Stories from the field

Sowing Seeds of Empowerment with the Wamboma Co-operative: Tumaini’s Inspiring Journey

Tumaini’s story is one of many within the co-operative that shows how the tourism industry can work with women in destinations for mutual benefit. 

Tumaini talking to Equality in Tourism Director, Tricia at Wamboma Co-operative Training Farm.
Tumaini and Equality in Tourism Director, Tricia Barnett, at the Wamboma Co-operative Training Farm

In the scenic village of Namwai, on the western side of Kilimanjaro, a remarkable woman named Tumaini welcomes us into her new brick home, surrounded by the signs of a transformed life. Tumaini’s story is one of resilience, empowerment, and the positive impact of the Wamboma Co-operative—an initiative that has empowered women farmers like her and brought about remarkable change in their lives.


Tumaini, like many other women farmers in Tanzania, faced the daunting challenge of subsistence farming on her tiny quarter-acre plot. Providing for her family of five children was a daily struggle, with meager earnings from maize and beans barely covering their basic needs. However, everything changed when the Wamboma Co-operative, driven by the vision of empowering women, entered her life.


Under the guidance of KWIECO, a local women’s empowerment organisation, and the Wamboma Co-operative, Tumaini and 120 other women in her village were introduced to a new way of thinking. They were equipped with the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to transform their traditional farming practices into thriving businesses. For the first time, they received comprehensive training that encompassed efficient farming techniques, entrepreneurship, women’s rights, and the importance of cooperative collaboration.

Tumaini feeding her cattle.

Tumaini’s journey took a transformative turn as she embraced the principles of the co-operative and applied her newfound knowledge. With her husband by her side, she ventured into a world of possibilities on her own plot of land. Instead of relying solely on maize and beans, Tumaini diversified her crops, cultivating spinach, cabbage, peas, lettuce, and even establishing a thriving poultry business that yielded a steady stream of income. Through hard work and determination, Tumaini’s financial contribution to her family became significant.

Beyond the economic prosperity Tumaini achieved, her self-confidence soared to new heights. With her entrepreneurial spirit and newfound negotiation skills, she made a mark in the market, establishing herself as a respected and influential figure. Her success not only provided stability for her family but also inspired other women in her community to follow in her footsteps.

The impact of the Wamboma Co-operative extended far beyond Tumaini’s personal journey. By connecting women farmers with the lucrative tourism industry, the co-operative ensured fair prices and bypassed exploitative local dealers. This empowering shift created a ripple effect, fostering economic independence and a renewed sense of purpose among the community.

Tumaini’s story is a testament to the life-changing impact of the Wamboma Co-operative. Her transformation from a struggling farmer to a successful entrepreneur reflects the collective power of education, support, and empowerment. Through initiatives like the co-operative, we can continue to uplift women, transform communities, and foster gender equality within the tourism industry. Tumaini’s unwavering determination and inspiring journey serve as a guiding light, illuminating a path towards a future where women thrive, their voices are heard, and their potential is fully realised.

Tumaini stood at her farm in front of her cattle shed.

Join the Journey

By donating to Wamboma Co-operative, you become part of a movement that champions gender equality, supports local entrepreneurship, and fosters sustainable development. Your contribution will directly impact the lives of women farmers and their communities, helping them thrive even in the face of challenges.

Let’s stand together and make a difference. Together, we can shape a future where women’s voices are heard, communities flourish, and gender equality becomes a reality.

Donate today and be a catalyst for change.