Failing Secondary education did not shatter her dreams. Francisca Venance Africanus, a young girl aged 20 years is on her way to becoming a professional tailor.
Our partner staff at OCODE met Francisca at Msongola ward in Mbondole area where she stayed with her Mother (47) and her younger sister (15). She is the first born in the family of two children. She is one of the participants of the first Bonga cohort of 94 girls who graduated on 14th April 2018. Before joining the center, Francisca had a dream of becoming a tailor. She birthed the idea after she had failed to make it to Secondary School. She quickly enrolled in a tailoring unit to gain practical skills. “It was hard to learn in that frame because I was taught only when the tailors had no work to do,” she says. “But since I had a vision I couldn’t lose hope. I remember the day when I heard about the registration of girls into the Bonga centers which up to now I am grateful I made the decision to join. Bonga has been a savior to me. It was very difficult to stay at home without knowing how my tomorrow was going to be. My father left us and married another wife when I was just eight. Our life at home was very miserable. I didn’t know how and when I would achieve what I wanted. But through Bonga, I have managed to start my dream career”.
My father left us and married another wife when I was just eight.
From CMMF group that she and other Bonga graduates formed, Fransisca managed to borrow one hundred thousand Tanzania shillings (100,000) which she gave her mother as a loan to start a min business. “My aim was for her to have an income-generating project. She started selling soap but the business did not go as planned. Some people could take soap on credit and later refuse to pay.” Shared Fransisca.
Through Bonga, I have managed to start my dream career
Currently, the mother is working as a cleaner in one of the local institutes, where she earns about 80,000 Tanzanian Shillings (Appx. US$35) per month. This covers for household needs, while Francisca from her tailoring work, which she does after graduating from Bonga, pays back the loan that she took from the Bonga CMMF group. “I have so far cleared 40% of the loan but I believe I will clear it within the next three months.” Francisca is still a member of the Bonga CMMF group where she saves weekly. She hopes to take another loan to start a new business. She takes a collapsed soap business as a lesson to improve in the future business.
Francisca was honored with a gift as the best student during the Bonga graduation. Hijara Fimbo, who was Francisca’s animator, said that Fransisca was always a disciplined student. She came to class on time during life skills and vocational training. She was a quick learner; her character influenced her performance at the center.
Francisca’s mother Bibiana Venance sincerely acknowledges the great improvements she has seen in her daughter since she enrolled in the Bonga program. “The changes in her just happened very quickly. It was just last year when she had no hope of life at all but look at her now, she is busy and very hard working. I know through her; our family will be saved again”. Shared Ms. Bibiana, Francisca’s mother.
It was just last year when she had no hope of life at all but look at her now, she is busy and very hard working. I know through her; our family will be saved again. ~ Francisca’s mother.
Through Bonga project, OCODE under Stromme Foundation financial and technical support has already empowered 223 girls who are now in Bonga forum and engaging in Income generating activities while other 138 girls who are in five centers are finalizing life skills training before embarking on vocational skills training for 3 months. Their graduation is set this December.
Girls graduated this April 2018 from Bonga under the Stromme-OCODE partnership in Daressalaam
Girls are in the second intake, awaiting to graduate this December.