Tanzania is a patriarchal society where only 5% of girls finish secondary school. Girls often watch their brothers and male cousins leave to go off to school while they are kept in the home to take care of the household. Gender inequality is a major issue and because of this, many girls grow up without an education leading to a cycle where they are also left without the skills to obtain a livelihood to earn an income. Education for adults is expensive and as most males in the family control the income of the household, most adult women do not have the chance to invest in their own education.
On top of this, individuals that do have the change to finish their education and start their own business will face a number of other barriers, one being access to workspace. Rent in Tanzania must be paid up front and in full for the entire year, often a unaffordable cost for most people.
Planeterra and G Adventures are working with our grassroots partner to open a learning cooperative space where women can practice their business skills in the hospitality industry. Our project partner runs a free business school for women in downtown Moshi where students take morning classes in English, business, accounting, and vocational skills.
Your donation will help us build a cooperative where women can practice what they learn during business training school to save income to start their own business and become self-sufficient.
Planeterra and G Adventures have already supported the rent of a workshop for 2014, as well as resources to get this cooperative started - a cooperative manager salary, furniture, sewing machines, and craft supplies. G Adventures tours started to visit the cooperative in June 2014, providing the graduates their first primary customer base.
Give a Heart to Africa, our grassroots partner, provides free business training for about 50 women a year. Candidates are chosen through an application process and are based on commitment, willingness to learn, and family need. Classes take place in the morning while most of the women's children are at school; however, onsite childcare is also available in an adjacent classroom. The program is run completely by volunteers.
Rent in Tanzania must be paid for upfront for the entire year, so most entrepreneurs are unable to start their own business without some seed income to start. Planeterra would like to provide a permanent working space for graduates to save seed income, and G Adventures passengers will be the primary customers for this shop.
Climbing Kilimanjaro sometime soon? Three of the graduates from this program, along with the guidance of the project founder are now training and working to practice their business skills by running a spa in close proximity to the school. Located next to the cooperative, its a great place to get a massage after a long trek, and purchase gifts on the way home.