All you need to know about Tambua Empowerment Program


All you need to know about Tambua Empowerment Program

In Summary

  • Tambua's mission is to provide integrated and innovative development services across the globe that triggers communities to realize their full potential.
  • The main key area for Tambua is creation of socio economic groups as a center for learning, these groups are important for members to put aside their differences and form partnerships.

Tambua Empowerment Program (TEP) is a non-governmental Organization in Kenya with its secretariat in Nairobi County. Its vision is to realize empowered communities with improved livelihoods.

Tambua’s mission is to provide integrated and innovative development services across the globe that triggers communities to realize their full potential.

The main key area for Tambua is creation of socio economic groups as a center for learning, these groups are important for members to put aside their differences and form partnerships to address issues from their own perspective i.e. sharing of experience, skills, talents, economic development strategies, planning, marketing etc.

Tambua uses various strategies as method for alleviating poverty among rural communities. One of the main strategies promoted by Tambua is Accumulating, Saving and Credit Association (ASCA) model.

This is a powerful tool to fight poverty and transform their livelihoods. Members use savings and credit to move from everyday survival to planning for the future: they invest in assets, IGAs, better nutrition, housing, health, and education.

Saving and credit intervention strengthens the sense of solidarity and cooperation among the members, which leads to, unity among the group. This unity is channeled to meet various social needs among members.

Tambua aims to build confidence, raise self-esteem and empower the community members to participate fully in their own affair and decision making to facilitate community based projects. This is aimed to exploit the natural and human resources available in the region whilst sustaining and improving the environment to enhance their livelihoods.

The organization aims to bring together the local community with their expertise and experiences particularly the use of local skills/knowledge and talent.

The organisation has been carrying out a voluntary economic empowerment work on request from the community in Mwakika, Makueni County in Kenya since July 2015.

Mwakika community lies in the semi arid region of Kenya, they receive less rainfall causing food shortages and limited water.

The community realized the need to mobilize themselves with an objective to improve their livelihoods and to improve their income level. They came up with strategies of pulling resources together in small groups, for three years the community struggled with no avail, they had challenges in organizing and managing the group activities, they had limited information and knowledge on how economic groups operate and the importance of using local knowledge and talents in improving their livelihoods.

In the process they heard about Tambua which was working with the neighboring community. Mwakika community through their leadership invited Tambua to assist them in reorganizing and restructuring the groups as well as providing trainings to the members.

Tambua together with the community came up with strategies on how to reorganize the groups. Tambua offered technical assistance to 13 pilot groups with a membership of 300.

These groups were trained on savings and credit, group mobilization, group leadership and management, creation of rules and regulations, record keeping , Training of community based Trainers, environmental conservation , use of talents and mobilization of local resources etc.

Through the trainings offered by Tambua, Mwakika groups have been able to create a new positive attitude on members towards savings, which results in improved savings, it has reinforced members solidarity and encouragement of self-reliance and entrepreneurial spirit, this is through creation of self employment as the way of reducing poverty.

Mwakika groups provide important financial services and have powerful social impact. Members take great pleasure in being part of a group, and receive the social and financial support they need to move forward in their lives. Seeing their own success and that of their peers, they are inspired to earn more, save more, and fulfill their dreams of providing food for their families, sending their children to school, water harvesting constructing better homes, and taking control of their lives and their futures. It is a long-term, sustainable solution which plays a central role in the efforts of the very poor to improve and stabilize their livelihoods.

Tambua /Norwegian Church Aid work in Muranga.

Coffee industry in Kenya has been facing challenges on issues concerning productivity, good systems, marketing etc. Coffee income is quite inadequate to meet the daily needs of a farmer, most coffee farmers are poor, discouraged and struggling with hard economic times.

Since 2016 Tambua has had an opportunity to work with coffee farmers in Muranga County, in the Central part of Kenya through the invitation of Norwegian Church Aid. The objective was to assist the coffee farmers to form social groups which can act as learning centres, through these groups, farmers operate economic groups which are run as well managed by them. Norwegian Church Aid phased out their activities in Muranga in the same year-2016, but Tambua has continued to give their technical support and monitoring tthese groups.

It is encouraging to realize that the Coffee farmers have achieved tremendously a lot within the last 2 years of working with Tambua. The farmers have registered remarkable results and impacts through the learning centres.

Tambua training has build trust and increased knowledge/skills among coffee farmers. The change of attitude within the members can be observed through management of groups which is a great achievement towards sustainable coffee farming and other agricultural productivity.

The model has enabled the members to become more creative in utilizing their talents, skills and potential in improving their coffee productivity and other areas of life. The coffee farmers have learned that they are not only coffee farmers but also can grow other agricultural products in their farms.

The social groups are not just for attending to immediate need! It’s about building communities-physically, spiritually economically, socially and culturally.

The socio economic groups offer community members an opportunity to make choices concerning the overall quality of life and lifestyle that are far more important to them than anything in life.

The Tambua model has attracted other members of the communities leading to high demand of the program. Tambua seeks to replicate this model to other parts of country as it has been tried and proven as a powerful tool for development.

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