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Redegunde Nyeresi Iringa

Introduction - Written by our field partners

Redegunde Nyeresi lives in Iringa with her family. Iringa is a town in central Tanzania that overlooks the Ruaha River valley. Redegunde lives there with her husband and 4 children, aged 12, 15, 17, and 22. Her and her husband work tirelessly to keep all of their children in education. Her husband is a farmer and carries out hard manual labour to try and provide for his family, however his income alone is not enough to financially support them.  

Redegunde has set up her own business selling alcohol to try and increase the family’s income. She makes the alcohol herself by fermenting maize, a process that is very common in West Africa and the type of beer it produces is called ‘Pito’. Redegunde will spend up to 48 hours a week fermenting maize, which can be served either warm or cold, (getting its heat from the fermentation process). The drink is never found bottled or canned, and as a rule is usually purchased directly from the household in which its been brewed.

The Deki loan she has applied for will help her to purchase more maize, allowing her to brew more of the drink. She’s hoping her extra stock will help her business to grow, and increase profits, allowing her to save for her family’s future. She wants to be able to improve her family’s standard of life, and wants to do this through running a successful business.

Field Partner: Mama Bahati Foundation

Mama Bahati Foundation

Based in Iringa in Central Tanzania the Mama Bahati Foundation was set up in 2007 by the former Archbishop of Tanzania Donald Mtetemela after he met Mama Bahati. She was struggling to make a living selling bananas by the side of the road.

Her ability to grow her small business was constrained by the high interest rates being charged on a loan. He realised he could help her. He lent her a small sum at a low interest rate, her business grew and the concept was born. He appealed to Five Talents for support in creating a microloans organisation and together they set up the Mama Bahati Foundation.

It helps women in rural communities who carry the burden of providing for and educating their children.

By supporting women the foundation can reach the wider population – on average 6 people benefit from a loan. Women gain independence, can feed their families and pay secondary school fees.

MBF has extended its reach out to the remote districts of Kilolo and Mufindi in the southern highlands of central Tanzania. It offers business training, microloans and savings plans and has helped over 5,000 women to grow their businesses and provide for their families.

Also lending to this entrepreneur

Beth Ruth Kalevi Lender wishes to remain private

Key information:

  • Name: Redegunde Nyeresi
  • Trade: Makes and sells alcohol
  • Total loan required: £100
  • Repaid so far: £0

Fundraising progress:

Only £100 left to repay

Location - Iringa , Tanzania

  • Capital: Dodoma
  • Official languages: Swahili, English
  • Regional Languages: Buntu, Cushitic, Nilotic, Khoisin
  • Population: 51.82 million (2014; Source World Bank)
  • GDP: $43.8 billion (Source World Development Indicators, World Bank)
  • Monetary Unit: Tanzanian shilling
  • Percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day: 68% & of those 33% live below the basic needs poverty line: 16% of children under the age of 5 are malnourished
  • Religions: Christian (61.4%), Muslim (35.2%) Traditional African (1.8%)
  • Adult literacy rate: 67.8% for people aged 15 or over
  • Life expectancy: 61 years (2012); Maternal mortality rate 410 per 100,000 live births, Mortality rate under 5 years 54 per 1,000 live births. Causes of child mortality – malaria, diarrhea, HIV, measles
  • Fertility rate: 5.4 children born per woman (3.7 in urban areas, 6.1 in rural areas) Among married women aged 45 – 49 45% had given birth to 8 or more children
  • Female Genital Mutilation rate: 15%
  • Estimated adult (aged 15-49) HIV prevalence: 5.1% of adults aged between 15 - 49 years

Some statistics:

Tanzania is an East African country which is bordered by Uganda and Kenya to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, Zambia and Malawi to the south and the Indian Ocean to the east.

It is one of the world’s poorest countries in terms of per capita income which equates to only $920 a year when measured under the World Bank’s Development Indicators. The level of poverty is very high; Tanzania made very little progress towards reducing extreme hunger and malnutrition which limit growth and development in children. 90% of the poor live in rural areas, in arid or semi-arid regions where they depend on food crop and livestock production.

The climate varies widely across the country. It has two rainfall regimes; in the southern, central and western regions the rains fall October – April, in the north and east rains occur October – December and March – May. Agriculture is highly sensitive to extreme weather patterns which have featured severe droughts over recent years, affecting crops and livestock.

The country relies heavily on agriculture which represents 24.5% of the economy. It comprises mostly smallholdings growing food crops such as maize, cassava, sweet potatoes, beans, bananas, rice and millet. Cash crops include cotton, cashew nuts, coffee, sisal, sugar, tea and tobacco.

The largest segment of the world’s poor are the millions of women and children who live in rural areas. Empowering rural inhabitants is the first step to eradicating poverty and Tanzania is a country where Deki, in partnership with the Mama Bahati Foundation, can make a real difference.

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