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Shukuru provides sustainable in-kind loans and teaches adolescent girls to self-finance their secondary education, ensuring they remain in school, which empowers them to create their own stability, prosperity and safety.

Education and financial independence are the two most powerfully effective ways to combat gender-based violence in urban areas. Shukuru gives girls the opportunity for both. Shukuru provides in-kind loans and teaches adolescent girls entrepreneurial skills to earn and save for their education, helping them build the foundation for their own security, prosperity and safety. Shukuru’s paradigm: • An in-kind loan: chicks, feed and medication supplied to each girl; • Entrepreneurial opportunity: adolescent girls are trained to successfully raise chickens to sell - the girls earn money and donors match their savings; • Life-long benefits: Both girls and families gain new skills in sustainable husbandry and financial management.

Photo of Judith Sissener
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Shukuru is a 501(c)3 with the mission to help adolescent girls fund their secondary education through an in-kind poultry loan entrepreneurial project. Our pilot program in Siha District, Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania gives vulnerable and promising primary aged girls an in-kind loan of chicks to raise and sell during one year in order to pay for their secondary education. During each cycle, Shukuru provides entrepreneurship classes to the girls and their families; they learn how to raise chicks into adult chickens, how to compost chicken manure into sale-able product and financial literacy. One year in our program, a girl earns enough for four years of secondary school and to repay her loan. Shukuru teaches Tanzanian girls that they are the solution to gaining an education and economic empowerment.
Shukuru has adapted our poultry program from Muvek, a successful DFID funded Research Into Use (RIU) poultry initiative that was developed along the coast of Tanzania. Muvek was implemented to reduce poverty while contributing to economic growth for families. Shukuru has adapted the program to increase academic outcomes of vulnerable adolescent girls preparing to take secondary school entrance exams but for whom earning a secondary degree will be almost impossible because of a lack of matriculation fees. In our conversations across local stakeholders, a micro poultry venture was determined a culturally appropriate activity for 10-13-year-old girls in Tanzania.
The project runs during approximately three – twelve week cycles. The girls are given 100 chicks at the start of each cycle to raise; these chicks are later sold to market. Donors match girls’ earnings. The income the girls earn will be safeguarded via electronic deposit in Shukuru’s bank account and matched by organizations as further incentive to save. Shukuru offers a sustainable, innovative and replicable way to dramatically increase the number of marginalized girls in Tanzania – and ultimately Africa and around the world – who are able to self-finance their education, fostering self-reliance rather than dependency and vulnerability.

Explain your idea in one sentence.

Shukuru provides in-kind loans and trains adolescent girls to start and run their own husbandry business through which they earn funds for their secondary education and create the foundation for their own safety and stability.

What is the need you are trying to solve?

Adolescent girls are often excluded from secondary education because their families are unable to pay for their girl's education. Lack of education dis-empowers girls and women making them vulnerable to much harm including poverty, violence, and disease; lack of education for girls also further harms their families and communities. Eliminating the barriers to girls’ education is essential to empowering their safety and prosperity and that of their families and communities.
Eliminating these barriers is the primary goal of Shukuru.

Who will benefit from this idea and how would you monitor its success?

Adolescent girls everywhere can benefit from this paradigm, however Shukuru is currently focusing on girls in the Siha District, Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania. Girls in the program are monitored on a weekly basis as well as at the end of each cycle (approximately three months) and at the end of each year. Success is defined as earning enough money from their enterprise to repay their loan with excess to save for their school fees, which are matched by donors.

Who would be best equipped to implement this idea in the real world? You? Your organisation? Another organisation or entity?

Shukuru, a six-year-old, U.S.-based 501(c)3 non-profit is currently implementing this program in Tanzania, and has successfully completed a one-year proof of concept cycle. During that time, several of the girls were able to earn and save more than $100USD toward their secondary education after repaying their initial Shukuru loan. This is a remarkable sum of money in this area where the average annual per capita income is only $240USD!

