Dear future Education & Community Support Project volunteers,
As part of your placement in Moshi, you could be lucky enough to work on the ‘Kiboroloni Tailors Project’. If so, be prepared for your weeks to be packed passionately with love, kindness and smiles.
The ladies that form part of the Kiboroloni Tailor’s group are all professional tailors in their own right, but work together to form an effective business cooperation in the town of Moshi, Tanzania. Through this cooperation, they benefit from lower costs for their materials, and share both the risks and financial rewards.
Currently, there are 8 women of varying ages that form part of this cooperation. However, to grow their businesses and earn higher income for their products, the women recognize a need to improve their English language and business skills. This is where African Impact and its volunteers come in!
Okki with the women of the Kiboroloni Tailors Project
The women attend African Impact classes, held every Monday and Tuesday afternoon. The classes educate the ladies on the English language, business skills and, as of September 2017, women’s health. Being busy women, their dedication to learning is portrayed by their attendance to lessons.
The ladies are all impressively professional. Each of them are determined to improve in all aspects of their classes, and this means lessons are received enthusiastically. Spending afternoons with the tailors is guaranteed to leave you swelling with pride - they will show you commitment, compassion and contentment. You will be wishing you could spend just another hour with them!
The English vocabulary of each lady improves with every lesson that is held. Holding a conversation in English can be quite a challenge (and you may find the language barrier difficult), but slip a few Swahili words into your lessons and you'll have your audience in stitches! Never underestimate the power of simplicity - a passionate and energetic teacher can never go wrong.
Education volunteer Marie with the Tailors Group
Business is an area in which the tailor ladies are constantly seeking to improve. As a volunteer, the thought of teaching business may be, to an extent, frightening - especially for those to which business is foreign territory. However, just relax! There is NO need to stress - the basis of the topics are common knowledge; the simplest forms of business and finance (adding and subtracting), and if we have the basic knowledge, we may as well teach those who don't so they can pass it on too!
The moment you enter the complex and are greeted by numerous affectionate hugs and smiley 'Karibu's’ (welcome), all worries disappear. The warm attitudes of the ladies will leave you eager to educate them on creating partnerships, or expanding their businesses! Not a lesson will go by that you leave the small group feeling in any way, shape or form – down ('feeling down' is a concept that, I personally believe, doesn't exist in Tanzanian culture!).
At the end of August 2017, the ladies readily requested to be educated additionally on health topics. African Impact listened, and Tuesday lessons are now dedicated to a health topic which the group finds highly intriguing. Matters including family planning, diseases, sex and periods, and any questions or queries are openly answered. The ladies are enjoying the new addition to the curriculum immensely, and report at the end of the lessons just how appreciative they are.
There are no words that can convey the pure and energetic nature of each single tailor lady. They will bring so much love, humor, passion and solicitude to your time in Moshi. They each have their own unique personality to bring to the group and, as a volunteer, you are guaranteed to enjoy every moment with them so incredibly much. It is inevitable that your experience with the Tailor ladies is going to be one of a lifetime.
As the project is relatively new, it is consistently evolving with every session and therefore, an amazing time to get involved.
Karibu to Moshi!
About the Author and Project
Okki Kiljn (from Australia) joined us as an 8-week Education and Community Support volunteer in Moshi, Tanzania.
To learn more about this project and how to apply, visit this link.