“No more hiring of an outsider to help us in sharing our dividends,” this is what Zione John a member of an 18 member Mwayiwathu Village, Savings and Loans (VSL) group in Thyolo district said.

She is from Thomas Village in Traditional Authority Khwethemule. John is a tea plucker at EPM’s Makwasa tea estate Phanda Division , . She said sharing of dividends was a challenge and they were engaging someone outside the group to help them in sharing their profits. However, John said after undergoing a three day training in record keeping and sharing of dividends courtesy of Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP), they are doing everything themselves.

On benefits from the VSL, John explained that she now has five pigs.  

Her sentiments were echoed by Donnex Wasiya a guard at EPM’s Gotha Tea Estate Company. Wasiya is a member of Timverane VSL. He said during sharing of profits, the group was hiring an outsider to help them in sharing of dividends and were paying him or her at least K5,000. Wasiya said apart from sharing of profits, ETP also trained them in business management, group dynamics and leadership skills.

Both John and Wasiya thanked ETP for the knowledge gained.

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