Tanzania: Coffee Management Services, Mbinga

The GALS process in Ngima was led by Coffee Management Services Ltd (now part of Ecom Trading) as part of Hivos Coffee Partnership for Tanzania, starting  in November 2013.

Ngima Champions

Read their stories

Avelina Nkolela; Marieta Mbepera; Eva Mbepera; Theodosia Kapinga; John MbeperaFesto NkolelaTisian Mbepera; Lucius Mbepera (Malumba)Joseph Mbepera; Frank Kapinga

CMS Mbinga Catalyst Workshop November 2013

The CMS GALS process started with a 5 day catalyst workshop at CMS office facilitated by Linda Mayoux and Charles Kainkwa with 2 champions from Bukonzo Joint (Asasio Balitebya and Doviko Walina). The catalyst workshop trained 25 champions – 13 male & 12 female (15 staff and 10 farmers) in the Vision Journey and Gender Balance Tree. There was also a brief introduction to the Empowerment Leadership Map and Challenge Action Tree for the staff.

Ngima Community Workshop November 2013

As part of the Catalyst workshop there was a half day community workshop in Ngima. The community workshop was organized by the champions who brought a further 12 women and 21 men and introduced the Vision Journey.

Ngima Vision Journey song
Mbinga Gender Balance Tree Song

Champion exchange workshop Same, February 2014

In February 2014, two of the  CMS staff (Joseph Mbepera and Lucas Ndunguru) attended the Gender Strategies for East Africa workshop in Same. There they met champions from Kilimanjaro and reviewed the basic tools including the Empowerment Leadership Map and Challenge Action Tree and were introduced to the Coffee Tree. After their return, they  introduced the tools to other CMS staff. Joseph started sharing the tools with the community in Ngima and set up Upendo Savings and Credit Group and TAG Church groups. Lucas introduced GALS to other people in Mbinga town where he lives including the school.

Ngima GALS Review June 2014

A Review in June 2014 interviewed ten of the original champions,  reviewed progress,  and reinforced facilitation and livelihood tools.

The review found that the champions had been making significant progress towards their original visions. Through the visioning champions have bigger ambitions for themselves and more visibility in the community. This has led indirectly to their getting employment, being a member of primary school committee etc.

The gender balance tree needed reinforcement and greater explanation. Nevertheless, whereas previously men thought they owned all the property. Now they think all property is owned equally.

Outreach was also significant with very little funding. Of the original 12 champions, 2 had moved out of the area. The 10 remaining champions had shared the GALS methodology with 471 other people. 40 people had started Upendo Savings and Credit Group. And a new group at the TAG church had also just formed.

Review 19-19 June 2014

A review of experience was conducted 19 – 29 June 2014 by Linda Mayoux (lead consultant) and Charles Kainkwa (Hivos CPT Coordinator) to look at achievements, challenges and lessons for future in Ngima village between November 2013 and June 2014. The review included four meetings of 2 to 4 hours with champions and new people focusing on facilitation skills and Gender Balance Tree. Charles interviewed the original 10 champions in Ngima:

Avelina Nkolela; Marieta Mbepera; Eva Mbepera; Theodosia Kapinga; John MbeperaFesto NkolelaTisian Mbepera; Lucius Mbepera (Malumba)Joseph Mbepera; Frank Kapinga

Main findings

Vision Journey

Vision Journey has been quite well understood by champions and enthusiasm is high. At the initial catalyst workshop, most champions had a vision to improve their houses or build a bigger/new one, increase in coffee production, cultivate new crops, doing some savings and buying properties including radio, livestock, vehicle and plot.

By June 2014 common achievements were: ownership of new properties including radio, livestock, plots etc from their vision. Although it was not in their visions some are now employed and the rest have started new business.

Through the visioning champions have bigger ambitions for themselves and more visibility in the community and this has led indirectly to their getting employment, being a member of primary school committee etc.

However, identifying which changes are the results of GALS and which are not. The idea of tracking and monitoring over time needs to be reinforced and followed up. Many more useful details could be added to make it an even more powerful planning tool for business and other visions.

Gender Balance Tree

There had not been sufficient time given to the Gender Balance Tree during the Catalyst Workshop because of various logistical issues.

In general this tool had received less attention than the Vision Journey. The purpose of the fruits as action commitments had not been understood. The main focus had been just on working together.  

Equality of property and rights had fallen off completely from the tree diagrams. Nevertheless according to the champions previously men believed that things belonged to them. Whereas they said that since GALS those in the process believe most properties are mutually owned in the family even though there are no formal documents. 

It is likely that lack of attention to the Gender Balance Tree was because of a domination of men in the process and it was evident during group presentation and discussion. The gender dimension had not been understood by the staff Joseph or Lucas. On the other hand women managed to facilitate the tool with new trainees in a group meeting at the end of the review.

Empowerment Leadership Map

The diagram was introduced to Lucas and Joseph in February 2014 who shared with the rest of  champions. Main purpose of Empowerment Leadership Map is to make participants understand that everyone is a leader (of change) and reviewing pyramid peer-sharing process.

Although champions understood the Map  they didn’t go further in establishing “What they can change?” and “How can they change it?” by putting smiley faces. They were mostly looking at outreach only, using green circles to identify people that they intend to share with and added a red circle when they reached.

Some of the champions kept the record of the 2nd generation champions, but they didn’t keep a record of the how many of those changed and not changed. It seems like the concept of asking the people to share with others and tracking changes was getting lost along the way.

Through their Empowerment Leadership Maps in total, 10 champions had reached other 471 people. Which were the most effective methods of upscaling? Church, Demo plots/CPU groups meetings and neighbours.

One of the biggest achievements catalyzed by the champions in Ngima is establishment of Upendo Savings and Credit group.  The group started on date established??? with 50 members and by June 2014 it had 40 members. They had also made an explicit attempt to appoint women to leadership positions:

Chair: John Mbepera (Male). In the past he received training on Accounting by Mbinga Community Bank and he is also an accountant of Ngima SACCOS.

Vice Chair: ??? (Female)

Secretary: Joseph Mbepera (Male).

Deputy Secretary: ??? (Female)

Treasurer: Eva Mbepera (Female).

Some key issues

There is a need to diversify leadership if it is to expand. In particular there is a need to get gender balance in leadership and encourage women to take positions in leadership. Because Joseph is CMS staff, and very committed and hardworking, he has been at the forefront of the expansion but this has been indirectly discouraging other people from coming forward as people leave everything to Joseph. However some women have shown considerable potential leadership and facilitation skills. Measures are now being taken to strengthen their capacity, as well as that of the men. This needs to be done while helping Joseph to take his leadership to the next level rather than running around doing things that others could do.

GALS methodology report (CMS)