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Catherine, Tanzania: I used to be so poor, but things have changed for the better

January 24, 2024

Catherine lives in the Sanya watershed of Tanzania. She describes her life before Plant With Purpose as normal, though what was normal in Sanya is what many of us would consider extremely difficult. The burdens of poverty made it difficult for her to provide the life she desired for her children.

“I am 44, and my husband Michael and I have been blessed with four children, two daughters and twin sons.

Before, I lived a very normal life but with a lot of challenges. My husband and I had no money that we could use to put our children in school. We were dependent only on farm activities. We had nowhere to borrow money from. We struggled to save the little we got from farm products. I was selling bananas in the market, and it was very difficult sometimes to get them because I had little capital and getting bunches of bananas was very difficult. 

tanzania poverty overcome

When Plant With Purpose finally arrived, we became aware of saving and lending opportunities. I saved all I could to increase my capital. My big goal was always for my children to have a better education and to have a better house for all of us. I didn’t know how this would happen. I just hoped that my wishes would come true some day. I kept trusting God to bless me and my family through what I learned.

My biggest challenge was obtaining the funds to change my life. After an awareness program in our church, my husband and I had clarity. It occurred to me that I needed to join a Purpose Group so I could send the children to school and build a better house.

I am so grateful that Plant With Purpose came to our community. When I first joined a Purpose Group, I felt very happy and saw that I was going to succeed in the things that I have always desired. After I joined, I received training on saving, environmental restoration techniques, entrepreneurship skills, and spiritual renewal. I started to put into practice the knowledge I was getting from the group.

Six months later, I was able to take out loans for my twins’ school fees and for my daughter to enroll in university. We repaid them by selling bananas and maize in the market. Our next loan was used to modernize our house and to buy a cow. The cow’s milk was used to feed the family as well as earning further income.

My life has changed because I have a good modern house in my village, and I have gained knowledge on banana cultivation. This helps me expand my business.

The Purpose Group changed my life. I used to be so poor, but things have changed for the better. I have put my children in school, built a modern house, and expanded my business. I have really benefited from my group.

I love God, who has blessed my family so much. I’m capable of giving tithes and offerings in my church. My relationship with my neighbors is good. I have convinced others to join other Purpose Groups in the community. I’m very grateful to God and Plant With Purpose. May it expand and reach many villages and continue to provide knowledge to other people in Tanzania.”

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