Tabora is a short motorbike ride from the district capitol and is situated in the plains facing the Usambara Mountains. Originally founded to house laborers on the sprawling sisal plantations, the village is compact and organized in straight lines, uncharacteristic of many local villages. Though some still work for the sisal company, the majority of people are subsistence farmers. Bordering town are Tabora's maize fields and open plains where the nomadic Maasai and Mang'ati herders graze their cattle. Each day, the village is busy with activity as people walk to and from work from their fields, go about their daily chores, or play checkers beneath the big mango tree.
Children make up more than half of the population of Tabora, and levels of malnourishment are very high. The purpose of The Tabora Project is to address the causes of poor nutrition among Tabora's children: lack of nutritional knowledge, dependence on maize as a single staple crop, and low family income. The Tabora Project has facilitated the creation of a women's group, called Kikundi cha Jitegemee (Group of Self-Reliance), whose members are all caretakers of children. Our team will work with the members of the group to develop small vegetable gardens close to each member's home. Kikundi members will participate as a group in agricultural and nutritional trainings and use the skills learned to maintain backyard gardens of their own. Special attention is paid to teaching methods that are compatible with existing constraints such as seeds, water, time, land, money, and supplies. It is our hope and the goal of Kikundi Cha Jitegemee that this approach will cultivate not only fruitful gardens but an increase in nutritional awareness and the consumption of healthy foods.