Interview with the director
Romana, can you tell us a bit about your self please?
My name is Romana Sudi Puka Olomi and I’m born during the sixties. I started to work as a nurse but studied social work after that. I am now working full time at Mawenzi Hospital in Moshi town as a nurse and social worker. I have one child and I’m living with my husband outside Moshi.
How come that you started Minjeni Women Group?
I grew up in Shimbwe and realized how hard it was for women to take initiative because of ignorance, existing culture and everyday practices. Shimbwe and Uru East showed extensive poverty and I started to encourage women from the areas to fight the problems and accept the challenges. These women were the first members of Minjeni and the organization got legally registered in October 2005.
How did you come up with the name: Minjeni Women Group?
I, myself am from the tribe Chagga and we have our own language. In kichagga Minjeni means shadow and that is exactly what I want Minjeni to be: a safe and cool place where marginalized people can come and visit, feel supported and be relieved from social stress. It was also under the tree where the first women of Minjeni sat when they figured out what kind of challenges we had to overcome to fight poverty.
What is Minjeini’s next big challenge?
Our big concern now is to get funding for the projects that we have and the ones we wish to start. We hope that God will be with us and that we can keep on helping the communities.