19th July 2015
Living in Mibula village is a lady called Marysiana (Mama), who at the age of 29 has raised her son and nephew; Christian and Joffrey while working as a seamstress. Both Christian and Joffrey are in the local school, and as well as looking after them, Mama also cares for Babu (the landlord), Bibi who lives next door and 3 of the ICSE volunteers. Marysiana is also responsible for the family cow, which for many African families represents a lifetime saving.
Mama’s workshop is filled with beautiful fabric, used to create all sorts of designs for dressings, handbags and waistcoats etc. The work is often brought home and spread out across the living room while Mama pedals an old style sewing machine. You can see the skill that goes into the work from the well cut and well fitted products.
Marysiana is well respected in the local community having many visitors every day and a good relationship with the village leader. We have taught her how to use a tippy tap (hands free hand washing system) and the three bowl system (a way of washing your bowls, cutlery and pans) which we hope she will encourage others to adopt it too.
Despite her hectic lifestyle Mama often plans her time around others, making sure her large family are happy. By 9am in the morning Mama has sent two children off to school, sung at least 20 African hymns and caught up on sewing and work for the ICSE programme.
Her new business plan is supply based, selling animal feed and milking equipment to farmers. She wants to use her business to create positive change for Mibula, educating others on the importance of healthy cows to enhance milk production and the benefits of drinking milk. From her own cows she provides the family with at least four glasses of milk a week, far more than most Tanzanian’s consume.
During the first few sessions Mama found some concepts discussed on the entrepreneur programme challenging, but persisted and sort support from others on the programme until she was up to speed. Her attitude towards the programme and life in general has been inspiring, demonstrating never ending energy and positivity that is a pleasure to be around. We are sure she will succeed in the programme and continue to spread her positive influence further afield.