Kirstie Allsopp visits Tanzania

Today’s guest blog is from Kirstie Allsopp, who writes about her visit to Tanzania to see how the money raised from Red Nose Day 2013 in helping families and communities.


I’ve always been apprehensive about going to Africa to see the work Comic Relief do.Kirstie Tanzania

As you’ll all know as well as I do, the moment you become a mother your ability to witness any form of suffering where children are concerned without becoming an absolute wreck is zero.

On my recent visit to Tanzania to see Red Nose Day money in action though I had the emotional rug pulled from beneath me in a way I’d not expected.

We were there to see the fantastic work being done by The Tanzania Gatsby Trust (TGT), which is supported by money raised through Red Nose Day.  Red Nose Day 2013 raised over £100 million thanks to the generosity of the public, and some of that money was matched by the UK Government to empower women across Africa.

The project gives special training to women wanting to start a business who otherwise would find it almost impossible to get their ideas off the ground.

We’d met some fantastic women like Scolastica the chicken farmer, Queen the fabric designer and Agnes the pickle and chutney maker – all being helped to turn their talents into businesses and lift themselves and their families out of poverty forever.


The final visit was to see Ashura, a new case that had come to TGT’s attention.

This 29 year old mother of three and her husband Shabani bought a plot of land a few years ago, slowly and carefully built a little home for themselves and had three children Shafi 7, Hanifa 4 and a beautiful 10 month old baby girl called Miriam.

It was hard work but they were, bit by bit, lifting themselves away from the desperate poverty they’d both lived in all their lives and setting up a brighter future for their offspring.

Shababi’s work as a mechanic was steady but he needed to taxi people around on his motorbike to help make ends meet and he ‘d also bought his wife four ducks so she could sell eggs from home to help out financially too.

While he was out on a taxi bike job, tragedy struck and he was killed leaving Ashura alone with three children and a shattered dream.

Just a week before I met her she’d had to send her two eldest children four hours away by bus to her parents so they could carry on their education. She hopes she can get to see them every month and you can tell just how shell shocked she is by how her world has crumbled just by looking into her eyes.

It’s an unbearably sad story compounded by the fact that all she has left in terms of income is the ducks her husband bought her.

The only single ray of light she has is that word of her plight has reached TGT and that they could help her learn how to build a small business, get her life back on track and get her children home where they belong.

For that reason alone I’m proud that money raised by Red Nose Day supporters and matched by the UK Government is being used to help this fantastic project help women when they need it most.

Kirstie helps out in the kitchen

Thanks to the money you raised for Red Nose Day, and match funding from the UK Government, cash is already hard at work changing the lives of women and girls across Africa. Visit for more information

About The Netmums Blog

The Netmums Blog brings you a behind the scenes look at Netmums, as well as some fabulous guest bloggers and an up to date look at what's new on our Parent Bloggers Network.
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