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International Women’s Day: Upskilling women through business

Khadija is a young facilitator on Raleigh’s RISE project who is working to change the lives of young mothers in rural Tanzania

“My name is Khadija, a team leader and facilitator on the RISE project in Dibago community, Tanzania. My inspiration is to support other women – especially the ones who are living in rural communities – with knowledge and skills for the future.”

The RISE project (Rural, Inclusive and Sustainable Enterprise through Youth) supports the development of successful enterprises led by young people which are both environmentally and economically sustainable. Through the work of RISE facilitators like Khadija, the project supports young people to create their own Youth Enterprise Groups to provide peer-to-peer support, establish their own savings and loans schemes and form links with training and finance providers.

“Since the beginning of the project here at Dibago, as a team leader I have participated in a lot of activities together with my team. I have seen its impact right away through mobilizing women to attend entrepreneurship sessions.”

Supporting women through RISE

“At the beginning of our project, we had a very few numbers of women attending our classes, while those who did attend were very quiet during the sessions. Our team decided to go door to door and visit different women groups first to understand the reason for not attending the classes, and then motivate them and support their needs so that they can be able to attend the classes.”

In Dibago the majority of girls aged between 15-25 drop out of school due to early pregnancy so most of them are young mothers. For many of them, the reason they did not join the classes was because they felt that entrepreneurial education was for men only, and also that they did not have anyone else to care for their children while in class.

“Our team decided to provide support for their children while they are learning, and worked to inspire them to believe that they have the same right to education as men. From that, the number of women who are attending our classes increased from 3 to 25 women who are currently attending fully our classes.”

I’ve been able to make an impact

“To me the RISE project has taken my dream into reality. As a young lady my inspiration is to empower women who are living in rural communities. Here at Dibago, women are raised to be only listeners. They listen to what men are saying and they have this inferiority that they cannot stand in front of men and speak. But that has changed since the project. We created a separate class with women where we talked about a lot things with the aim of empowering them to be more confident. Women here now have more confidence, and the RISE project has given them a room to voice their opinions.”

Impact of young people facilitating entrepreneurship project

“Dibago community has benefited a lot from me being here. Because I am facilitating entrepreneurship sessions, I have become part of change to young people living in Dibago. I am being a young person facilitating them with skills that will change financial status and economy at large here.”

“I believe the work we have done here is sustainable because Raleigh Tanzania has capacitated local people as community volunteers with entrepreneurship and financial management knowledge. So, they will keep on passing it on even after the end of the project.”

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