Monday, November 3, 2008

Rosemary Maziku in Tanzania

(see above)
Imagine a country with a diverse landscape, composed of wild animals running free, the tallest mountain in Africa and several landmark lakes. Think about what it would be like if you were able to live in a country where nature is more prominent than technology. Although many Americans would call this a vacation, there are millions in Africa living in such a place. Welcome to Tanzania, the dream getaway spot, where the GDP per capita is $1,300.00 and the life expectancy is 51 years old (Tanzania, 2008)! Sounds like paradise, right?

While life, in general, in Tanzania is difficult, women especially have a hard time. According to, the customs of the Tanzanian society make it hard for women to own property. This, in turn, leaves them without the necessary credit to borrow from financial institutions. Rosemary Maziku is one woman trying to run a business in Mwanza, Tanzania. She is a thirty-seven year-old widow with three young children, simply trying to raise enough profit to keep her family alive. She is requesting a loan for $400.00 that she will use to purchase cloth and shoes to sell. Currently working twelve hours a day, six days a week, Rosemary operates a tailoring business and sells soaps and perfumes for extra income. She turns a small profit of about $120.00 a month. Many Americans spend more than that on food each week. The field partner affiliated with loans in Tanzania is SELFINA. They greatly cater to the needs of poor women, even allowing them to use equipment as collateral for future loans. The loan is near risk-free, with a 0% reported default rate and 0% delinquency rate (RosemaryMaziku, 2008).

Knowing that Rosemary needs only $400.00 to completely better her own life and the lives of her children, how can you not feel a desire to help?

--Lindsey McCurdy
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