"Blossoming Dreams: Hadija's Journey from Fields to Freedom"
14 November 2023
Hadija Alisido, a remarkable woman and mother of four children from Kigoma region in north-western Tanzania, had longed to break free from the chains of poverty and transform her family's life. Her journey of resilience and determination unfolded during the Kigoma Joint Programme, which served a beacon of hope for her and her community.
Deep in the heart of rural Kigoma, Hadija discovered the life-changing opportunities offered by the programme. Eager to secure a better future, she embraced the rigorous trainings required to become a Lead farmer, Community vaccinator, and Quality Declared Seed producer.
Prior to engaging in the Programme, farming in the rural parts of Kigoma was filled with countless obstacles, including inadequate knowledge on Good Agriculture practices, lack of access to quality agro inputs, poor soil fertility, climate variability, low yield, and low income, but Hadija never gave up on her dreams. Following the opportunities presented under the Programme, she chose to break the norm and began adopting the Good Agriculture and Climate Smart practices and technologies promoted by the technical experts, and was able to share the expertise with other farmers in her community.
Her hard work paid off, as she was quickly able to increase corn harvest on her two-acre farm from 500Kg to 6,000Kg. She also contributed to the reduction of poultry mortality as a newly promoted Community vaccinator by assisting livestock extensionists in providing animal health delivery services in the village through the sustainable revolving fund established in support of the Newcastle disease vaccination campaign. Hadija's tireless efforts resulted in a consistent growth in her income over time. She saved every shilling earned, and soon had enough to build a two-room house, a symbol of her family's improved livelihood status and security.
Hadija's ambitions extended beyond the boundaries of her village. She bought a motorcycle, which increased her revenue by making her work more effective and allowed her to transfer things and people.Her proudest achievement was ensuring that her children received an excellent education.
Acknowleding rural women’s contribution to food systems transfromation
Hadija's journey culminated with her admission and testimonial on International Rural Women Day in Kasulu TC on October 15, 2023, where she was rewarded with an Agriculture Labor-Saving Kit in appreciation of the important role and contribution rural women play in transforming food systems. The day was observed by promoting gender equality and women's empowerment (SDG 5), enhancing productive capacities to attain SDG1 “No Poverty” and SDG 2 - "Zero Hunger" and stimulating demand for food linked to sustainable production (SDG 15- Life on land). By producing more food and helping others do the same, Hadija continues to contribute to the global effort in eradicating hunger and malnutrition.
Hadija's story exemplifies how the Kigoma Joint Programme provides rural women with a stable income, as well as the critical role of collective action and collaboration, principles championed by the UN's "Delivering as One" approach to achieving the SDGs, demonstrating that positive change is indeed possible when rural women are empowered and supported in their pursuit of a better life.