Mambo from Tanzania! This is 35-year-old Magdalena M. from Mwanza. She is married with four children between the ages of eight and 18 years. Magdalena has been running an African clothes business since 2006. She sells traditional clothing worn by Tanzanian women, 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 an expressive textile: the various colors, patterns, writings and symbols represent moods, feelings, cultures, and traditions of native African people. Magdalena works at the business for 12 hours per day, six days per week. Magdalena currently earns about 120 USD from her business. She is requesting a loan of 400 USD in order to purchase more African clothes to resell. Magdalena thanks you for your support!
SELFINA has taken a lead role as a pioneer of microcredit in Tanzania. The organization is devoted to the economic empowerment of women in Tanzania through microfinance as a practical way to achieve the economic and social emancipation of women. Customs and traditions in Tanzania make it difficult for women to own land and assets; thus, they are deemed non-creditworthy by financial institutions. This leads to poor financial support and hence 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, enabling them to borrow larger sums in the future.