Where should this idea be implemented?

This paradigm can be implemented anywhere in the world where girls can access age and culturally appropriate materials with which to produce sale-able products and a market for that production.

How might you prototype this idea and test some of the assumptions behind it?

Shukuru tested this concept in 2013 with a full year pilot program in Siha District, Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania. Thirty-eight vulnerable and promising adolescent girls, aged 10-13, received an in-kind loan of chicks to raise and sell during one year. The program was highly successful, satisfying the initial goals and proving its effectiveness to the girls, their families and the community. The proof of concept year also revealed the potential weaknesses in program; addressing these weakness is paramount in this year’s cycle.

What might a day in the life of a community member interacting with your idea look like?

A typical day for a Shukuru Girl is as follows:

• Wakes at 6am
• Chores: making and eating breakfast, sweeping, fetching water, waking up her siblings and preparing them for school
• Attends to the husbandry of her chicks: feed, fresh water, checking chicks' health for signs of disease and if problems are discovered, contacting the Shukuru vet technician for advice on how to appropriately treat*
• Walks 45 minutes to school
• Chores: Completes morning and afternoon school chores before and after class
• Attends class all day: 7am – 4pm
• While she is at school, a family member feeds the chickens and allows them to roam during the day
• She walks home - 45 minutes
• Chores: evening chores - helping with crops and livestock, helps prepare dinner, helps with younger siblings and other tasks
• Attends to evening needs of the chickens
• Does homework
• There is no electricity so once the natural light fades it is bedtime.
• Before bed she must make sure the chicken coop is secured and locked so chickens are not stolen during the night


*If chickens are sick, her family will inform her of the visit and what medications were administered and what follow-up treatment and care is needed to prevent recurrence and spread of the illness.

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Photo of A Woman's Heart Foundation Africa
Team

Oo, this idea is excellent. It becomes hard sometimes to read through so many ideas, but the topic sentence on this one grabs the attention #we like. Our idea uses media to make a positive impact on societal ills that befall women and young girls living in low-income areas, with initial emphasis on "RAPE". Rape is a scourge that is almost mental, heart wrenching and heart breaking. Our idea involves using the media to showcase information about rape, stories from around the world, cross-pollinating ideas like yours (http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/applause/shukuru-provides-sustainable-in-kind-loans-and-trains-adolescent-girls-to-self-finance-their-secondary-education-ensuring-they-remain-in-school-which-empowers-them-to-create-their-own-stability-prosperity-and-safety) so that through media other tiny communities will see how you communities in Tanzania empower women. We appreciate OpenIDEO because it allows great ideas be showcased on a global platform.

Photo of Judith Sissener
Team

We agree! Thx!

Photo of Lydia Scherer
Team

Shukuru is making a big difference in young women's lives. I am happy to see them included here. An organization truly worth supporting!

Photo of Judith Sissener
Team

Thank you so much Lydia for your kind words and your support!!

Photo of Luke Hannan
Team

Well researched, great idea and proven track record. Well done.

Photo of Judith Sissener
Team

Thank you Luke!!

Photo of Laureene Reeves Ndagire
Team

I am so happy to see Shukuru included here, truly deserving
Thanks for all the great work you are doing with young women in Tanzania and looking forward to all the great things you will accomplish going forward

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hi Judith, interesting post! Any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story with higher impact. You should be able to use the Update Entry button on the right of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. We know occasionally people have issues uploading images so let us know by hitting the Feedback button at the bottom of most pages of our site if you face any problems. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.

And here's some tips on adding visual goodness to your idea: http://ideo.pn/vis-uals

Photo of Judith Sissener
Team

Hi! Thank you! We had difficulty with bandwidth in Tanzania. Photo now uploaded. Question: I've tried every way I know how to make the fonts, their point sizes and their kerning match throughout the post, but I have not been able to make it consistent. Any suggestions?