Kijiji Initiative to reduce rural poverty through youth empowerment

22Jul 2021
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Kijiji Initiative to reduce rural poverty through youth empowerment

THE recently launched ‘Kijiji Initiative’ in Buchosa constituency, Sengerema District, Mwanza Region would reduce rural poverty amongst communities through youth and women empowerment programmes.

Buchosa Member of Parliament Erick Shigongo (R) arriving at the launch of Kijiji Institute at Buchosa Constituency in Sengerema District, Mwanza Region on Tuesday. The institute’s will run a centre that will reduce rural poverty by promoting sustainable development in Tanzania’s rural community through education, community activism, sustainable initiatives and youth and women empowerment with core value “centered around helping people help themselves.” Left is Kijiji Institute board member Martin Rulegura. Photo: Guardian Correspondent

Kijiji Initiative with its headquarters at Kasisa village in Buchosa has been introduced in honour of the first Buchosa constituency elected MP, Alphonce Rulegura (1965-1985).

It aims at empowering citizens to graduate from poverty through provision of entrepreneurship education. Speaking during the launch ceremony, Buchosa legislator, Erick Shigongo said the project will not only benefit residents in the constituency, but also those in surrounding villages.

He applauded the founder of Kijiji Initiative, Clara Luregula Ford, for seeing the need of establishing such a centre which would be of great importance to the villagers.

“Clara is living and harnessing her father’s dreams despite being in the United States, she still remembers’ her people 'and would wish to see them graduating from poverty through empowerment programmes that targets women and youth,” added the MP.

Sengerema District Commissioner, who was represented by a senior district official, Fadhili Abel commended founders of the Kijiji Initiative for coming up with the idea which gears at bringing development to the community.

“The government cannot work single-handedly, the various interventions from stakeholders as well as non-governmental organisations would ensure development and reduce rural poverty in a short period,” said Abel.

He added: “What you are doing complements the government efforts towards poverty reduction. The people of Kasisa village and those residing near it should wisely grab opportunities at the centre. The government is ready to provide all the necessary support to ensure the programme is successfully implemented.”

The founder and president of Kijiji Initiative, Clara Rulegura Ford said: “It took me more than three years to come up with this idea; I conducted a research to exactly know the needs of the people in Buchosa constituency and how to assist them to graduate from poverty.

This centre would be a starting point where women and youth would have their life challenges resolved.”

Clara stated that Tanzania is endowed with a number of natural resources which are yet to be properly tapped, insisting through the initiative; villagers would be empowered to utilize the available resources for their personal economic development.

Some interviewed villagers commended the founder of Kijiji Initiative suggesting for it to start by finding solution to water problems because most of them can hardly access clean and safe water. They also wanted to be supported in various education and health projects.

Sabina Paulo from Kigongo village said: “We would be grateful to have water wells; some of us drink water from unsafe water sources.”

According to her, some villagers are forced to walk long distances to the Lake to fetch water, the thing that affects their engagement in other economic activities.

Another resident, Makoye Shilole Shigemelo said the empowerment programme should consider providing vocational education to the youth to enable them employ themselves.

He added that training on irrigation farming as well as putting in place such infrastructures would attract more youth in the agriculture sector.

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