Blog, Mission Possible, Oct 2016. Choosing livelihood beneficiaries. 2nd November, 2016
On the second day of their deployment to Tanzania, the Mission Possible team of volunteers went to Kovukovu village to meet the locals and carry out interviews of potential beneficiaries who would be provided livelihood projects in the form of small shops and livestock (cows). The aim was to determine who was most able and most deserving of the two projects.
A sub-village in the Masaika region, Kovukovu has a population of approximately 400 people and is one of the region’s poorer areas. Income is very limited and mainly involves some agriculture, small shops and a coconut plantation owned by Arab businessmen.
We were to meet five potential beneficiaries for the cows project. This entailed giving two cows to two beneficiaries. We had the pleasure of meeting five very different individuals and their families and asking them about their backgrounds, current sources of income and why they thought they were suitable beneficiaries and what they would gain from receiving a cow.
While all five candidates were very different in background, we noticed that everyone had the same struggle - securing an income to support
their families. They all had the same aim of wanting to be able to increase their income.
After the interviews we discussed our thoughts and opinions by looking at the pros and cons for each beneficiary. This discussion showed the difference in opinion on who would gain the most benefit from receiving a cow. We had started the process of discussing who to eliminate and who would receive them.
The interviews for the shops were very different. We had three candidates, the first being a lady who currently owns a shop and provided food at breakfast and lunchtime to the villagers.
The second was a young man of 28 years old who is currently working in the coconut plantation as well as owning a potato fryery. Finally, there was a grandfather in his 60s who currently works on his farm as well as the coconut plantation. All three candidates had various illnesses and dependants who relied on them for their income.
We found all three individuals to be very worthy of the shop. However we had the difficult task of choosing one beneficiary. We were unanimous in choosing Maroush, the young man, as he was the most passionate about being given this opportunity and was already looking to plan ahead.
Coming from corporate backgrounds we initially found it difficult to hold the interviews as we were thinking of how we would conduct this back in the UK in terms of potential employment.
We very soon realised that their lifestyle plans and needs were very different to ours and we had to adapt our way of communicating with them very quickly. All the villagers were very friendly and welcomed us.
We were very humbled by this whole experience as each person was very thankful and appreciative to be a part of this process and receive such a gift that would help change their lives. We hope to be able to make a difference to the lives of those that we have chosen.
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