Youth and Women Empowerment

Due to shortage of rains in larger part of the country, Helping Hands was struggling to support women and youth to meet her family’s needs, and had to rely on food assistance for survival. The youth and women were eager to start farming to improve their life but still there was scarcity land because majority poor did not own land. As a result, the solution was south to rent farms around Arusha at Olasiti area and start vegetable gardens. The market for vegetables was sure because of many tourist hotels around the area.

Through the campaign each family received vegetable seeds (including amaranth, cabbage, carrot, okra, onion and tomato), along with a 25 kg bag of fertilizer. Community members helped by lending agricultural tools, and they were able to secure farmland through a sharecropping arrangement and renting that was negotiated through the Kijiji leadership (community leader).

The eagerness to learn made a model farmer within the community, and soon enough, the gardens started flourishing. Many women in the village approached Helping hands to show them how to carry out basic activities such as preparing vegetable seedling beds, transplanting them into the main farm and tending to different crops.

Scarcity of rain brought another tragedy which called for irrigation through Mout Meru river flows to the farming area which enabled the women and youth to farm all the year without dependence to rainfall. Many other women and youth admired the farm and wanted to join. They were encouraged to form a group for themselves, guiding them on farming activities. Now they can support other women in the development of their gardens.