Martha and Jerimiah

The Hand in Hand programme Making Change Together, funded by Cartier Philanthropy, which combined business training with challenging traditional gender stereotypes, has changed both the fortunes of, and the relationship between, Jeremiah and his wife, Martha for the better.

The couple live in rural Arusha, Tanzania, where the most people survive on under USD 2.15 a day – and men typically have the final say inside and outside the home.

Jeremiah and Martha met 13 years ago at the restaurant where she worked. As soon as they were married however, they slipped into their traditional roles where Martha took care of the house, the farm and the children and Jeremiah supported them all with the income he earned fixing telephones. Jeremiah explains that, just like everyone else, he thought, “I should not help my wife with the cooking, cleaning, washing or getting the children ready for school.” But now, after the training, Jeremiah says, “These duties belong to all of us, and, even if it’s not every day, I should help my wife when she’s overwhelmed.”

Martha also says the training opened her eyes to the pressure Jeremiah had been under to support them all financially, “I used to be a housewife. But now, after the training, I know it is important for me as a mother to work and help my husband.”

Now they are working as a team, Martha can see that their fortunes will improve too, “If we work together then we’ll be able to get out of renting houses.”

As for Jeremiah, he is a convert to a new way of living, “All men should come and get the Hand in Hand training…That way we can have a new system of cooperation in families.”