Three years ago Abdullah Mohammed Omar (Short: Abdulling) was at a point in his life where he had no money and no way of getting a job. He aspired to become a policeman or to work in a hotel, but to be employed he would have needed to speak a good amount of English. Seeing that most teachers in the public schools do not really know how to speak English themselves, they are unable to teach the students a level of English that would qualify them to work in these jobs. Hence, he was stuck in a situation that many people experience in Zanzibar. And there is really no good way out, since everything is about money here:
If you want to get your ID – you need to bribe at least two people. Driver’s license? You can either pay the normal price and take a course, or you can just bribe someone and get your license without ever sitting in a car. Want to be employed? Either you know somebody who knows somebody, or you will have to bribe someone again. Therefore, if you do not have any financial means in this society, you can hardly do anything.
That is where ZL4LF comes into play, providing people that are stuck in this situation with a way out. Through education, work experience, social connections and financial support, the give young men and women the opportunity to live a better live and achieve their dreams.
Abdulling, being stuck in this situation, was very excited when he heard of ZL4LF through a friend of his. He started to learn English and improved rapidly. Additionally, at that time the “chicken and organic farm” project was established, and Abdulling was given the opportunity to work there, gain business experience and make some money. He proved himself to be very talented and soon became the president and leader of the farm; keeping chickens became his new passion.
In the past few weeks I got to know Abdulling very well, as he is one of the most ambitious students in our German class. Now, three years after coming to ZL4LF, Abdulling is 26 years old and lives together with the other farm members in a room between two chicken coops. Last year, he additionally started teaching English. He seems quite happy with his overall situation; however, he would like to take the next step and become independent. And with the microfinance project he has finally been given the opportunity to do so.
The day we announced the project, he came running to me and asked me for an application form. He rushed to answer all the questions and came back a few days later with an elaborated business plan. Together we specified and sorted out the last few things and then wrote his application. Only two days after that, Gasica approached us and told us that Abdulling had been granted the requested loan.
He joined ZL4LF three years ago with nothing except his hunger for knowledge. He then learned English, how to run a business, keep chickens, started teaching and now he is finally opening his own farm. Through hard work he has turned around his situation and with the profit he makes with the new farm, he will pay back into the micro-finance fund, and hence allow other students to follow his example and become successful. Abdulling started from the bottom, but he fought his way to the top and has been an inspiration to many others.
Last weekend we visited the new farm which he started with two other friends, and we were surprised by how fast they had got everything to work. I am very happy to see him succeed and hope that many others will follow his example.
If you want to support ZL4LF, become a part of the community and allow more people to follow the example of Abdulling, you can do so here: Take Action!
Be assured that we are very thankful for each donation, seeing that even the smallest amount can have a big impact here.