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Africa: Domestic Workers in Tanzania, Zambia, and Burkina Faso organized entrepreneurial initiatives to tackle COVID-19 and support each other´s economy.

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by IDWFED published Mar 11, 2021 12:00 AM
The IGA initiative is of great importance because it lets the members and the branches maintain their sustainability while generating an income that helps the organization and the Domestic Workers to feel protected.

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Africa -

Domestic workers’ union in Tanzania are organized under the multi-sectoral union which is known as CHODAWU-Conservation, Hotels Domestic, and Consultancy Workers Union. The union has been able to organize 21 branches with strong leaders. Some of them got together to tackle poverty and lack of income during the pandemic through Income Generating Activities (IGA).

In 2020, the domestic workers faced huge challenges such as the loss of their jobs, cut off pay, getting sick, exploited, discrimination, and several other kinds of abuse. However, the same year on November 14th, 95 members joined to solve those challenges and began IGA. Each of them contributed 1000/= Tshs - which is less than 1$ - to help each other to pay the union´s dues, a great sample of unity and solidarity to strengthen ties among members and branches.

The IGA initiative is of great importance because it lets the members and the branches maintain their sustainability while generating an income that helps the organization and the Domestic Workers to feel protected. 

According to Vicky Kanyoka, Regional Coordinator of the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF) in Africa, ¨the small business is buying salts, matchboxes, and sugar from a major sale, to resale those products and generate an income for the Domestic Workers. Today, the program has 200 members that support each other. They learn about funds’ management and also create strong bonds among the branches¨.

The members who participate in the project – a 2021 ongoing initiative - come from different provinces of Tanzania and are employed in Dar es salaam city. 

One of IGA’s benefits is that the initiative had created a bond of high trust between the major supplier of the products and CHODAWU members. Our members receive the products as a loan and pay it back after selling all the items, it also keeps interests off. Thanks to IGA, our members had generated Tshs.1million. 

Zambia IDWF affiliate domestic workers union of Zambia -DWUZ also established IGA during Covid-19. This initiative allowed them to produce and sell masks to protect their community. The funds collected enabled them to support many members and non-members in their branches and residential areas. But also generated some funds for the union because the price was lower than the one from the pharmacy.

Additionally, in Burkina Faso, SYNEMAG-B, IDWF’s domestic workers were able to produce and sell soap and sanitizer. The profit supported the Domestic Workers to buy food and take care of their families while bringing sustainability to the union to keep on making new products.

For more information, please contact Vicky Kanyoka, IDWF, Regional Coordinator in Africa at [email protected] and for media enquiries to Carolina Celi, IDWF, Media Officer at [email protected]

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Story Type: News

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