Kidogo Kidogo: Making a Difference Little by Little

Kidogo Kidogo, meaning “little by little” in Swahili, is a non-profit organization founded by Kim and Kristen Waeber in 2013, with the mission to help low-income women in the Sub-Saharan African country of Tanzania by providing them with the gift of a life-changing mobile phone. Research conducted by the organization exhibited that these women were unable to purchase a mobile phone due to its start up costs, but could afford to sustain a monthly balance.

Think about how much you use your phone. If it were taken away, how drastically would your daily routine change? While those in developing countries first and foremost require the basics, like food and health care, providing them with a cell phone further improves their lives and increases efficiency. So here is how it works— for every two phone cases sold, Kidogo Kidogo subsidizes the cost of one cell phone and sim card with a start up cost of 5,000 Tanzanian shillings to a woman in Tanzania.

“Meet Mwajuma:  She is 69 years old and lives in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. She is a fruit vendor selling mangos, papayas and bananas. With her new phone Mwajuma says she will use it to call the farmers and have them bring the fruit to the road so she can still do business. The smile on her face says it all, this phone means so much to her."

Like Mwajuma, these cell phones have helped other women in Tanzania expand their businesses and address their safety needs. Kidogo Kidogo has partnered with FINCA, a microfinance organization that frequently provides financial services to low-income entrepreneurs, and Sea Sense, an organization working closely with coastal communities in Tanzania to protect endangered marine species and the rich natural heritage. Kidogo Kidogo also works with local partners in Tanzania, like educational institutions, women’s groups, and other non-profit organizations, to find women that will most benefit from this technology.

The Kidogo Kidogo Student Group at the College of William and Mary also serves as a branch of the organization to promote Kidogo Kidogo’s mission and fundraise for the cause. “As the first chapter of KKSG, we believe that we can help spread the mission and knowledge that Kidogo Kidogo has set out to do,” said Leland Murphy. Whether it is connecting a woman with her family, helping her feel secure, or expanding her business, you too can help, little by little.

If you are interested in donating, purchasing a phone or T-shirt, or learning more about Kidogo Kidogo and its impact, visit www.kidogokidogo.com. Phone cases are available for sale for the iPhone 4/4s, iPhone 5/5s, and the iPhone 6, and are inspired by the natural beauty of Tanzania. 

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