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Portrait: Six women inspiring #lastingchangefor International Women’s Day

Claudia the soap maker

Claudia the soap maker

Happy International Women’s Day!  AnnieTanya and I are here in Tanzania helping Comic Relief raise even more vital funds by highlighting projects that have helped women in Tanzania get jobs, start businesses and secure a future for their families and communities. It gives me great pleasure to bring all six together. Jambo!

A small amount of money can be all that’s needed to help people in unimaginably tough situations turn their lives around. The Tanzania Gatsby Trust provides training and mentoring to help women entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground, in very challenging environments.

Claudia (above) is an inspirational 54 year old mother and grandmother who, with support from The Gatsby Trust has turned a her hobby of soap making  into a profitable business. A year ago when Claudia  first starting receiving support for TGT she was producing 20 litres of liquid soap a month, selling to friends and family. Now, just one year on Claudia produces 3,000 litres per month, employs two people and she not only sells to friends,  family and local community but also supplies products to hotels and shops. Claudia, like the other women we’ve been meeting on our trip, spends time training other women both locally and in further afield. Visit Claudia in her tiny production room here.

Jocye the Poultry Keeper

Jocye the Poultry Keeper

Through mentoring and training the Gatsby Trust have helped Joyce expand her poultry business from just a few chicks to now having 300.  She has also now built an extension to house another 400 which should be arriving next week.   The training that Joyce has received has enabled her to make her own feed, thereby saving her money, and also to ensure the feed is healthy. It has also taught her to recognise signs of disease in her chicks to such an extend that she now has a completely healthy clutch.   Other poultry keepers in her area now phone her for advice and training.   The network of women is now in a much more powerful position to broker deals to sell to supermarkets as they can promise supply, which Joyce couldn’t do on her own.   Joyce is supporting her family and is able to pay for her son to attend a boarding school, state education is very basic in Tanzania. Meet Joyce’s chickens here.

Bertha the food and wine maker

Bertha the food and wine maker

Bertha is a food producer in Dar es Salaam who has received support from the Gatsby Trust.   Bertha makes three different types of wine, garlic paste and a flour used to make porridge.  In addition to making products she is also now training other women to do the same.   Bertha works from a processing plant that she built herself at the back of her property, with room dedicated to each part of her business.  Visit Bertha’s factory in her back yard here.


DSC01751This is Forestiana and she’s a wine processor. Her business has grown from making 20 litres of wine a month to 250 litres after receiving  help from The Gatsby Trust, Tanzania. Vital business skills, technical training and mentoring has given Forestina the confidence to think big and plan her businesses growth. It means she can work from home and her family has a better quality of life – she also employs 2 others. Forestina helps train up other women to help them with their businesses. She showed us her grape wine and hibiscus wine with great pride. Tour her home factory here.

Sarah the textiles maker

Sarah the textiles maker

Through mentoring and training the Gatsby Trust gave Lucy the confidence to develop her business and to network after moving from the countryside to the city, She is an inspirational creative who brought out so many beautiful, imaginative handcrafted items to show us. More than that she is a teacher and looks forward expanding her business by training other women who want to start up craft and textile businesses. Visit her craft cupboard here.

Efliafura the batik artist

Efliafura the batik artist

Eliafura makes the most beautiful batiks and tie dyed material.  With the support of the Gatsby Trust Eliafura has registered her business and learned important health and safety rules around the chemicals she uses.   Eliafura now also trains other women in the village who bring material to her and she shows them how to create these beautiful patterns.   They sell easily to not only local schools where teachers like to buy them but also overseas.   We bought her entire stock because we loved them all so much and are now working out how to sell them on so we can complete the circle of donation, funding, training, selling, donating. Tour her garden and workshop in pictures or video

How can you help create lasting change?

Our visit is about celebrating #lastingchange. We’ve seen first hand how Sport Relief funding kicks off change, improving not just one person’s life, but giving people a leg up so their families and whole communities benefit from the ripple effect.

Please support, share and RT any updates you see with the #lastingchange hashtag.

DONATE You can help create #lastingchange by sponsoring #teamhonkrelay for Sport Relief

GET INVOLVED Join up for your local Sport Relief event here.

Images by me, text by me, Annie and Tanya!



  1. 08/03/2014 / 10:55 am

    What wonderful women you have met – memories to treasure I imagine 🙂 Thanks for sharing their stories with us all x

  2. 09/03/2014 / 3:29 pm

    What an amazing journey, and what beautiful women. Best wishes with your #lastingchange campaign, I’ll be watching more closely. Thanks!

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