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Australia and Southern Pacific
Mothers' Union Tanzania has one of the largest Mothers’ Union memberships in the world with over 815,000 members. It continues to grow at a phenomenal rate. Mothers’ Union members across Tanzania are involved in caring for those in need: members contribute and collect money or materials to support vulnerable children with school fees and school materials; widows and people living with HIV/AIDS are also supported with medication and nutritious food.
By raising issues and campaigning, starting up micro-credit savings groups , focusing on health and the empowerment of women, plus diocese-specific activities, Mothers' Union members are working hard to improve family life in their communities.
Some have raised awareness of the need for the protection of orphans and children living in difficult conditions, which is now getting attention from health authorities. Others are raising awareness of the need for women to be skilled in business. For this, many dioceses are working on income generation projects that allow women to learn a skill that will be productive and provide an income. Activities include farming, producing goods such as mats, clay pots and batik clothes. These activities can then allow some women to go on to join financial micro-credit groups. This results in a reduction of poverty in some areas of the community.
Members also regularly visit different parishes in their dioceses and deliver seminars and information on the importance of family and women's health. These focus on teaching people to recognise symptoms and understand how they can be treated. Combined with the training on income generation this can greatly empower women and allow them to help others. One diocese shared that this has improved the relationships between members and they have now started sharing ideas of what work is required. New areas that members will be focusing on include early marriage and the issue of female genital mutilation
The idea of working together is shown to great effect in Tanzania, with one diocese constructing a hostel to help those most in need in their community. In the future, through provincial and diocesan workshops and training , members are aiming to share the values of Mothers' Union and increase membership
Other Mothers’ Union Tanzania projects include credit schemes which support women in initiating their own small microenterprise projects; chicken-rearing enabling women to collect eggs for selling; and encouraging women to grow crops around homesteads.
Mothers’ Union members: 815,000