There was an atmosphere of joy and celebration when Caroline and the team arrived in the Mijale area to meet the savings groups. I'll let Caroline's email tell you the rest...
"As we arrived at the village there was a large group singing and dancing and waving leafy branches. We got out and followed them arriving at the venue with even more singing, very loudly!
Then we were whisked off for “breakfast” at midday – just plain carbs of white bread, white rice or Poshu! Fuel to last the next few hours!
After this, we set off on foot to the meeting and with clothes laid on the ground for me to walk along with Bishop and a lady went in front spraying perfume onto each one!
The meeting had several hundred, too many to count, all sitting under makeshift tents with poles and plastic sheeting.
There was a great PA system which had been previously funded by CRESS grants.
Huge amounts of cheering and laughter accompanied our brief speeches.
We heard from the 4 top-performing savings/ agriculture groups, how they have helped their members and then about 8 individuals told us of their successes.
There are 55 savings groups in this area with about 30 members in each group and from these all sorts of businesses have started. 8 people have managed to buy motorcycles with their profits and 41 have bought bicycles. So much joy.
Then lunch, followed by more people to meet and chat to and get some film clips of.
Then back to the vehicle and back on that rough bumpy road with potholes and slippery mud. The journey home was quicker at just 2 hours 20 mins – so in all, 150 miles today and 5 hours 20 mins the beautiful double cab."