Estwida lives in Kambasegela Ward in a small village. Kambasegela is one of 12 wards of the Busokelo Council. The ward has a total population of 5,566 people, including 2,369 children. The main economic activities are cocoa plantations and general agriculture crops. In general, the ward faces extreme poverty, and the impact of HIV/AIDS is a major challenge. Many people do not earn enough to afford daily needs. Other challenges include gender-based violence and oppression. Africa Bridge has partnered with local governments in Kambasegela to undertake project work. There are no other organizations working to support children and families in the area.
Estwida describes the impact that Africa Bridge has on the community:
When I got married, I moved to this village, which was in 1997. However, my husband passed away in 2011, and since then I have lived here with my four children: Tedy, Lwitico, Mudy and Majaliwa. Katela village is a place in development; we have built a primary school and a secondary school where my children go to school. In our village, we engage together in making a local beer and selling it. A typical day is waking up, getting the children to school, cleaning and sweeping inside, preparing tea and dinner for the children, and working on the farm. I’m a local beer maker as well, so I sell beer sometimes, too. Through selling the beer, I can earn 2000 TZS (80 cents) per day. I use this to help pay for things my children need, such as money to pay for school supplies.
After my husband died, my relatives tried to chase me out of the home I lived in with them. Recently, the village leaders helped me with this problem. For the other problems I faced, I am feeling very good because now I have enough support.
Africa Bridge provided me with the chicken project. I believe later it will help my children and me for income generation, for school supplies, food, and access to medical services. The chickens comfort me and give me hope of a good life in the future. I won’t ever forget about the day I received my chickens, because I thought maybe it was all a lie and wouldn’t come true. But the day I received 8 chickens I was so happy and so were my children. Africa Bridge’s work is so important because of everything they taught us and how they have helped support the children.”Estwida Itete
Story written by by Gary Grossman