The March Officer Training Session concluded today. Representatives from 29 SACCOS attended the sessions. On the first day John Kiteve from the Regional Cooperative office addressed our group. Yesterday we had Neiman Chavalla, General Secretary of the Iringa Diocese, talk to us. Chavalla told us that the greatest problem in Tanzania is poverty. He told us “All of our problems are the result of our poverty. If we can solve our poverty we will solve our education, health, and water problems. Iringa Hope is lifting our people out of poverty.” Chavalla is a good speaker. Once he got started he got everyone laughing and listening.
Today’s class was conducted by the Iringa Rural Cooperative officer and was followed by a discussion session, led by Peter. He started by asking the SACCOS that had been selling fertilizer to tell about how they went about it and how well it was received. Everyone from the rural areas sited the need for access to fertilizer, seed, and spray. The SACCOS that were selling fertilizer were doing so only for their members, but, they reported, they were swamped with requests from others who wanted to buy. One SACCOS agreed to sell to anyone who was sponsored by three SACCOS members – but these non-members were told that this was a one-time opportunity. To buy from the SACCOS a second time they must be members.
When the officers were asked if their SACCOS would like to start selling these items, the unanimous response was “Ndio” (YES)! We explained that they would need to form AMCOS (Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Societies) to do this. We told them that we would look into it, but that we would need funding to train, organize, and register AMCOS so we can’t guarantee that we will be able to do so. (We estimate it will cost about $3,000/each). Some of the SACCOS wanted to start collecting money anyway.
Twenty one of this year’s attendees have completed three consecutive years of officer training and at the close of the session these leaders were presented with certificates acknowledging their participation.
It has been a busy year for the Microfinance Institute. We have enjoyed having the opportunity to work with Itiweni, Peter and Request and to meet with so many of our SACCOS members.
Thank-you for your interest in what microfinance is accomplishing in the lives of so many here in the southern highlands of Tanzania.
Sandy stopped to play with the children. Their mothers were at the training seminar.
There were about 70 leaders here at one time-about one third of them female. Some had to come late and some left early. There were about 80 or so overall.
Chavalla, the General Secretary of the Diocese, told us “All of our problems are the result of our poverty. If we can solve our poverty we will solve our education, health, and water problems. Iringa Hope is lifting our people out of poverty.”
Chavalla is a good speaker. Once he got started he got everyone laughing and listening.
We took pictures of all of the leaders. Here is the group from Ihemi. (Being one of the early SACCOS they have all men leaders. We now require at least one woman.)
Sandy and Itiweni made certificates for those who have come to all of our training sessions.
This is the group that received certificates.