PAMOJA Project

The PAMOJA project approach facilitates members of a community group to pool their savings by buying shares in the group. Once they have put in an agreed amount, they can qualify for a loan to start a small business or meet a sudden cash need. The approach creates an atmosphere that enables individuals and communities to address social issues that affect them, to realise their potential and to be empowered to work towards their own development.

The approach combines the establishment of saving and credit initiatives with training in small business skills, understanding and developing markets and also on how to develop a business plan. PAMOJA Project also includes opportunities to address social issues to help reduce poverty. The project’s ultimate outcome is community empowerment.

The PAMOJA project aims to improve the quality of life of the target population through the new economic and social opportunities created by the groups. Group members build capacity to generate income through entrepreneurial skills and simple business planning. The Project addresses the person holistically, helping to respond to social, economic and spiritual needs.

This project will be implemented in Kongwa district within Anglican Diocese of Mpwapwa to reach 22 wards.

 

Problems / Issues to be addressed

The targeted community members in the selected areas are the vulnerable less privileged and marginalized community members who are mainly poor livestock keepers’ communities and peasants living in squatters of Kongwa district.   People in this district, (according to 2013-2017 strategic plan projections) face a number of challenges as follows:

  • The majority are considered and treated as labourers and not workers/employees even in the situation where they have worked for 7years in farms. They are always at the mercy of the big farm owners who are from Iringa who can sack them off-employment at any time without any compensation. The vulnerable people spend over 75% of time to work for big farm owners, earning very little and, eventually at year end   they harvest very little from their own.
  • Women in most parts of Kongwa play a great role in family care however they lack are only involved in petty trading during dry seasons: i.e vegetables vending but they are unable to control prices at the market due to lack of skills in market research or collective marketing; they end up making loses. They are also taking a leading role in farming during the rainy season to but they fumble about   balancing the time in working in others’ farms for small incomes to buy food or other needs and in their own farms. Women need capital to engage in sustainable income earning activities.

 

  • Young boys and girls from communities engaged in petty farming in Kongwa, migrate to big towns like Kibaigwa, Dodoma, Gairo or Mpwapwa and other to big cities of Dar Es Salaam or Arusha. They believe that their lives will be better there than in the rural Kongwa where they assume that business or farming are uncertain something which endangers their future development. But experience shows that majority of youth migrating to towns and cities, ended up contacting HIV or other Sexually Transmitted Diseases. However there are success stories for youth who remain within the Kongwa rural and engage in taping local resources for strengthening their economic status like joining self help groups such as VICOBA
  • Slowness or resistance to change of peoples’ attitudes against dependency on external support is common in many areas of Kongwa. The cause of that is the belief that large part of Dodoma region is semi desert hence, agriculture or any other kind of Income generation activities is impossible. However, it has been learned that there are potential economic strengthening and income generating activities that if tamed and managed properly and sustainably, can alleviate poverty among community members in Kongwa district. For example, in recent years, modern farming using tractors helped to increase farm produce in many parts of Kongwa district especially Mkoka, Kibaigwa and Songambele. But what are lacking are savings, collective   marketing and entrepreneurship skills.
  •  Minimal community participation in development activities and Increases in number of OVC and MVC HIV/AIDS are the challenges which hinder development in Kongwa. This is   caused by reluctant men and women who spend more of the day time in drinking local beer (locally called komoni) which is brewed using maize or millet- by paying from the little income earned from such business as charcoal making, labour work or vegetable vending than in Economic activities. Consequently, lack of skills in proper food usage and storage is a challenge in sustainable food security among Community members in Kongwa

 

   Project Overview

The PAMOJA project approach facilitates members of a community group to pool their savings by buying shares from within the group. Once they have put in an agreed amount, they can qualify for a loan to start a small business or meet a sudden cash need. The approach creates an atmosphere that enables individuals and communities to address social issues that affect them, to realise their potential and to be empowered to work towards their own development. The approach combines the establishment of savings and credit initiatives with training in small business skills, understanding and developing markets and on how to develop a business plan. It also includes establishing avenues or opportunities to address social issues to help them reduce poverty. The PAMOJA has empowerment as an ultimate outcome.

 

PAMOJA project has a clear focus on strengthening community groups by facilitating them to individually and collectively assess their social and economic situations and help them unleash their God given potentials to overcome poverty.   The approach thus goes beyond establishing savings and credit initiatives. It also aims to build the capacity of group members to respond to their problems and come up with lasting and sustainable solutions; hence it is an ideal tool for poverty alleviation. The roots of poverty are often found in broken relationships; broken relationships with self, with God, with the environment and with the community. The PAMOJA approach puts social relationships at the centre of its response in order to heal broken relationships, and build capacity to address the issues that affect people most. Building strong social relationships reduces conflicts, provides opportunities to discuss social issues and creates new opportunities through social links.

 

The PAMOJA project aims to improve the quality of life of the target population through the new economic and social opportunities created by the groups. Group members build capacity to generate income through entrepreneurial skills and simple business planning. The Project addresses the person holistically, helping to respond to social, economic and spiritual needs.

 

When PAMOJA groups are formed, members first select each other based on characteristics such as trustworthiness, honesty, reliability, and punctuality. It is important for successful membership that participants are seen as hard working, of good-standing within the community and that they can demonstrate the ability to save. Members tend to select others with a similar social status to themselves. PAMOJA groups should have at least 15 members and as many as 25 individuals. PAMOJA groups should stop working if membership drops to less than 10.

 

Each PAMOJA group member is expected to develop their own vision, mission and objectives. The vision guides all the operations of each PAMOJA group. It energises group members and provides the ‘big picture’ showing what the group expects to achieve. The mission statement explains how the group will achieve their vision – who they are and where they are going. The objectives are the practical and measurable changes that a group want to achieve. These determine the group activities.

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