Inspirational Tid-Bits

A few months ago, we wrote about Charlie Moto’s mother ( We discussed how she was struggling to feed her children, but that she was willing to learn a new skill that would help her make more than a dollar a day. We are happy to report that Mama Moto is making great strides!

When Melissa’s parents visited in November, they wanted Mama Moto to make several pairs of earrings to take home for friends and family. For our first trip to see Mama Moto, Melissa’s parents ordered 10 pairs of earrings, and Mama Moto successfully completed the earrings. She chose a variety of fabrics, did an excellent job of sewing, and had them ready on time.

Mama Moto decided that she will charge 2,000 Tanzanian Shillings per set (approximately $1.33). Her investment into each pair of earrings is about 250 Tanzanian Shillings (approximately $.16). Using these figures, Mama Moto profited approximately $11.70 during her first sale. This skill supplemented her income by over a third of her average monthly income. Needless to say, Mama Moto’s smile was beaming from ear to ear as Melissa’s parents handed her the money. She was beyond excited.

Genevieve, BCC’s Education/Health Coordinator, was with us when we visited and so we asked her to translate. We asked Mama Moto why she was so happy. She said, because she could feed her children. We asked her what she was going to do with her money and she said that she was going to reinvest some of the money into her business and she would use the rest to buy food for her children. Below is a photo of Mama Moto and Melissa’s mom.

We gave Mama Moto another order for earrings on the spot because Melissa’s parents decided they wanted more earrings before they went home. Mama Moto again produced the earrings on time and she was again elated when she was paid. John’s parents followed with several purchases. We have noticed that every time we visit Mama Moto, she is a bit more confident and always happier. Also, the quality of her product is getting better and better!

Mama Moto is excited about her business and continues to make earrings. We believe that by taking her earrings to local shops and by sending them to the U.S. for sales, Mama Moto will be able to continue this small business. In fact, we are considering expanding the earring product to another microcredit loan recipient.

Mama Moto has inspired us in more ways than one. She has decided to stand by her son, Charlie, even after two husbands have walked away from the family. She continues to work hard in order to care for her children. Mama Moto believes that her children are most important and spends her earnings on them. Finally, Mama Moto took a chance and embraced a new opportunity.

Mama Moto gives us great hope for all of the parents of children with disabilities in Moshi.


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