A loan of $400 helped to buy more clothing to sell.

Zuhura W.'s story

Mambo from Tanzania! This is 35-year-old Zuhura W. K. from Tukuyu. She is married with two children between the ages of 11 and 14 and is also responsible for supporting two dependents because their parents passed away. Zuhura has been operating a shop since 2005, selling vitenge (see below), bedsheets, sweaters, blankets, and gowns. Assisted by her younger sister, she works 10 hours each day, 7 days per week, currently earning about $85 from her business. She is requesting a loan of $400 in order to buy new clothing to sell, and in the future plans to have a big shop for garments. Zuhura thanks you for your support!

Traditional clothing worn by Tanzanian women is called kanga and vitenge. The kanga is a piece of printed cotton fabric often with a border along all four sides. It is printed using the silkscreen method with its pattern in frames. Kitenge (the Swahili plural is vitenge) is a cotton fabric with wax print, printed by using rotary printing machines. Kitenge is a communicating textile - the various colors, patterns, writings and symbols represent moods, feelings, cultures, and traditions of native African people.

SELFINA has taken a lead role as a pioneer of micro-credit in Tanzania through Micro-Leasing. The organization is engaged in the economic empowerment of women in Tanzania through the provision of a leasing and leaseback microfinance facility. Customs and traditions in Tanzania make it difficult for women to own land and assets; thus they are termed non-creditworthy by financial institutions. This leads to poor financial support and poor access to basic needs and services for women with low incomes. One of the primary advantages of microleasing is that it allows clients to use the equipment as collateral for future loans with SELFINA, thus enabling them to borrow larger sums in the future.

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