Visakazi Widows Association (completed project)

The Visakazi Widows Group emerged due to the difficulties which many widows face in their task of being the sole head of household. Illness, poor housing, low income and lack of capital to improve small businesses are currently identified problems. These challenges are often caused by discriminating practices against widows occuring in some regions of Tanzania. The biggest problem is property grabbing. This is a form of gender-based violence where in-laws take all family properties from the widow and force her to leave the family house. Other forms of discrimination are the exclusion from the in-law family as well as some cases of disrespectful behavior towards widows for example by neighbors.

The group involves 25 women who meet twice a month. From these discussions several projects emerged:

  • Training in diffrent sectors such as health, business, environment, crafts and more.
  • Acquisition of permits which allow widows to enter the forest reserve to collect weaving materials.
  • Occasional fundraising in the community to supply school materials for the widows´ children.
  • A loan scheme was created that revolves among the widows themselves. These loans allow them to set up their own street food stall and thereby increase the household income.