UPDATE DECEMBER 2014:
As you know, while we were in Tanzania this summer we gave a $1,000. Artists for World Peace Grant to Neckson Kifola. His dream was to open a grocery store in his part of Arusha. This store will create a job with which to supplement his family’s income, as well as to prevent villagers from having to walk miles to pick up groceries. One of our Council of Elders, Barbara Ally, brought this project to us after meeting Neckson earlier this year. We are thrilled to have just received the updated photos, showing his store, which he built in his home, now in full operation. THANK YOU to Barbara and everyone who donated to make Neckson’s dream come true.
To Artists for World Peace:
My name is Neckson Kifola. I am writing to you to tell you about myself and my family, and about my plan to open a small shop for my wife.
I am a 43 year old husband and father of three children. My wife is named Lillian, and our children are named Monica, age 19, Godson, age 11, and Marina, age 27 months. I live in Arusha Tanzania, where I drive a taxi for a profession. I am originally from the village of Marangu, which is close to Moshi. I moved to Arusha in 1983 to finish my primary school in 1985. In total, I completed seven years of formal schooling.
I work hard to put my children through school. Monica, my eldest daughter, will graduate from secondary school in November 2014. Monica wishes to start her university studies in 2015. Godson is starts the fourth grade when the new term begins later this year. In addition, I send my children to a special school to receive English lessons. It is important to me that my children have all the educational and life opportunities that I did not have, so that they can be successful and happy.
In addition to my car, I have built my own house in the Sinoni neighborhood in Arusha, where I live with my family. My family and I live in two rooms, one for me and my wife, and the other one for our children. I also rent out two other rooms.
As a taxi driver, I earn on average 160,000 Tanzanian Shillings (~$100) per month. I earn 120,000 Tanzanian Shillings (~$75) per month renting out the two rooms in my house.
My hope is to open a small shop in my house for my wife to run. There is a community behind my house without a store, and I believe that I will be able to provide goods to this community and also supplement my monthly income. I hope that if the store is successful my wife will be able to earn an additional 30-40,000 Shillings (~$35). This money will be used to help with household costs and to help to pay for school fees. It will also give my wife a regular job and empower her.
I also believe strongly in my community. I pledge to help my neighbors not only by providing them with an easier way to buy essential things like soap and basic food stuffs like sugar, salt, flour, etc., but also by eventually helping another person with the money needed to start a small business.
Attached to this letter, please find some photos of me and my family. 1) The outside of my house. The window on the right is where I want to open the shop for my wife. Behind the house on the right are some of the houses in my neighborhood. 2) The inside of the compound of my house. I live in the back that is painted pink. The other door is to a rented room. The shop will be located to the right of the rented room. On the left is where I keep my chickens. 3) The photo of my children: Monica, Godson and Marina. 4) A picture of my daughter Marina. 5) A picture of me.
My wife and I would like to sell various goods in the store. The biggest expense is renovating and preparing the room to store and sell the items. I estimate that the total cost of starting the store is 1,667,000 Shilling (~$1,000). The list of things I would like to buy is:
- Sugar: 70,000
- Flour for chapatti: 27,500
- Flour for ugali: 150,000
- Rice: 150,000
- Beans: 180,000
- “Karanga” (food): 180,000
- Cooking oil: 50,000
- Drinking water: 10,000
- Soda: 16,500
- Malta: 11,500
- Juice: 42,000
- Laundry detergent: 8,000
- Dishwashing solution: 7,000
- Hand soap: 12,500
- Skin moisturizer: 7,500
- Matches: 43,000
- Toothpaste: 20,000
- Toothbrush: 6,000
- Biscuit: 15,000
- Candles: 30,500
In addition, I will need to build a shelf for 450,000 Shillings and buy a scale for 200,000 Shillings.
I thank you for your consideration, and hope that you can help me and my family with our shop. As I said above, I hope that the income from this shop will help pay for my children’s school fees and also provide a resource for the community. I also pledge to help others with my income, and to continue the cycle of development. I will also send you a report on my wife
I would be happy to invite you to visit me and my family, and to see the shop when it is done.