Josephine Shirima is 25 years old lady. She lives in Kibamba, Dar es Salaam. She has a Bachelor Degree in Information System and Network Engineering from St. Joseph University. Out of her studies, she developed an interest and passion in decorations.

Her business involves using disposed materials such as bottles of wines and recycle them making various in house decorations. Josephine business was not growing despite her belief in women’s economic independence and self-employment. She faced challenges such as lack of confidence, poor financial literacy education, and lack of enough marketing education and lack of reliable area getting raw materials.

To resolve some of the challenges, she started looking for a place where she could get mentorship services from various decorators in Dar es Salaam. Unfortunately she could not. This is because mentorship services available were charging high fees she could not afford. After learning about PANDA from her friend, Alice, she went for it and was successfully selected.

She was really happy because PANDA program came as a genuine solution to her long term challenges of getting mentorship program specifically for decoration business. Among other things, she learnt about financial literacy and decoration services in general.

Further, Josephine learned about saving, records keeping, financial management, branding, digital marketing, and decoration activities. This include details such as arranging neatly the flowers on tables for wedding and other events. She was also advised about areas where she can get decoration materials in Dar es Salaam. “Before, I faced many challenges in getting decoration materials but during PANDA programme I was advised on ways me to easily get and identify reliable areas that the raw materials are constantly available” she says.

PANDA program helped Josephine to self-employ and improving her life. With improved income she has become financially independent. Josephine is now capable of offering services to small events such as birthday’s parties and graduation ceremonies and earning income.

“The most significant change in my life due PANDA program is the gaining of self-confidence whereby I got it soon after joining in PANDA programme. Always, I strongly believe that fear is an enemy of our own development that is why I see confidence is everything in my business”. Moreover, she emphasized that those changes happened in her life were as a result of effective mentorship sessions which were part of PANDA Programme for 2019 cohort.

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