Boma Africa has partnered with Days for Girls to start a new enterprise in Mto wa Mbu, Tanzania! It all started when an amazing woman had the idea to establish an enterprise that would supply pad kits to for every post partum mom at a nearby by hospital. The amazing Alexa is passionate about supporting Days for Girls (washable menstrual health pads) and FAME Africa (an outstanding NGO hospital in this area), so it was a perfect combination!
Days for Girls increases access to menstrual care and education by developing global partnerships, cultivating social enterprises, mobilizing volunteers, and innovating sustainable solutions that shatter stigmas and limitations for women and girls. In Tanzania many girls have no access to menstrual pads and miss school when they are menstruating. Many women cannot afford disposable pads and struggle to manage their menstruation with dignity. Days for Girls enterprises provide employment and access to income, washable menstrual pad kits, and women’s health education.
I first came to know Days for Girls when we were moving back to Tanzania and someone offered me 100 kits to bring and donate. Of course I said YES, and went online to learn more and to complete DfG’s Ambassador of women’s health training. After arriving in Mto wa Mbu I met a dynamic and skilled tailor, Harrieth, and we started making baby carriers, sleepsacs, and other mother and baby related items. Washable pads and diapers were on our list!
I am a registered midwife, so women’s health is totally my space. I was living in Tanzania and working at FAME as a clinical educator. When Alexa’s project idea came through it was a match made in Heaven in so many ways!
In the last 6 months the Boma Africa enterprise has employed 3 tailors in full time work, and 2 women’s health ambassadors on contract basis. The staff participated in a full week long training session on sewing, business, and menstrual health. We have established our business model and explored supply chain. We have delivered 140 washable pads kits to new mothers and another 160 kits to school aged girls. Recently we had the opportunity to attend a workshop with other enterprise leaders in Tanzania. It was amazing to collaborate, and learn more about the global movement for menstrual health solutions and the advocacy that is happening!
The Boma Africa Days for Girls enterprise has really hit the ground running and we have already provided menstrual health solutions to hundreds of girls and women. I couldn’t be prouder.
HUGE thanks to our generous donor, Alexa, FAME Africa, and Days for Girls for making this happen!
Lovetotraveljourney about Boma Africa
We were in Tanzania for 2 weeks and had the most amazing time of our lines! Our Boma experience was definitely EPIC, very professional and we were so well taken care of the whole time! The guides are each amazing – professional, knowledgeable and friendly! Boma took care of us from the airport right to our departure! Safaris, biking tours, walking tours, meeting a Maasai family, local painting day, hiking, zip lining,… each experience was absolutely amazing!
We stayed with a local family, which was the most amazing experience! The family we stayed have stolen our hearts, and we felt so at home with them.
We will definitely be back to Tanzania some day! Our experience was indescribably amazing!!! Thank you to all at Boma who made our experience so unforgettable!
The weather is fine in Mto wa Mbu, hot spelled off with rain as we are into the short rainy season. We are looking forward to pilau and goat bbq on Christmas Eve!
2018 was full of projects and new adventures, and in 2019 we look forward to welcoming a passionate group of doulas, some avid mountain climbers, a high school group of adventurers, and a volunteer for the LK Kindergarten.
We will have our Boma la Mama sea container released by the end Jan 2019, and our Birth centre manager will be starting work in January as well. In April she has been sponsored to take a course in ultrasound, specialising in pregnancy, which may also lead to an ultrasound unit being donated to our centre. We are working hard at getting some grants and super grateful to our private donors that have made it possible to actually get Boma la Mama seeing patients in 2019.
Boma Handmade is flourishing with amazing products such as baby carriers, sleepsacs, baby clothes, nursing and maternity tops, baby slippers, and hand carved wooden toys. We are also making natural soap that has been really popular and barely has time to dry before it’s flying off the shelves. Most exciting we were chosen to open a Days for Girls enterprise at our workshop, which means we will be producing cloth pads for girls and women that can be washed and used over and over. Many go without any reasonable option when it comes to their feminine hygiene and miss school or suffer with nothing to wear or avoiding activities.
Boma Community School continues to run it’s LK Kindergarten class with happy students and our awesome teacher who has been with us since the beginning! We are working on some maintenance of the building, and hoping to get a new mural and new playground in 2019.
We also opened Tanzip Zipline Adventure, Tanzania’s first and only zipline in 2018, and the Mosquito Creek Cafe is launching on Christmas Eve! Karibu Sana!
Wishing a fun and safe holiday season and all the best in 2019!!
Excited to announce that we are planning to start a non profit business devoted entirely to the LK Kindergarten class.
It will be an animal husbandry project. We’ll start with 8 goats and 60 chickens. We’ll build them a nice shelter, and hire someone to care for them. They will live up the rift valley wall, at the Boma land. They will lay lots of eggs and have lots of babies!
An initial investment of $2500 should then generate apx. $2500 annually for the school. This will free up some Boma Africa funds for expansion, improvement, more toys, better playground,… oh my!
We have started this awesome line of baby products in the village! Our tailor Harrieth is amazing and items are turning out so well.
