Meeting in Idete 30 & 31 March 2010

Hi from Ifakara. Here is a small feedback on our first MSABI meeting. This proved to be a great experience and there’s quite a lot to say about it, which I’ll try to summarize here:

1) THE SETTING_The meeting took place in Idete primary school, where we got a free classroom during two days.

2) THE EXPERIENCE_ Everyone came (20 people) and participated actively, with many remarks, discussions, questions and ideas. It was the first time the workers actually all met together (i.e. team leaders, educators, drillers, metal workers, rope makers and latrine builder), which allowed a lot of cross-communication between the different teams and the other sectors. Also this gave everyone a better idea (full picture) of what MSABI is today and what we are working on.

3) THE PROGRAM _ The first day was about MSABI in general (overview, general issues and achievements, presentations by sector, introduction to budgeting + saving), the second day was essentially focussed on the rope pump project and meant for the drillers (i.e. remembering technical basis + sharing experience + discussing project issues).

4) THE OUTCOME_ Among others, we have discussed about the following changes or improvement:

- [OFFICE] There was a strong demand for us to get a proper office in Ifakara, where to direct people looking for our services.

- [MICROFINANCE] We have decided to organize a meeting with YOSEFO (microfinance office in Ifakara) and some of the team members to discuss possibilities to include microfinance option in our community contribution program.

- [BANK] We have offered our workers to provide them a tsh 50’000 starting fund (40AUD$) if they open a bank account + accept to start saving tsh 10’000 on each job.

- [EQUIPMENT] Teams have decided to label all equipment with their team number. This should help us manage the equipment and have the workers care a bit more about it, by increasing their sense of ownership.

- [ID CARDS & UNIFORMS] Workers would like some MSABI ID cards to state that they work for MSABI. We have also decided to make our first MSABI tee-shirts.

- [LATRINES] ISSA, our builder has asked to get contracts + infosheets for the latrines.

- [SALARIES] Workers have asked for MSABI to increase their salaries. I am currently reviewing the wages and think of increasing salaries for drillers and team leaders. I have already made it clear that increasing salaries means MSABI will increase its expectations in term of quality of work.