Empowering women through micro-finance and income generating projects
WEECE supports rural women to start their own businesses giving them the opportunity to contribute to the household income, to support their families and to increase their self-esteem. The Village Community Bank program VICOBA has been established with the aim to give women a perspective and the funds to start a business and to run community-owned projects.
WEECE provides business and field trainings, support and consultation to further strengthen and develop the groups and the individual businesses. Upon approval of application, a group can receive a grant of up to TZS 1.000.000 (~ USD 450) from WEECE which will be deposited to their VICOBA account. Sometimes, VICOBA groups receive donations as seed money to operate their community banks. We are grateful for the generous support from partners and friends all over the world.
Collectivity is greatly emphasized in the VICOBA program – the group rather than the individual are in the focus. A VICOBA group usually consists of 30 women who meet regularly to exchange their experiences and to manage their funds. The VICOBA group itself is divided into smaller units which are called magnets. In every magnet the members guarantee for each other.
Through this initiative WEECE has established the following 15 VICOBA groups:
- Tunaweza of Moshi
- Mvuleni A & B
- Remiti A & B
- Rau A, B, C & D
- Tumsifu Kariwa
Every group has developed its own guidelines and organizes its meetings.
The VICOBA program has been evaluated positively by both our donors and community members. Local government officials are working closely together with us.