Tanzania: Vuasu Cooperative Union

GALS was introduced to Vuasu Cooperative Union in November 2013 with a Catalyst workshop for 20 champions from 5 Primary Societies: Bwambo, Chome, Gandu, Vuchama and Raa.

By February 2015 (ie within 16 months)  1531 people had been trained in GALS (806 men and 725 female) by the initial 20 champions through the voluntary pyramid peer sharing process – first champions train at least 5, those 5 then train a further 5 and so on.

  • Chome AMCOS: 367 people trained
  • Bwambo AMCOS: 290 people trained
  • Gandu AMCOS: 262 people trained
  • Vuchama AMCOS 150 people trained (103 male and 47 female)
  • Raa AMCOS 8 people trained (3 male and 5 female)

The number of champions is continuing to expand.

These farmers are using the GALS Vision Journey tool to increase their coffee production as a means to attain goals, such as increasing savings, educating their children and diversifying income generating activities.The five cooperatives involved increased coffee production by 9% and income by 12% in the 2013/4 coffee season. They currently account for 62% of the total coffee deliveries to the union.

Agricultural and domestic work is more equally shared in these households; families decide jointly on the use of coffee income. More than 200 men and women are planning joint land agreements.

Vuasu Champions

Some of the many!

Chome

Bwambo

Gandu

Vuchama

Vuasu Cooperative Union

Gender Mainstreaming in Vuasu Cooperative Union

At the Cooperative Union level the five primary societies and the union were assisted to develop a gender balanced vision, and identify characteristics of good membership and leadership and a vision journey plan that they are in the process of implementing for increasing women’s membership and board members.  At least three of the original champions have been elected to leadership positions.

Vuasu Catalyst Workshop, 21st -26th October 2013

The GALS methodology was introduced in a workshop in Same 21st -26th October, Linda together with BJ champions conducted initial workshops for champions in Kilimanjaro. 20 champions (11 men and 9 women) from TKL – ECOM.

Vuasu Community Workshops October/November 2013

The Catalyst Workshop was followed by community workshops in Bwambo, Gandu, Chome, Raa and Vuchama villages.

Same Champions Exchange Workshop, 7th – 16th February 2016

This workshop reviewed the process at community level and close mentoring of the TKL – ECOM champions in Kilimanjaro. Hivos organized a parallel linked workshop on Gender Strategies in Coffee in East Africa from 17th -22nd February 2014. The main objective was to share visions, strategies and experiences for promoting gender justice between different approaches and partners working in coffee in East Africa and come to an aligned approach, strategy and concrete action for CPT and 4@Scale and possibly other programs. Participants were representatives from ECOM, Armajaro, FaidaMali, Tanzania Domestic Biogas Program, AbiTrust, Africa Finest Coffee Association, DEG and Hivos staff. 10 TKL – ECOM champions (5 men and 5 women) and 2 from CMS – Armajaro were also invited.

VUASU organisational planning workshop, February 2013

Just before the exchange workshop, but feeding in to it, there was a half-day organisational visioning and planning workshop with the Vuasu Union Board and staff. This decided that a key aim of Vuasu in order to increase its membership and sustainability it was necessary to increase women’s membership and representation on the Board of both the Primary Cooperatives and the Union.

VUASU Review and Livelihoods and Leadership Strengthening Workshop July 2014

The Vuasu Review and Livelihoods and Leadership Strenghthening Workshop was a 3 day workshop co-funded by Hivos (for the review and livelihoods) and Tutunze Kahawa Limited (for leadership and governance). This was the first workshop after the withdrawal of Tutunze’s commercial operations in Kilimanjaro and was intended as a workshop to strengthen the capacity of the Vuasu GALS champions to continue the GALS process independently from TKL.

Linkage with Local Government: Same DistrictCouncil July 2014

A team of 6 (3 male and 3 female) champions from 4 cooperatives together with Grace, Linda and Elisante (VUASU operations manager) paid a visit to the district of Same, the meeting was between the champions and DAICO( District Agricultural and cooperatives Officer) and SMS(District coffee subject matter specialist)

The meeting started by Elisante Mmbaga (VUASU Operations Manager)explaining the reason for the visit to the governments and asked people to introduce themselves, the one of the champions (Dinar) made a presentation on her achievement on her vision journey she explained how GALS training has helped her in her life, she planted maize and got 4 bags, she sold 2 and bought 20 chickens she says she will add on chicken and will sell eggs, she says a tray of eggs in Bwambo is Tsh 25,000/ she also been elected on the board of her cooperative(Bwambo rural cooperative society) she said she is planning to advise people especially women to be confident and not depend on their husbands.

Another champion (Yona) made a presentation on the gender relations and how the gender balance tree has helped him to make changes in his family and including planning with his wife and children, he recently together with his wife planned on building their house, also his wife is included in planning for paying school fees.

The third champion (Hawa) also explained her vision journey and how she has managed to plan for her household, and she has improved her restaurant business and is planning to start clothing enterprises as she gained knowledge on markets.

The 4th Champion (Mustafa Msuya is the Secretary Manager of Vuchama rural cooperative society) he the appreciated the GALS methodology, he is noticing changes in planning for his cooperative and his board they have elected a female, making it the second woman on the board of vuchama rural cooperative society, he is the only champions in his area but he has trained 38 other farmer but the challenge is that the government is not supportive, if the government was supportive GALS training  would help many farmers especially on planning, visioning and budgeting.

Champions had prepared a set of questions that were asked by Anne ( champion from Bwambo)

  • What is government’s plan to extend extension service in coffee agronomy?
  • How will the government prepared to support GALS champions to expand our reach?
  • The government should invite the champions to public meetings and give talks about

Commitments from the government

The DAICO committed to talk to the VEO(Village extension officers) to share the motorbikes with champions, it was agreed that VUASU follows up for the letter that will be delivered to VEO’s for cooperation.

The district government agreed to invite champions to public meetings to disseminate GALS and have time to explain about GALS.

On extension services of coffee agronomy the DAICO  said that champions should ask their VEO’S who already have the plans for training farmers and can should always use them for advise since they are paid by the government.

Report GALS – VUASU followup in Nov 2014

Vuasu GALS Review and Leadership Strengthening in Bwambo, Chome and Gandu: Report 2015 February February

Vuasu is currently receiving support from TWIN UK and Hivos using GALS to strengthen livelihoods and the cooperative governance.

See http://www.twin.org.uk/projects/supporting-coffee-business-in-tanzania/