by: Ruth Uwera, M&E Coordinator, Global Health Corps Fellow
The Women’s Bakery focuses on projects where they empower women in diverse ways. We have recently been working to see if we are doing helpful things for these past trainees; that is the function and purpose of strong Monitoring & Evaluation Programs.
Last week, the TWB team went to Tanzania where we conducted a baseline survey to a group of women in Bukoba who went through our pilot training in 2015. This survey was completed to receive updates on the economic and social situations of these past graduates. Amazingly, we found that many of them are bakers who are baking from their homes and selling to community members who are living nearby. Their lives have also changed in other ways; they now maintain knowledge about health, nutrition, family planning, income, education, expenditure and many report having self-confidence, all of which are incredible outcomes of the training.
There, of course, are still challenges, as this group desires additional changes in how their business is run. Their relationship with an existing cooperative alters the model that TWB trained, namely business, and so operations have been different from what was initially expected.
Our trip was not only to visit our pilot project, but also, to connect with another NGO who invited us to visit in order to conduct a feasibility about a future partnership. TWB was hosted by WOMEDA, an NGO based in Kayanga, Tanzania. WOMEDA discovered The Women’s Bakery from social media, and was interested to learn about how they could participate in our training program for future business opportunities for women’s groups that they work with.
This meeting and experience was encouraging for us: we are growing – and there is more to come.