Every attitude, every gesture has to fight poverty and exclusion. There are many ways to act, regardless of our skills and availability. These messages, these testimonials reflect. Feel free to contribute.

Testimonies are published under the responsibility of the author. They are subject to validation: these will be published only if they comply, in form and substance the spirit of this day as defined in the International Charter for October 17.

 

Testimony of Ashura, October 17 2018, Tanzania

Asalam aley kum (Peace be with you). I would like to thank God for inviting me here today.

My name is Ashura Onesmo, I am a mother of five children, I am a breaker of stones to in the  quarry of "Cambodia" near to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. The source of my poverty is the family conflict between my father and my mother. My mother was doing small income generating activities. I managed to study until the seventh grade of primary school. I did not manage to go to high school. I think that if I had a good education, I would have a good job and could fight against poverty.

For us women here, the way to fight against poverty is to break the stones. It is a job that requires no investment other than our own strength. However, breaking stones is hard work and very dangerous, but we do it because we have no alternative.

I usually get up at four in the morning, prepare some juices which I can sell, and prepare lunch for my family. After I go to work at the quarry. I arrive there at 6am and immediately start breaking stones. I stop at around 3pm and start measuring the piles of broken stones (so as to fill the buckets). During a day, I can fill 7 to 20 buckets, I can earn between 2000 to 5000 TSH per day. This is not enough for the needs of the family, but we continue to fight. We do not despair because we hope that someday things will change.

The work of breaking stones is a job that can be done by everyone because we do not need any capital, except the contribution our own physical strength, but it is risky work, including the risk of tuberculosis because of the dust, working under the sun all day, and not having a good diet. For us women, lifting and carrying large stones to break can have consequences, such as abortions.

The problems of poverty are numerous. Our children are with us every day at the quarry and grow up there. They start breaking stones themselves at a young age, and some get used to earning a little money. This means that some young people do not like school because they prefer to make money.

I conclude by thanking ATD for visiting our us in our work and giving us the opportunity to participate in research on poverty indicators. We benefited greatly because we now have a broader understanding about poverty.

Women in work - thank you very much. May God continue to bless you.

Ashura

Ashura