Friends of Lindi are committed to helping people help themselves - one of the ways we can do this is providing financial and intellectual support. Before leaving Lindi we gave a seed donation to one of our neighbours who was making cakes and chapatis to earn some money for her family. She used the money to pay for the lease on a small tin premises near her house. Together with her sister they expanded the cooking and built up more customers and a bigger menu. On our return in January 2018 we asked them what else they needed to improve the business. After some discussion they agreed to change from cooking with charcoal to using gas stoves. We bought 2 stoves and cylinders and this cuts costs by 50% at a stroke. The addition of a pressure cooker further reduces cooking times of maharage- beans that need to be cooked for a long time to soften them.
Next we financed a cement floor, repaired walls to keep dust out and added new tables and chairs and extra plates and utensils. With the help of a Tanzanian friend working with another project we went through a simple costs vs sales process and produced flyers and business cards to distribute to local offices. Recent reports are very positive and sales are rising.
We also plan to use Aisha and mama Hidaya as role models and mentors for other women and girls who want to start a business. Sustainability is a key component in any help we give.
Costa “Lindi style”
Another neighbour, Aisha, who is the aunt of Hidaya, wanted help with her café idea. In 2018 donations enabled the floor to be screeded and the use of gas rather than charcoal for cooking. Sue explained how a pressure cooker worked and this cut down on costs. Sadly, 2 years later she was evicted but still continues to cook from her home.
Mama wa Nuru
These ladies lived opposite our house and they had been assisted by a Japanese organisation to make small jewelry and items from local patterned cloth. They also made good biscuits! Women are marginalised in Tanzania and many are left to bring up children alone after the fathers move on. They need an income. We donated an extra sewing machine in 2019 so that more women could learn how to sew. As the pandemic took hold in 2020 they turned their skills to making masks for local people.