offers equal opportunity to all youth, women and men. We have recognized their efforts in supporting MVC and their households,” said Ving’ahwe Ward Executive Officer, Emmanuel Mamba. As a show of partnership and sustainability, the Mpwapwa District Authority provided office space for the SILC groups to meet free of charge to continue their life-changing work!
Rachel Mkundai, Africare/Tanzania Communication Officer