"The African Eye is in the Hand"- Joseph Sekiku
06.07.2009 - 04.08.2009
One of the groups Amizade partners with is FADECO. FADECO is an NGO based out of the Kagera region of Tanzania, and it stands for Family Alliance for Development Corporation, it is run by a man named Joseph Sekiku, who started it in 1993. The philosophy is alleviation of poverty and sustainable development is possible if you can find the inherent potentials that already exist within a society. Mr. Sekiku found his calling to improve his community with the Arusha Declaration of 1967 as the background. This Declaration created the Socialist/Communist Tanzanian state. Many, if not all industries became public, and Joseph saw this as anti-entrepreneurial. In 1988, he saw that Tanzania had little to no infrastructure, economic opportunities, nor development, all of this led Joseph to return to Tanzania from Uganda, where he was studying.
One of the first things he realized was that in the region, there was a lot of rain fall, and a lot of land, yet the country relied heavily on European food aid. Joseph decided to gather all of his resources and work with the Catholic Church in establishing community farms to produce much needed food. It was no doubt extremely difficult, and slowly but surely Joseph's work began to grow and become successful. By 1995, FADECO had 15 employees, and was continuously growing via word of mouth. Joseph noticed general themes within the society that others seemed not to recognize. People often were producing a single product, (for example, bananas), yet there was no market for it. If everyone has bananas, who wants to buy them? in 1996, Joseph then began to dry foods, creating an entirely new market. Transportation of fresh fruits and vegetables on dirt roads mixed with the lack of a market meant alot of food spoiled. By drying fruits, he had created a simple yet effective way of fixing the problem.
As years went on, FADECO has continued to expand. There is now a radio station, newsletter, books, Internet, and NGO partnerships. The success of FADECO is evident throughout the community. As Joseph says, "I feel I am useful, and that keeps me going''. We doubt anyone would disagree.