Emma and I had a very exciting week in Tabora! We are feeling more at home in the village and have really enjoyed getting to know our partners, neighbors, and community members who often greet us and invite us in for a meal. We have been delighted to share in meals (such as ugali and maharage) with the people of Tabora, as well as mastering our small kerosene stove. We were lucky to inherit many spices and seasonings from past PCs that make even a simple dish of rice and vegetables exciting and satisfying!
Emma and I found letters from past PCs, as well as a small package from Hailey and Eliza, full of colorful inspirational quotes to hang inside our house. It is really starting to feel like home as our routines become more stable, and as we continue to decorate our space.
This week Emma and I were able to participate in our first profit calculation and distribution with our partners! We have been anxiously waiting to find out how much profit the business generated for the month of August. August was crucial because the women handled the business on their own before we arrived and after Hailey and Eliza left Tabora. In August, the business received some of the largest orders ever, and the demand for Tabora products was high in Korogwe and in Dar.
On Thursday Ana and Cam (the 2Seeds Ground Team) came to Tabora with the Tabora profit books as well as all the Tabora “banks”—including personal savings accounts, group savings accounts, money for kitchen maintenance, and all the profits from chips, peanuts, and popcorn.
Mama Asha and Mama Mwuliko, two of our partners, are in charge of calculating profits and figuring out important information like revenue, profit, number of work days in the kitchen, all sales costs, percentage of money for the group savings fund, and ROI.
It was very rewarding to sit and watch our partners calculate profits on their own. These two women are handling crucial details of the business that are even difficult for Emma and I to understand. We watched quietly as our partners did the math for each product separately, and then calculated the overall profits from the month to be divided among the eight group members based on attendance at cooking sessions. Once the calculations were complete, and all the individual bundles of money were assembled, we had a group meeting with all of our partners. Ana announced that August generated the 2nd highest profit in the history of the Tabora business! Everyone was excited to hear the news! Emma and I are thrilled that the business is thriving!
Over 100,000 shillings were added to the overall group savings and each partner received profits between 25,000 and 37,000 shillings for the month!
It was another small victory for Tabora and we are hoping September will be even stronger.
Now that Emma and I feel confident in our partner’s ability to teach us the details of the business and the market in Korogwe, we are ready to begin researching solar drying and other Tabora project activities we hope to act on this year. We are still trying to wrap our own minds around the process of drying fruits and vegetables, but we are hoping to begin the testing phases of some leafy greens currently in season.
Stay tuned for more Tabora updates in the coming weeks!