We are making baby carriers, sleepsacs, slippers, bandana bibs, crinkle and ribbon toys; using absolutely gorgeous kitenge fabrics.
We sold out our first order and have sold the second order that is in production. We have a few custom orders in the works, and are applying to sell at the Arusha Christmas market. Harrieth is going to move into a bigger workspace where we will have a small store front too.
We are also going to make some baby body butter and diaper cream using locally sourced ingredients; coconut, aloe, honey, beeswax, shea….. mmmm
So pleased for Harrieth, for the beautiful products, and excited to see what the future will bring.
See more under Boma la Mama @ www.bomalamama.com
Absolutely stunning wildlife roaming in the world famous Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater, and the many other parks and reserves of Tanzania.
Tanzania’s Non- Profit Tour Co.!
I stayed with Leesha and Lau and family on a 6 week trip through Tanzania. I’ve known Leesha for many years and it was wonderful to reunite with her in Mto Wa Mbu. They showed me around the village, introduced me to their community and I got to witness the passion and inspiration that lives in their entrepreneurial projects. I had such an incredible time in the village. The people are kind and welcoming, the scenery of the Rift Valley walls and Lake Mayanara stunning. I shared some art classes, visited the market regularly, enjoyed the local food and hit the dance floor for a little nightlife! I highly receommend connecting with Boma Africa. Mto Wa Mbu is the perfect place to set out for safari or take some time to relax and settle in and make some friends after travelling around. I hope to make it back one day!! Thank you for being such amazing hosts! xoxo
Keri-Lyn; Canada; 2018
Hello kind and generous people around the world!!
We are supporting Harrieth, a very talented seamstress and small business owner in our village in Tanzania.
She currently has a small shop in the local market of Mto wa Mbu where she does her sewing. Harriet makes beautiful contemporary handbags and accessories and comes up with innovative designs to stand out from the other vendors. She uses traditional Tanzanian fabric, Kitenge, which of course makes the products so stunning.
Her small business supports her family; and we want to see her really succeed as a woman entrepreneur in Tanzania; as well as create more employment opportunity for the village.
The fabulous Keri-Lyn has committed to opening a fair trade business for Harriet in Canada, called Shona. She will get custom orders from Harriet to export to Canada! Keri-Lyn is very well connected in the artisanal markets circuits, as well as the organic foods community in Canada.
Boma la Mama will also use Harriet’s sewing business to create and launch their Mama and Baby boutique line of products for the Tanzanian market. Our first production, the mai-tei baby carriers have almost sold out in 2 weeks!
As we live in the village, Boma Africa will also provide Harriet with business mentorship and support here in on the ground.
This is a grass roots project and a micro loan has made it possible to get started (and has been paid back with 2 WEEKS!)
Harrieth is on a roll, BUT a major set back has hit our little project .. her sewing machine broke! She has some of her revenues to put towards new one, but needs another boost get back on her feet. A top of the line machine (which allows her sew heavy fabric such as leather, and foam, etc.) is $1200 CND.
If you like her story please don’t hesitate to pitch in! (or pm me if you are interested in providing a micro loan or donating by transfer). We all have seen how small donations quickly turn into a successful campaign!
Carly first came to Tanzania in August 2017 and volunteered to be in midwife (for my own birth!) here in Mto wa Mbu town. Tanzania got under her skin and she is back in June! Carly wears many hats and is using them all this month.
First she an educator. She worked in Canada as a teacher for several years before her calling to midwifery led her back to her own training. Carly brought supplies for the school and spent a week at the LK Kindergarten mentoring our teacher, Sophia, in the concept of “learning through play”. They played games, set up stations, and Sophia got tonnes of new ideas and resources to use with the children. Sophia’ second week of immersion she spent in a mentorship with the with the kindergarten teacher at Black Rhino Academy, International School.
Carly is also an EMT and trained in wilderness first aid. She developed a first aid course relevant to our zipline activities and environment and delivered an awesome course with the Tanzip Zipline team. The course is in the Tanzip training manual and will be used annually. She also guided us to put together a great custom first aid kit.
Carly also spent some time observing and mentoring students at a couple of local hospitals, on the L&D ward. She is passionate about the rights of birthing women to safe and dignified care. Carly got inspired to support Boma la Mama Birth Centre, and is committing to a giant donation in 2019; which should allow us to open the doors and start providing care. We are also putting together a prenatal course to offer to the public with information on nutrition and safety in pregnancy, what happens in labour, breastfeeding and infant nutrition, and more.
Last but not least, Carly provided Harieth and I a micro loan of $300 to start a small business sewing baby carriers. Harieth is a talented tailor here in the village. We started making mai-tei style carriers and were able to pay back our micro loan within 1 week(!) form pre-sales. Amazing. Once this first order is done and sent off the Canada, we have a second batch that are pre-paid! Harieth is dreaming of a sewing workshop with 4 sewing machines and 2 assistants. We will make baby carriers, sleeps sacs, reusable pads, and maybe even cloth diapers.
Carly has been a huge supporter; sharing her skilled training, smiles, and also money!
ASANTE SANA DADA!