Formalization and capacity building of Enyorata Tanzania Cultural Group at Mwenge, Kinondoni

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Southern New Hampshire University
This project is on Formalization and Capacity Building of Enyorata Tanzania Cultural Group. The group consists of 35 Maasai women and men based in Mwenge Village Kinondoni District who have organized themselves to make and trade in traditional handicrafts, collect and sell traditional medicines, assist each other when they have problems (such as death, sickness), learn to read and write and to enhance their culture. A Need Assessment study carried out for the group identified a number of factors that adversely affected the group's activities. These were low capital, lack of premises to conduct their business, lack of credit facilities to run their business properly and the lack of capacity in the areas of book keeping, record keeping and business skills. These findings were similar to those found in a survey of the literature on the performance of small businesses in Tanzania. This present project was selected on the basis of these findings. It was intended to assist the group first by facilitating its formalization and then by helping capacity building in entrepreneurship skills i.e. simple bookkeeping and marketing strategies. Formalization was to be achieved by assisting the group's formal recognition through registration at the Village Government and later at the Municipal Council levels. The project period was 18 months, from September 2005 to February 2007. The target group members were all 35 founder members carrying out small scale business mainly on Maasai hand crafts. A constitution for the group was developed and this was approved by all members. It was then approved at Mtaa and Ward levels respectively before it was submitted to the District Commissioner for registration. Further the group was trained on how to start their own savings and how they could join SACCOS to get credit to improve their business. Training on business skills was also imparted to the group. Although the group could not get any credit from financial institutions during the project life, they were able to start their own savings mobilization and already have funds in their account. The project has helped the author to successfully achieve her objective of working with a Community Based Organization by improving its performance. (Author abstract)