In Tanzania a high rate of girls drop out of school, especially in rural areas. Those who complete primary school often do not go on for further studies, because local and traditional beliefs generally dictate that sending girls to school is wasting money. The country also has a high rate of child marriage, which, combined with early pregnancy, usually prevents girls from attending secondary school.
Magreth, now 32 years old, is from Mtakuja in the Geita region. After failing to complete primary school, she engaged in her family’s domestic and agriculture activities. However, when she became pregnant, her father chased her out of the home, and Magreth started her life with the young man who was the father of her child. Over time her family grew to include three daughters and two sons. She always dreamed that her children would have the opportunity to go to school, but she did not have the means to support them in this.
Magreth always dreamed that her children would have a better chance to go to school than she had, but she did not have the means to support them.
Then, one day, World Renew and Africa Inland Church Tanzania began a Livelihoods and Food Security program in her community.
Vocational training in tailoring was one of the skill sets offered through this training. Those in the community interested in becoming tailors could gain skills and improve their standard of living. They also received small business management classes and learned how to start their own businesses. This project in Mtakuja village was the answer to Magreth’s prayers. She joined the tailoring class led by one of the experienced and skilled tailoring instructors in the community. She was faithful in attending and she was a careful listener. After eight months of classes, she completed the tailoring course and was among the top students in the class.
Magreth was determined to see her dream come true, but she did not have enough money to buy a sewing machine. So she decided to buy and resell agricultural products to make some extra money. She eventually saved enough to purchase her own sewing machine, which she uses to make her own clothes. Magreth has opened a small shop in the village, and she is now able to make different types of clothes, including shirts, skirts, gowns, and other clothes for both school children and adults. She has a skill that is appreciated in and need by the community.
She is also now able to provide financially for her children and give them what she never had: an education!