By Jeremy Cross (Country Director Habitat for Humanity Tanzania)
Both Tanzania Gatsby Trust (TGT) and Habitat for Humanity Tanzania (HFHT) share a commitment to building economic prosperity and independence for those struggling to escape poverty in Tanzania. TGT aims to hamess, channel and unleash human energy to build social, financial and physical capital through e n t r e p r e n e u r s h i p development. Its methodologies include extending access to credit, marketing development, research in applied technology and training. HFHT, affiliated to Habitat for Humanity International, is a Christian non-profit making housing NGO which works in partnership with people from all walks of life regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or faith, to help build simple, decent and affordable houses for families in need. A revolving fund enables repayments to build more houses with others in need- leading the community, and individuals, toward financial independence & sustainability.
For small- scale entrepreneurs, the home is also often the business space and hence a significant factor in determining the growth potential for a start-up enterprise as well as addressing basic health and human needs. After food, accommodation is the next largest household expense. Following a pilot phase to establish a basis for longer-term collaboration, TGT and HFHT are launching a partnership through which the two organizations will coordinate their respective skills and experience to help local communities address housing needs and business opportunity.
Complementary interventions will enable TGT to improve the income generating capacity of partner communities to support and provide for their own development needs – including the ability to repay the larger loans required to address housing needs.
HFHT to provide construction expertise & supervision promoting appropriate home owner contributions and housing micro finance management – keeping revolving home and business loans quite separate.
Over the coming year, the benefits of the partnership will be extended to communities on the mainland of Tanzania – providing support to existing Habitat and Gatsby groups. The provision of secure capital housing assets will lay the foundation for private collateral loans for community partners and subsequent generations, empowering others such as the women of Chaani where the official launching of the collaboration and the First Six houses were handed over the homeowners by Michael Pattison CBE, Director of the Gatsby Charitable Foundation.