6th July 2015
After a six hour bus from Morogoro to our hotel in Iringa and a further five hour bus we finally arrived in Njombe. This is the region in South West Tanzania where our village Ibumila is found.
We unpacked our belongings including: mattresses, bags, buckets and jerry cans in preparation for the ten weeks ahead. The first port of call was introducing our group, Team Ibumila, to the community leaders. The local chairman warmly welcomed us to the village, saying that we "looked like one big family" a thought that seems true now having spent a week together. It was strange at first being away from home and living in a sparsely populated village. There are fields as far as the eye can see with houses dotted in between. Despite this, it does not seem so vast due to the people being so welcoming. People always stop to say, "kamwene," which is the local greeting in the Berna tribal language.
Since Tuesday we have been organising the upcoming weeks by creating a calendar which starts with the needs assessment of our entrepreneurs and the village. This is so we can tailor our sessions to the individuals. We planned the sessions for the entrepreneurs for which we wrote questions to assess their level of business knowledge and their future business aspirations.
With team members Juliet and Clemence as weekly leaders, we were soon ready to welcome them to our learning hub. Despite a small turnout of six entrepreneurs it was a productive and enthusiastic session in which they seemed glad to get started. We hosted some successful ice breaker games that allowed everyone to get to know each other. All that remains this week is the introduction of the volunteers to the entire community on Sunday where the sound of the drums will welcome the village to our meeting. All in all it has been a successful first week with a lot of promise from both Team Ibumila and the entrepreneurs!