There have been plenty of exciting things happening in Tabora these past few weeks! First and foremost, the storage room is complete. We now have a long table and bench for the partners to sit on when packing chips. We also bought a few additional items for storage with the hope to de-clutter what is currently in place.
One of the challenges we’ve seen thus far is the accounting. We are asking the partners to keep track of their waste as well as production. For example with potatoes; we measure out 70 kilo’s in anticipation of packaging around 200 bags of chips. During that process, we need to make sure we’re keeping track of the amount of peels we discard, potato ends that are too small to slice any further, and the chips that were burned, too oily and ultimately unusable. This requires an increased amount of teamwork from the partners. This week Hailey and I had to communicate to them that just because Mama Mawliko is in charge or recording the numbers, does not mean she needs to be the one initiating the measuring.
I’ve been enjoying helping the women use the new systems though it can be difficult to initially get them started. This coming week we’ll be explaining to the women that along with the new practices, we’re going to try and reuse all the business related items solely for business usage. For example, when we have 8 empty oil buckets they’ll divide the buckets amongst themselves and use it for personal matters. We’ve been thinking that we could actually sell the buckets in Korogwe for extra profit for the business. Additionally, instead of dividing up the extra products at the end of the cooking day, we could make small packages and sell them around Tabora (since Tabora doesn’t have any place to purchase the products).
The increased micro-managing has begun! I’ve been working on certain Swahili words to help with the processes but I’ve been impressed with how quickly the women are able to pick up the new systems, it’s reassuring that we’ll be able to be fully self-sustaining in a year!