International Women’s Day 2019: Women are essential to village life in Tanzania

8th March 2019

In the rural village of Mapogoro in Tanzania, women work incredibly hard. Many mothers in the village wake at 5am to start their daily routine, getting their children ready to leave for school at 6am before heading off to work on one of the nearby farms. At midday, they return home to carry out household chores and then collect water for showering, washing, cooking and drinking. Some women also run their own businesses, like small restaurants and tailors.

To champion the entrepreneurial spirit of these women and provide the opportunity for them and others in the village to develop their business skills, Raleigh ICS volunteers are delivering a livelihoods programme. This programme is designed to equip people with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to either start or develop their own business. Attendance is open to everyone in the village, but we specifically encourage participation from marginalised and underrepresented groups, such as women and young people. In Mapogoro, 67% of the programme participants are women. One participant, Gdinafatoli, said: “The education we get throughout the programme is so beneficial. It helps us to know the basics of business which will make them grow faster and hence help with employing others in the village.”

Today the leaders of this village are all male, but its heart and soul lies within the hardworking and extremely loving mothers and women in general. Their ability to work so many different jobs, bring up the next generation and be so positive and welcoming is the norm for village life. But it is clear to Raleigh volunteers that change is coming as more women start their own businesses and develop their entrepreneurial skills through the Raleigh ICS livelihoods programme.

So, this blog commemorates the women of Mapogoro and women from all corners of the globe: Happy International Women’s Day.

Written by Bryony Danks, Raleigh Tanzania volunteer

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