On 18th May 2023, Hon. Dr. Philip Mpango the Vice President of the Republic of United of Tanzania, launched the Rural electricity project in Sale division Ngorongoro District. During the launch, Ms. Gladness Gilole, a graduate of PWCs Energize project received support from the Regional and National government to repair her house.
Ms Gilole joined the Energize program in 2019 after she was selected from among young women in her village. “Before I joined the project, I was desperate and had experienced many difficulties as my education had been cut short when I was in form two in secondary school when my parents decided to marry me off. I then went to the village to live with my husband and his parents. Although I was forced to marry a man which was not my choice, our marriage was happy and healthy. Unfortunately, not long after, my husband passed away and left me with two children. His parents took away all our livestock and everything we had, leaving us completely destitute. At one point, I lived in the middle of the forest with my two children. They did not go to school because we lacked all basic needs, including school uniforms and food. I started begging food and other support from relatives and friends to support my children’s needs. I become well known by villagers due to my family’s critical condition.”
Energize is a unique, culturally sensitive and now proven approach that empowers young marginalized pastoralist women. The project aims to empower young out-of-school pastoralistwomen living in Ngorongoro district by providing them with basic literacy, entrepreneurship, life skills, mentorship and technical training. Participants of the program also receive unique training opportunities, including constructing domestic biogas plants, installing solar panels, and making reusable sanitary pads. They are also encouraged to join community micro-credit groups (VICOBA) to save and access micro-credit to grow their businesses.
“I joined the Energise project and participated in a five-month training program at the Loliondo rescue center. The training covered various topics, including domestic solar panel installation by Mobisol company, basic computer literacy, English language course, brick making and domestic biogas plant construction, business training with the inclusion of the Village Community Banks (VICOBA) model, leadership and sexual reproductive health. The trainings gave me a lot of confidence and encouragement to become a businesswoman and enable me to pursue my dreams.”
After she completed the course, Gladness went back home and the first thing she did was to build a house for her family using the knowledge of brick making that she received from CAMARTEC. She also installed domestic solar panels in seven homes in her village and began to earn an income from her new skills. As a result of her newfound confidence and in a test of her capabilities, Gladness was challenged to construct a dispensary, a task usually undertaken by men. She was able to build the dispensary very well and they paid double the wages compared to the rest of the builders.
“I engage in various small businesses. For example, I have a small farm on which I plant vegetables for my family and sell the excess at the local market and I learned to sew clothes. To date, I am still a member of the VICOBA group, and I plan to take a loan that I will use to grow my business.”
At the recent launch of the rural electrification project, Gladness had an opportunity to share her empowerment journey. Her story moved those present to believe in the power of investing in women. As a result, she received financial support amounting to 1.5million Tsh from Hon. Mpango and the regional commissioner Hon. Mongela. Additionally, the government representatives directed for her home to be connected to the electric power grid. The Vice president further pledged to support two of her children to access quality education from primary to University.
The Enerize project has impacted 101 pastoralist young women and families who are now self-reliant and have prospects for a better future. Check out some of our beneficiaries’ stories here
“I thank PWC for the opportunity to participate in the Energize project which gave me back my hope, dreams, skills and confidence.”