Providing Microloans for the Poor in Tanzania

 
$4,282
$718
Raised
Remaining
Oct 18, 2012

You Helped Opportunity Grow in Tanzania

Mary, an Opportunity client in Tanzania
Mary, an Opportunity client in Tanzania

You helped Opportunity grow in Tanzania

 As we gather momentum in Tanzania, more parents go to market each day armed with the capital, training and support they need to increase their income and provide for their families. The loans your funding makes possible are delivered through Opportunity’s core Trust Group model. In addition, Opportunity Tanzania achieved the following:

  • Nearly doubled its outreach in one year, ending the first half of 2012 with 7,568 loan clients.
  • 30% increase in the value of the outstanding loan portfolio in 2012.
  • Launched Individual loans in the second quarter of 2012.
  • Began to develop a School Fee loan and planned for School Proprietor loans. 

Bringing life-saving insurance to Tanzanian clients

Your support has also helped expand Microensure, Opportunity's insurance provider and the world’s first and largest microinsurance broker. 

In the past, if a family member needed healthcare, Theresia John Kombe of Pangara, Tanzania, had to sell one of her chickens to pay for it. But as a coffee grower with the Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union (KNCU), Theresia was able to join a MicroEnsure health plan that is connected to a network of clinics. Now, she pays an $8 annual premium that covers her whole family.

That insurance coverage was vital one night when her baby, Loreen, was vomiting and had to be taken to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with malaria. Theresia was so happy that Loreen was able to get immediate care without a fee.

Theresia says that one of the best aspects of having health insurance is that her family can plan for health needs a year in advance. It used to be that they would have to immediately try to sell a chicken, sometimes for less than it’s worth, to have money to go to a clinic or hospital. This is the case for many rural and farming families, especially between harvests when they don’t have much money available. Now, clients like Theresia who have insurance can get their children to health facilities when they need to go, ensuring that they’ll be treated as soon as they have symptoms of an illness, rather than having to wait until they can afford to go. For the adults in the family, this reduces the risk that they will miss workdays and extra income.

MicroEnsure works with medical staff at the local Uuwo Dispensary in Pangara on their bedside manner, explaining the way to approach, talk to, diagnose and treat patients. KNCU Health Plan providers are taught that making physical contact with patients during evaluation and treatment goes a long way towards demonstrating that they care, rather than just prescribing tests and drugs with only a cursory discussion. Theresia said she feels MicroEnsure’s plan is focused on the women and mothers of KNCU as they are the ones that deal with all health issues in the family. She says the women of her cooperative are all extremely grateful for the program.

Thanks for all your support in helping to make this possible! 

Dr. Felix treats Theresia
Dr. Felix treats Theresia's daughter, Loreen.

Links:

Aug 21, 2012

Updates from Tanzania

The Impact of Your Support

Opportunity Tanzania undertook extensive restructuring over the past year to increase its effectiveness and provide clients the services and products they need to help lift themselves out of poverty. Armed with tighter policies and procedures, the dynamic management team transformed the business, making it more efficient and sustainable. Opportunity Tanzania achieved outstanding turnaround progress during 2011:

  • Opportunity Tanzania more than doubled its outreach to end 2011 with 7,230 loan clients.
  • The loan portfolio has shown tremendous growth as well, more than doubling since year-end 2010.
  • Portfolio quality has made tremendous improvement with loan client repayment rates at 98%.

Opportunity Tanzania is seeking to accomplish the following during 2012:

  • Reach 9,700 loan clients
  • Hire four new loan officers
  • Implement a rigorous staff training and leadership system
  • Grow the outreach of the existing branches, especially focusing on the northern branches
  • Introduce individual loan products and school fee loans
  • Focus on financial literacy training for clients 

Increasing Outreach

Currently, Opportunity Tanzania serves clients through three hub branches: Ilala in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Moshi; and two satellite branches: Tengeru (Arusha satellite) and Himo (Moshi satellite).

Macro-economic issues in Tanzania impact the poorest families

The country’s economic position is expected to strengthen in 2012 as the government implements its new five-year development plan. Yet the high inflation rates in Tanzania continue to hit those living in poverty the hardest, leaving our clients to struggle with the rising cost of fuel, food and other household supplies. Inflation is projected to remain at or above 9% in 2012. Our clients and their families deal with the effects of inflation daily.  They can be the difference between two meals a day or only one.  They dictate whether children can be sent to school or must be kept at home.

