It is hard to believe that Quarter One is almost over. Emma and I were lucky enough to have four very clear and strategic Quarter One goals set for the Tabora Project. A lot of exciting things have been happening as we continue to try and accomplish these goals. Our calendar is quickly filling up with meetings and dates and we have some stories to share with you all today.
The Tabora Project aims to focus on income security as well as food security, and human capital development. The business, which has had a very successful month of orders, is an activity focused on income security. The hope is that the business will continue to flourish, and that Emma and I will be able to continually strengthen the business while we are here in Tabora.
One of our next big activities on the horizon, that we are both really excited about, is solar drying! The hope is that this activity will begin to tackle issues of food security in Tabora. One of our Quarter One goals has been to build home solar dryers for each one of our partners. Emma and I have been able to read the research from Hailey and Eliza to help discover what solar drying is all about! These homes dryers have the intention of allowing each of our partners to have access to more nutritional foods for themselves and their families, as well as provide a way to store nutritional foods for up to 6 months at a time. We have spent a lot of time this month thinking about this next step for the project and what it will look like for each individual partner. We have been discussing the best ways to finance these solar dryers as well as figuring out how to construct these individual driers. As you can imagine, there is a lot that will go into this process. Just to give you an idea, we are considering different designs, materials, security of the dryers, placement, etc.
We had a meeting with a solar drying expert and a “fundi” (or handyman) as well as two of our partners to begin to talk logistics about the construction phase. We took a trip into Korogwe to have a meeting and were able to bring everyone together to discuss the construction of these small solar dryers. The fundi had seen a large dryer in Korogwe and had taken measurements of the machine as well as drawn up a sketch. He understood that we were looking for something about half the size and will be contacting us next week with a list of materials as well as a price estimate for each dryer. We hope to schedule a time for him to come to Tabora and help us build our first dryer with all of our partners. With the help of the solar drying expert we will hold a training on how to properly use the dryers. It was really great to see our partners take initiative in Korogwe and include them in the discussion about the type of dryer we hope to build. Mama Mwaliko and Mama Salome both expressed their happiness and excitement when the meeting was over. Even though we were not able to bring all of our partners to the meeting, we wanted to generate excitement and ownership in this process. These dryers will be part of each partner’s family and home life and we want each of them to be invested from the beginning.
For the human capital development piece of the project, our partners are getting ready to teach local Tabora shop keepers three business curriculum classes. Each partner completed the 10 step business curriculum this past spring and are now ready to bring their expertise to the wider Tabora community. We are having a session with Ana (the Country Director of 2Seeds) in the coming weeks to plan the sessions and help our partners feel prepared to teach others about record keeping, profit calculation, and revenue. We know our partners are going to be great teachers and we cannot wait to see them tackle this next task.
As you can tell there is a lot on the horizon here in Tabora, but we are feeling confident in our next activities and ready to take on the challenges and victories ahead!