International Women’s Day

Empower Tanzania received an invitation to participate in the Celebration of International Women’s Day from the Community Development Department of the Same Council. The motto of the day was one we love. It translates to this: “Towards the industrial economy, to strengthen gender equality and the empowerment of rural women.”

The event was well attended by women from across the district.

Empower Tanzania staff Efrancia and Catherine, along with 10 women from our Beyond Gender Based Violence support groups from Mahuu, Kisima, and Stesheni, participated in the celebration. They set up an Empower Tanzania table to display the gorgeous products made by our entrepreneurs and enjoyed the opportunity to speak to all the participants about gender-based violence and how our program has helped to change the lives of 100 women who are now survivors of gender-based violence. Continue reading

Meet Bahati

Children: Halima (18), Mwajuma (15), Omari (12), Rashid (9), Sahahda (6)

“I am married and my husband was a drunkard who beat me. But after I joined the Empower Tanzania (ETI) support group, he stopped drinking and beating me. We are still together. He knows what Empower Tanzania is doing for me and he wants a program like this for men. The economic activities can lead to a good life. We now have money for the kids to go to school. We have a healthy family life. I learned saving and budgeting from ETI. I am in a small business and sell soap and vegetables in the market all because of education by ETI. ETI opened my mind and put cash in my pocket. We are thankful.”

This is Part II of a three-part series on our BEYOND Gender Based Violence program. Click HERE to view Part I and check back on the blog for more stories of incredible women like Bahati. Learn more about the program by clicking HERE.

Women’s Empowerment Event is a Huge Success!

On a cool summer in August, over one hundred Empower Tanzania supporters  gathered at Vivian’s Diner & Drinks in Des Moines to celebrate the work we’ve done and to help launch us into an even better, more ambitious tomorrow. Board members, staff members, volunteers, founders, and friends all gathered to share stories, bid on silent auction items, drink sangria, and eat a fabulous dinner curated by Vivian’s staff. Not only were we given the privilege of the sharing  stories of the people we serve in Tanzania, but together we raised over $10,000 for our women’s empowerment projects in rural Tanzania!! We are so grateful to all who attended and all who donated. So often we spend our time looking ahead to what we’ve yet to do, but the Women’s Empowerment Event allowed us to pause and celebrate the work our teams in the states and in Tanzania has done so faithfully over the years. To view an alum of photos from the event, click HERE.

Our incredible volunteers made this night happen:

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10 Steps to Water at Pangaro

Clean water solutions are incredibly complex and require intense planning, organization, management, and fundraising. Here’s a brief primer on how we delivered on our promise of clean water in the village of Pangaro:

1. Acknowledge request from the community for a clean water source. After learning about the need, Empower Tanzania made a commitment to the people of Pangaro and asked that the community form a water committee.

Click on the photo to watch a video explaining the need.

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It’s official! The Msindo Children’s Club is open!

We are thrilled to report the launch of our second Most Vulnerable Children’s Club, which opened in Msindo last week. This kids’ club will provide supplemental education, two nutritious meals, and support for 50 children identified by their community as in great need of assistance. The program also provides the children with their uniforms for primary school, enabling them to attend classes during the week. We’ve seen tremendous success at our original kids’ club in Mramba and are overjoyed to open a second location!


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Party with a Purpose: A Brewery Birthday

When Empower Tanzania supporter Jake and his sister-in-law Emily  were discussing their June birthday plans, the two decided to throw a party at one of their favorite local breweries and invite friends to bring a donation to Empower Tanzania rather than a gift.

Last Saturday, fifty people showed up and did just that, raising nearly $2,000 for Empower Tanzania.


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Gunge Safi COMPLETE!

Great news from Gunge!!!  The irrigation project is finished, the water is flowing to the fields, and we came in under budget, thanks to the hard work of many people from Gunge and surrounding villages, our contractor, Mr. Manase, and the fabulous work of the leaders of Gunge along with ETI staff Elias Leasa and Elibariki Kisimbo.

looking down the newly constructed canal walls towards the intake and the Pangani River

Look at all those gabions full of stone!! Good night, that is a lot of work. I cannot see a hippo or crocodile knocking down our new intake, however!

A delegation from ETI visited Tanzania in November, and was able to participate in a huge celebration of the finished project!  There was singing & dancing, a lot of recognition for the work that the many different groups did to make the project possible, and even a visit by the Same District Commissioner to encourage the people and applaud their success.

In spite of the heat, the entire village of Gunge turned out to celebrate the completion of the water project. In the yellow shirt is Clement Ngoka, the local project manager during construction.

The ETI delegation was greeted with singing, dancing and a brass band!

A tent was set up in front of the local church to protect visitors from the harsh sun during the presentation of awards and recognition.

There were many hands that made this project possible, but at the end of the day, it was the volunteer labor that was most appreciated, and the leaders of Gunge and the nearby village of Mabilioni who helped keep the project organized and going. Without these people, it wouldn’t have happened.

Finally, we owe a debt of gratitude to ETI Intern Elias Leasa.  A recent college graduate in Business Administration, he enthusiastically took on the management of this project for ETI, and did an amazing job.  His willingness to work tirelessly to make it successful was a real mark of his character, and we feel very lucky to have this young man working with us!

ETI Intern Elias Leasa