Tanzanian Mother Sees a Bright Future for Her Children

Tanzania mother

Small grants helped Spedita Samuel Ngowi raise livestock and buy a pump that helps her increase her crop yields. Photo by Debbie DeVoe/CRS

Three years ago, Spedita Samuel Ngowi had a good life. She and her husband Isaiah split their time between a village in Tanzania’s northern coastal region where their three children attended school and at their farm a few miles away. By growing a large crop of corn and all kinds of vegetables, they were able to feed their family well and cover school expenses.

Then Isaiah died in a car accident. All of a sudden, Spedita became the sole provider for Nelson, Edward and Martha—then 15, 13 and 9 respectively.

Relatives pressured Spedita to sell her home and become a fulltime farmer. But even though Spedita didn’t know how she would earn enough to support them all in town, she believed her children’s education was her top priority. She turned the decision over to God, asking Him for direction.

Then, Spedita says, a miracle happened: Volunteers came to her village seeking eligible participants for a CRS-supported project that helps orphans using USAID funding.

The project now covers the costs of school uniforms, supplies and tuition fees for Spedita’s children. Spedita also received entrepreneurial training and was given $40 in capital to start a small business of her choice. She decided to buy a pig, cutting a deal with a local butcher for him to slaughter the pig and then share the profits of the roasted meat she sold. From those first earnings, she bought another pig and eventually ended up with 10 piglets from a pregnant sow. She now has multiple pens of pigs and even a few cows.

“This project has dramatically changed my life. Using some of my profits, I have also purchased a treadle hand-foot pump and planted a vegetable garden to sell vegetables and feed my family,” Spedita says. “Life is not difficult like before. I see a bright future ahead.”

— Reported by Debbie DeVoe, CRS regional information officer, Eastern and Southern Africa

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