Economic Uplifment

Bilal Muslim Mission has a long history in helping its community members in economic aspects. Since these activities were not systematically recorded, we don’t have any information about quantity, quality or volumetric sides of delivered support. Obviously we don’t have statistics of success and failure and consequently we won’t be able to distill fruitful endeavors and pass on the experience.

However, there is one characteristic that all previous efforts have in common: All  were individual–oriented.

Previously, Bilal played its role as a bridge between donors, service providers and support to service receivers. Therefore it had neither control, authority nor a monitoring system. There were some people who took advantage of good intention of donors and in so many cases failed to deliver success due to lack of knowledge and skill. We are now missing a trustworthiness feeling among helpers and help seekers understandably.

In response, Bilal Muslim Mission formed the Economic Empowerment Office at the Secretariat in October 2010 with the intention of bringing self-sufficiency amongst community members, better governance of centers and financially independence from Africa Federation.

To facilitate achieving the objectives we had to adjust our strategy. We put into practice the 48th session of the Supreme Council held in Nairobi, Kenya in June 1990. In general, we diverted our activities from individual-oriented to community-base. Like so, Bilal seeks for more responsibility and ease of communication between itself and members through community’s managing board and also among the members themselves.

The Economic Empowerment Office completes a  feasibility study and needs assessment and accordingly proposes development schemes.

Bearing in mind the explained strategy, an economic development project for Ikwiriri was designed. Ikwiriri Development Project (IDP) is considered as the first community-based economic empowerment program and a pilot project administrated by Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania. IDP acts as an integrated project which touches different areas such as: society structure (community formation), economic aspects (agriculture, business, etc.), education (training, professionals, human resources) and so forth.Intended to increase the chances of success and to avoid rejection of the new system introduced to community members, IDP was divided into sub-routines.

Finally, in September 2011 as a result of a census which was carried out in December 2010 and January 2011 together with different inspections and public meetings with community members, a water selling business as first phase of IDP was launched.

The Bilal Muslim Mission could facilitate the community with a tank of 3000 liters, pipes and fittings. The community provided the tank stand and supervised the plumbers at work.This business is now in a ‘testing stage’ for collecting information on how the selling rate and expected revenue will be. Accordingly, the Ikwiriri community has to prepare a loan repayment and expenses plan.