Stories of Change

Top: Anne in her garden, Middle: Anne and Matumaini, Anne, Matuimani and Anne's children

Cultivating Hope and Equality

Encouraging and selfless are a couple of the words used to describe Matumaini Narcecine, a lead farmer at Nyarugusu refugee camp in Tanzania. Since joining the CWS-supported vegetable farming program two years ago, she has become a leader—passionate about uplifting others, especially women, in her community.

As a Burundian refugee, Matumaini has experienced gender inequality. “In our traditions, women they are not people who can find their own money,” she said.

She’s working to change those traditions. Matumaini earns her own money, supports her family and helps other women do the same. Her garden produces enough for her to feed her family and earn an income.

“I am very thankful for this project,” shared Matumaini. “Mothers are moving to a certain stage just because of this project. Women are following me so that I can also give them trainings so that they can get vegetables for themselves and their kids.”

Matumaini has learned about nutrition and implementing a healthy diet for her family of 11. She’s also developed gardening techniques and skills that help increase her harvest. Now, not only is she sharing her knowledge and skills with 15 farmers in the program, but she’s making sure to uplift women like Anne Chibinda, too.

“After meeting her in the church, she collected us group of women and started teaching us about the agriculture,” shared Anne, who is one of 12 women Matumaini has taken under her wing.

“She trained us about organic agriculture… how to make blocks, how to plant and how to use organic fertilizer, especially compost as another alternative instead of manure,” she said.

Matumaini has helped Anne grow a thriving vegetable garden. “After training us she did not end there. She continued encouraging us until we understood her, and that is when I saw that I should also have my own garden at my house,” he shared. With Matumaini as her teacher, Anne helps her husband support their 10 children.

Evident by their interaction, Matumaini has not only managed to empower women like Anne but also nurture new friendships along the way. “I’m very thankful [for her],” shared Anne. “She’s a very good teacher.”

Learn more about CWS’ work in Tanzania here.