Felista Awaki is 50 years old and a resident of Hhantee Baray in Mbulu district in Tanzania. She is an ex-local brew seller. She used to sell an illicit local brew called “gongo” with a few other women, as it seems to be the only promising business opportunity, they could do to feed their households.
Tanzania Public Health Association (TPHA) with support from IOGT-NTO-MOVEMENT conducted seminars which took place in Mbulu on alcohol use and its harms to the community, entrepreneurship training and on mindset change under the Alcohol Harm Prevention project. Felista was one of the participants in the seminars. In the entrepreneurship training, Felista and other participants were tasked to compare the advantages and disadvantages of selling alcohol and she saw that there were no benefits in selling alcohol since it was illegal, and they would run away from police to avoid being caught. At other instances, they would have to bribe their way out of getting caught thus incurring losses. From the seminars on the harms caused by alcohol use, she realized the harm that her business was doing to her community, and she decided to quit selling alcohol and venture into another business. In the entrepreneurship training, they participated in suggesting and evaluating what business opportunities they could do in Mbulu.
How Alternative livelihood made a change.
With the support from TPHA and IOGT NTO MOVEMENT, Felista and four other women, who also decided to quit selling alcohol, managed to start a maize milling business together as a unit. From this business, Felista has testified that it has provided them with a source of income to provide for their households.
From the maize milling business, she has shared some challenges such as electricity issues. Other than that, Felista is confident that once the challenge is sorted, they can produce more flour since they are getting many customers who find it easier to seek their services instead of going to town which is hours away from the village. Felista utilizes the knowledge she has gained from the seminars to raise awareness to her fellow community members in the village on the harms caused by alcohol use.