Women’s Charcoal Group Wins ILO Grant

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Rufiji Camfed Cama completing their first kiln in 2009

The International Labour Organization has recognized ARTI charcoal briquetting as a viable income generating activity after awarding the top award for the the Youth to Youth Fund to a Rufiji Women’s group (or “CAMFED CAMA” as they like to refer to themselves) which is sponsored by Campaign for Womens Education (CAMFED)  http://uk.camfed.org.   The group will receive a grand of $ 10,000 USD to implement their business plan.

The journey first began when the Rufiji group received training from ARTI-TZ in 2009, which enabled them to build charcoal kilns, pyrolyze dry biomass into char powder, produce charcoal briquettes and informed them of the marketing and business techniques necessary to start a small charcoal briquettes business.  CAMFED sponsored the initial training and the Rufiji group managed the rest.

Based on their experience the Rufiji group developed a business plan and entered it into the Youth to Youth Competition.  After qualifying for the final round of selection, Nachiket W. Potnis, ARTI-TZ Executive Director, reunited with the group a year later to meet the ILO representatives.

A few weeks later we were informed by “Chiku”, the groups inspirational leader that they had beat out 240 other proposals and won first place in the competition.  Mr. Potnis responded to the phone call with such joy saying, “I feel like it was one of my daughters who has just graduated university…the immense feeling of pride for these young women is overwhelming.”

ARTI-TZ will continue to support the Rufiji group as well as other CAMFED “CAMA’s” to further promote sustainable charcoal briquettes in Tanzania.  ARTI-TZ will also work with the ILO to ensure the business model gets all the support it needs to be a success.

About the Youth to Youth Fund  www.ilo.org/yen

The Youth Entrepreneurship Facility (YEF) is an initiative to “unleash African entrepreneurship”. It is a collaboration between the Africa Commission, the Youth Employment Network (YEN), and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The Facility aims at creating additional jobs in East Africa through youth entrepreneurship development. Its main components are promotion of enterprise culture, entrepreneurship education and training, access to business development and affordable financial services, a youth-to-youth fund, and evidence based advocacy through rigorous impact evaluations.

The Youth-to-Youth fund is a competitive grant and capacity building scheme for young people to propose innovative project ideas on how to promote and develop entrepreneurship amongst their peers. The scheme is implemented simultaneously in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

ARTI-TZ has moved to a New Office and Has New Faces!

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ARTI-TZ moved to a new office February 1st of this year.  The move will give us the space to better facilitate our projects.  The office is now home to our Lighting Rural Tanzania Project (LRTC) with the support of the Rural Energy Agency (REA) and our Waste to Wealth Project through the World Bank’s Biomass Energy Initiative for Africa (BEIA).  The new space also allows us to better promote our technologies with room for our charcoal kilns and a display area for our solar products.

In order to celebrate the opening of our new office ARTI-TZ welcomed children from the Mosque in our community.  We prepared food and enjoyed a small celebration as a way to give thanks for all the support we have received since our beginnings in 2007.

ARTI-TZ also welcomed new faces to its team in February.

Jacqueline Michael, who has a Bachelors Degree in Economics from the University of Dar es Salaam will join the team as Project Officer for the Lighting Rural Tanzania Project (LRTC).  Jacqueline will be assisted by Abdalla Seushi who will work as the LRTC Field Officer.

James Mariwa has joined the ARTI-TZ team full time as a Technician/Trainer.  Having assisted in previous trainings James is well versed in charcoal kiln fabrication and is quickly becoming skilled in the fabrication of compact biogas systems.

ARTI-TZ would like to the thank our customers and supporters for enabling us to make this next profound step towards bringing affordable and appropriate energy solutions to all Tanzanians.  We hope to have continued success with your support.