ECHOcommunity Updates

Case Study On Creative Capacity Building for Entrepreneurs 2018-12-10

Guest Post: Magreth Omary
Mbauda Tanzania

My name is Magreth Omary and I am married and God has blessed me with 4 children. My income comes from making batik cloth, stools, embroidery work and soap which gives me most income. I own a small shop, a meeting point of my customers who love my products.

Three years ago I was able to attend a Creative Capacity Building training which involved farmers, local fabricators and entrepreneurs like me. Prior to the CCB training, I faced a challenge of cutting solid soap into straight, attractive bars. This gave a low quality and price to my product compared with factory products. 

The CCB training was an eye opener. The facilitators gave us a chance to cite technology challenges we face and divided participants into groups tasked to develop solutions to those challenges. My group focused on creating a soap cutter. At the end of the workshop my group had come up with a prototype that could be tested and improved. After the workshop I took the lead as a champion to continue improving the machine, and with micro-grants I was able to continue working toward a working product. I now have a version of a cutter that performes very well.

The attractiveness of my soap bars drastically changed and I am seeing increased prices and sales. Now government authorities would like me to register my business and to shift my factory from my home to a new location near to a road. This challenge I struggle with but I know I will overcome it. 

I wish for my children to attain entrepreneurship skills and do better than what I’m doing now. I have also a passion to help my fellow women especially those abandoned by their husbands and widows. The skills that I gained from the training have helped my confidence. I have done more than I was trained for and have trained two fellow women on soap making and developed soap cutters for them. Their businesses are growing well. Six more women are on the way negotiating with me so that I can train them as well. I have been conducting training for women groups and my testimonies really inspire them. One exercise introduced by the CCB trainer motivated me; to make an elevated corn storage using only two A4 papers. Initially I thought that it was impossible but through trying different ways we finally made a structure that carry 15 cobs. This helps me to believe that things are possible by doing.”   

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Upcoming events

Introduction to Tropical Agricultural Development
Mon, 7 January 2019 » Fri, 11 January 2019

ECHO Campus, United States

Those interested in preparing for short to long-term involvement in international agriculture development are encouraged to participate in this five-day course.  Topics and discussions will be centered on improved food security and agricultural livelihoods for small-scale farmers in developing countries.  Participants will be introduced to the complexities related to poverty and community development.  They will also be introduced to principles and practices that contribute toward maintaining...

5th ECHO East Africa Symposium on Sustainable Agriculture and Appropriate Technologies
Tue, 12 February 2019 » Thu, 14 February 2019

Naura Springs Hotel - Arusha, Tanzania

Invitation to ECHO East Africa  Symposium 12th - 14th  February 2019 Greetings! You are cordially invited to join us for the ECHO East Africa Symposium 2019. We hope that you will make time to gather with us at this very important and effective meeting. It will be a valuable time of learning, information sharing and networking for those working and serving in the East Africa Region Highlights The ECHO Symposium will provide a network and training opportunity for those involved in ...

Tropical Agriculture Development 101 (ideal for University Students)
Mon, 18 February 2019 » Fri, 22 February 2019

ECHO Global Farm, United States

This course will dive into the agricultural systems that are used on small tropical farms. Learn how to utilize perennial crops to your advantage! This course will give hands on experience to those who are interested in kick starting a small tropical farm system. This interactive and practical course will span one week, covering: Agroforestry Underutilized Tropical Crops Fruit Tree Management Nursery Management Propagation Conservation Agriculture Foundations for Farming...

Training seminar in Natural Medicine 2019
Sun, 7 April 2019 » Sun, 14 April 2019

Songea Teachers Training College (TTC Songea ), TANZANIA

The training will be more in practical how to help people living with hiv/aids, also people with albinism.  The contribution of  nutrition in treatment in many diseases. During the seminar our philosophy will be your food should be your medicine and your medicine should be your food. anamed (Action for Natural Medicine, see in Germany invites development  workers, missionaries, doctors, nurses, scientists etc. to attend our training seminar in Natural Medicine, a...

Permaculture Design Certification
Sun, 14 April 2019 » Sun, 28 April 2019

Rancho Mastatal, Costa Rica

Join our diverse team of permaculture instructors led by Scott Gallant for this annual life-changing 2-week experience. The course covers the core Permaculture Design curriculum and emphasizes creating diverse multi-functional human landscapes based on ecological patterns. Utilizing Rancho Mastatal as a living classroom, the class will mix lectures and hands-on work, exploring design solutions for both temperate and tropical regions.  Putting Permaculture into practice, the course concludes w...

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