Jane is an average Tanzanian and mother of Miriam and Haruni. Jane and her husband are subsistence farmers raising maize and sunflower seeds on a five acre farm and live in a house made of clay and thatched roof. For many years, Jane and her family were subject to the feast and famine cycle that plagues most African farmers. But hunger was only one way the family experienced poverty. Jane couldn't afford to pay the children's school fees and during the rainy season the roof leaked.
But life changed for Jane and her family after she engaged in Cheetah Development's solar drying program. Jane can now preserve vegetables and fruit for the rainy season when food is scarce and generate more income for her family by selling some of her dried produce to Cheetah Development's guaranteed market.
Today, thanks to the income earned from solar drying farm crops, the Mahali family has repaired their roof and put both children in school. Jane has a new sense of hope for the future and is saving for tuition for the children's secondary education. She is also helping to support her nephew, Erick, who lives in an orphanage because his family cannot afford to care for him.
Perhaps most exciting is that Jane is fast becoming an entrepreneur with plans to purchase a second solar dryer to dry crops for other farmers in her village. Through her own efforts, with support from Cheetah Development, Jane is moving from subsistence to self-sufficiency.