As long as there is poverty in community, there cannot be peace. Poverty creates suffering and distress. It keeps children out of school, families without food and water, young people without hopes for the future. Someone who is suffering, or whos neighbors, friends and family is suffering, cannot find peace within herself.
Youth Peacemakers Tanzania is thriving for Peace in our undertakings and struggle to make Justice a reality in our communities. Our economic justice programs aims at educating and empowering community members at local level, addressing economic challenges at national level and fight international barriers to economic development of poor communities. We mainly have two programs working on economic justice:
- Peacemaker- VICOBA groups
Lack of capital is a challenge to many youth and community at large. Through saving and investment groups, it is possible to get capital for business establishment. YPM has established saving groups known as Peace Makers VICOBA (PM-VICOBA). Today we have approximately 120 groups across Tanga region.
VICOBA is agronomy for “Village Community Bank”. It consists of 15-30 community members coming together in saving and investing their money. Each week members have to buy shares in the bank, and the money collected is distributed as loans for group members. A member can take loans three times of the value of his or her shares in the group, and the interest rate is low compared to the commercial banks. In this way VICOBA gives poor communities access to credit for investment opportunities and development.
YPM do not run the VICOBA groups, they are completely community owned. Our main task is to train and create awareness about VICOBA, and educate people on market orientation and running of business so they invest VICOBA-money in projects which are income generating.
PM-VICOBA groups are transparent and democratically run. The group leadership comprises chairperson, secretary, treasurer, two money counters, and three keys keepers. Every group is autonomous with its constitution, and decides on days to meet, the cost of shares and members to enroll.
- Business incubation
Lack of information lead people to be off the world. However, we do understand that information is power. That is why YPM has established business incubation development centers around Tanga region.
The aim of establishing these centers are to offer information on businesses development at different stages, give opportunity to recharging phones, access internet (wherever possible), printing, etc. , to create platforms for different ideals for community development, and be hung around centers for youths and communities on development issues. Small libraries with magazines and books provide important information to youth and community about development issues and stop poverty campaign. Young people may also get training and knowledge on how to establish and manage new businesses, like how to make cakes, soap, poultry keeping, etc. Some of the centers has also become examples of alternative energy business that is environmental friendly.
Today YPM has established business incubation development centers in:
We are alos in the process of putting up a center in Korogwe. We are happy to see that youth are learning computer skills which will benefit them in future employment. More communities are demanding for the computers, and we hope to be able to satisfy the need in the future.
Computer center at YPM head office. We have similar centers around in the districts where we work.