18th April 2015
'Our final week in Kyimo revolved around final pitch practice, pitching on April 14th and our community action day.'
On Monday we had the final day of pitch practice. We created an environment to simulate the environment of the final pitch to the board. They took turns pitching during an allotted time of 10 minutes after which they were given constructive criticism from their peers and from the volunteers. We were delighted with how they had prepared and everybody was excited for the upcoming pitch.
Tuesday was pitch day. Everyone was nervous and energized about a day which marked the climax of the project. The entrepreneurs were ready to pitch so we wished them luck, feeling confident we had prepared them effectively. The entrepreneurs were pitching to a panel including Alex (Raleigh Tanzania Country Director), Alex (Deputy Operations Manager), Roy (Programme Officer), Balakana (Country Operations Manager for EADD – East Africa Dairy Development), Baraka (Business Advisor for Technoserve) and a representative from the Kyimo SACCO (Saving and Credit Co-operative). The day began at 8am and went on until 4pm as the eight entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas with the aim of gaining funding. The feedback we received, both from entrepreneurs and the board, was very positive and this was very exciting for us volunteers.
With pitching over we finalised preparations for our final event, a Community Action Day on Thursday. We had been planning an event to thank the community who had made our stay in Kyimo so memorable. We prepared food for the day, including mandazis (a local donut-like treat), potatoes and beef in a homemade spicy tomato sauce.
On the morning of the action day we erected a marquee and continued with food preparation. We also put up some posters for our guests to read on our achievements in the community, youth entrepreneurship and feeding back on the household surveys we had conducted earlier in the placement.
From 2 o’clock our guests began to arrive: the entrepreneurs arrived along with the village elders and a number of other guests. We served soda, mingled and listened to music followed by some speeches of thanks by the Hub secretary Mr. Bukuku, Sandra Wooff (UK team leader) and the leader of the entrepreneurs, Gibounce Joel. This was followed by lunch, served up by the volunteers. It went down a treat. After lunch there were sad goodbyes to our entrepreneurs, who we consider friends as well as students, and to the village elders who have helped us in our work here.
We have had a fantastic time in Kyimo and it will be with a heavy heart we leave. We feel we have had significant impact and, under the fantastic leadership of our team leaders, Sandra and Albert, we feel confident the second cycle of entrepreneurs can continue to make a difference here.