Siwema Magori

Programme sponsor: Grumeti Fund

“We have shown the community that women can succeed in activities beyond those of a traditional housewife.”

Meet Siwema Magori. She’s one of the beneficiaries of our village learning and guiding programme offered by Raizcorp, in partnership with Grumeti Fund, in Tanzania.

Siwema is a 32-year-old mother of two who lives in the Robanda Village of the Serengeti district. Her family derives its income from small-scale farming activities, including planting grains on their land. To make ends meet, Siwema began hawking, walking around the community selling consumables – not an easy task in an area populated by mostly subsistence farmers.

The turning point

It hadn’t occurred to Siwema that learning more about how to sell could change her life until she joined the village learning sessions and, later, the guiding programme, where she completed all 12 modules. This was her turning point, as Siwema described that more and more households started buying from her and it eventually led to her opening a shop.

She started buying and then selling 25kgs bags of sugar and other small items, but expanded her market through smart marketing initiatives, as well as packing and offering several new products. Through the sales at her shop Siwema earns over TSh20 000 per day (around R150), which she has used to buy clothing for her children and has put the rest away in savings.

“Before getting this valuable training I never saved the income from the sales. Now I have opened a special savings plan and save TSh5 000 per day, which I will use to expand my business. With the training and support we receive from Raizcorp and Grumeti Fund, the women who went through the programme with me have not only been able to increase their sales and open new businesses but have also expanded their activities. For example, initially I was walking around with stuff but now I have managed to have a permanent shop for my business where it has been very easy for my customers to find me.”


Life-changing training

Like other women in the group, Siwema recognises the tangible benefits of her active participation in the training modules. She has been trained in topics that have enabled her to increase and enhance her income and savings. “We have shown the community that women can succeed in activities beyond those of a traditional housewife and can contribute to household earnings the same way men do.” The transformation in the lives of women is evident to their neighbours, and a change of mindset is seen in the way participants want to help others and do things differently.

“We can now take our own initiatives, keep records and have savings. We appreciate Raizcorp and Grumeti Fund. The training gave me confidence and improved my record-keeping, budgeting and marketing skills. I always had the talent and desire but no confidence”.

Today Siwema Magori is a happy woman facing the future with great hope. Her shop is busier than ever and she is looking forward to expanding. “Previously I was very shameful, uncomfortable and would fear as my children would want some stuff, but I could not afford. Now things are different”.

Despite the fact that Siwema is very busy, she loves her work. “I work all day and keep myself occupied, hence I have no time to sit at home and be isolated. This job has saved my life”. On her plans for the future, Siwema says, “I’d like to expand my business from retail to a small wholesale in the area in the next 10 years.”