Posted May 15th, 2013 by africabridge
Africa Bridge started their partnership with eight villages in Masoko Ward in July of 2008. We’re now slowly approaching the end of our program with the people in Masoko and are excited to share some of the successes with you!
Let’s start with a little background, Masoko ward has an estimated population of 10,425 people. The families here live together in approximately 2,633 households, but are fairly geographically scattered. Masoko ward is rural, isolated and marked by steep ravines and streams, making it fairly difficult to get around. 4,501 of the residents in the ward are children and Africa Bridge classified 1,782 of them as Most Vulnerable during their transit walk. That’s almost 40% of all kids, which is unusually high compared to Tanzania’s national average (about 11%).
Since Africa Bridge has begun working within these communities, together with the care-takers of Most Vulnerable Children, we’ve been able to start 24 cooperatives that have been in operation now for 2 to 5 years! And that means 481 members in the maize, cow and avocado co-ops are caring for 1,157 Most Vulnerable Children.
At a recent quarterly meeting with Africa Bridge staff and the maize co-op owners, they discussed some of the accomplishments as well as the obstacles that they’ve faced in this past quarter. Some of the co-op members also reported that they had started harvesting their crops for the year, which is always good news! And, the avocado co-ops are also doing well, as Africa Bridge staff shared after their quarterly meeting.
Our staff also met with the cow co-op members, who thankfully reported that their cows continue to receive visits (and treatment if needed) from to para-vets, to help their cows stay healthy! Additionally, many of the cows are now delivering their third calves, which are going to be donated to the Most Vulnerable Children’s Committees. And, the co-op members also decided to join the Rungwe Milk Collection and Cooling Cooperative, which is selling their milk to a yogurt factory in Iringa. That should ensure a steady supply of milk sales!
As you may have read about Mpombo Ward last week, Africa Bridge has also undertaken a tree planting project with the Rungwe District Natural Resource Officer in Masoko ward. Here 460 cheerful school children helped to plant and astounding 4,000 trees!
And of course the Most Vulnerable Children’s Committees have also been very busy. The 88 volunteers have managed to serve 736 Most Vulnerable Children this quarter, and also provided 72 with new school uniforms.
We’re humbled to witness these positive changes in Masoko Ward. And it’s also wonderful to see that the co-op members and volunteers moving towards complete self-sufficiency– requiring less and less support from Africa Bridge. Thanks for all your continued perseverance, strength and hard work to make these changes happen!