Targeted training positions our staff to empower others

Opportunity Tanzania is equipping staff with the right tools to build technical skills and foster personal growth with major emphasis placed on the mission and values of Opportunity. Tanzania staff recently participated in the following professional development opportunities: 

  •  Select staff traveled to other Opportunity banks to receive hands-on training in best-practices.
  • Human Resources staff attended a “train the trainer” seminar in February 2012 which allows them to carry out in-house training to staff who will implement training modules with clients.
  • High potential female staff members attended training through Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program.

 Protecting Clients from Unexpected Losses

Opportunity Tanzania provides all loan clients with credit, life, funeral, health and natural calamities insurance. Opportunity International’s insurance subsidiary, MicroEnsure launched its first health insurance program in Tanzania in 2010, with a second product targeting rural coffee farmers in 2011. MicroEnsure has accomplished strong growth in Tanzania and reached a milestone of 600,000 lives covered. Significant progress has been achieved over the last year, including:

  • MicroEnsure responded to an expressed need for affordable healthcare by establishing a health insurance program with Kilimanjaro farmers to offer outpatient services and inpatient maternity for less than $20 per person per year.
  • For 0.35% of the loan, MicroEnsure’s innovative Mlinzi wa Familia product protects clients’ businesses from losses due to fire, flooding, earthquake and other major events.
  • MicroEnsure was the first to offer Tanzanians access to life insurance through their mobile phones. Customers receive a free insurance product that pays out a death benefit if a client or covered family member dies. Benefits range from $125 to $600 and increase as customers use more cell phone airtime.

Thanks for all your support that makes the continuing work in Tanzania possible! 

May 23, 2012

Be a Part of Richard's Story

Richard Kipande operates a market stall in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where he sells some food items as well as kitchen utensils, jars, and pots. He started his small business with a capital of $85, but was having trouble providing for his family and keeping his business afloat with the small profit that he was making from his stall.

But Richard decided to apply for a loan to expand his business. He received his first loan from Opportunity, which raised his capital to $597, a substantial increase which significantly bettered his quality of life. Because of the loan he received, Richard was able to pay the fees to send his children to school. With the increased profits that he gained from his stall, he was also able to pay house rent and provide a healthier environment for his family. One day he hopes to develop his business even further and open his own hardware store. 

When supporters of Opportunity International help fund client loans, they are helping Tanzanian entrepreneurs, like Richard, create change in their lives and in their communities. 

Feb 3, 2012

Opportunity Tanzania is Committed to Expanding Outreach

Opportunity Tanzania is always looking for way to help our clients improve their businesses and generate more income for their families. Recently, Opportunity Malawi’s transformation officer helped Opportunity Tanzania conduct a survey of clients in its Arusha and Moshi branches to determine the needs of those we seek to serve.

What did we learn? Among the many important findings we learned that Opportunity Tanzania’s clients are among those who live below the poverty line, and are not always able to afford enough food for the family…

  • 47% have 3 meals per day
  • 32% have 2 meals per day
  • 21% have 1 meal per day

The good news? Marginalized Tanzanian families state that Opportunity is making a difference for them. Since they started accessing microfinance loans through Opportunity Tanzania…

  • 80% feel their lives have improved greatly
  • 7% feel their lives have improved moderately
  • 13% feel they are still struggling

Opportunity Tanzania  is committed to meeting its goals of expanding outreach and increase access to financial services for the most impoverished families in the country. It’s possible through the partnership of Opportunity International contributors like the ones we have met on Global Giving.

Oct 26, 2011

Activity Highlights

Increasing Outreach

Currently, Opportunity Tanzania serves 3,839 clients through three hub branches, Ilala in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Moshi, which opened near Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2010 and two satellite branches, Tengeru (an Arusha satellite that opened in 2010) and Himo (a Moshi satellite that opened in January 2011).

Using Technology to Improve Service and Provide Increased Access

The use of mobile phones for conducting financial transactions is the beginning of a revolution in Africa. Opportunity is the first microfinance institution to disburse loans through cell phones via M-Pesa in Tanzania. The pilot began in June in the Tengeru branch. This will add efficiencies and security to the current loan deposit process. Opportunity Tanzania is looking forward to reaching a greater variety of customers through cell phone banking over the course of 2011.

 Protecting Clients from Unexpected Losses

Opportunity Tanzania provides all loan clients with credit, life, funeral and natural calamities insurance. Opportunity Tanzania is uncovering ways to simplify the claim process for clients or their family members including translating the instructions to Swahili.

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Organization

Project Leader

Ian Haisley

Director of Online Strategy
Oak Brook, IL United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Providing Microloans for the Poor in Tanzania