Giving machines provide opportunity for women in Tanzania

Nov 10, 2023, 1:45 PM | Updated: 1:46 pm

SALT LAKE CITY— It’s that time of year, the season of giving and soon you’ll see the giving machines out and about.

The red vending machines are used not to buy something for yourself, but rather to purchase supplies and services for families in need all around the world.

One global leader traveled from Tanzania to meet with leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and share how the giving machine supplies have made all the difference.

Mary Obiero, the Director of Church World Service Africa Relief Development and Protection, has watched how chickens purchased on the giving machines have transformed the culture. She called it “The Chicken Movement.”

“Moving from 270 chicken to 5,000 and at the moment they’re at 7,000,” Obiero said.

She hopes by next year they’ll have 10,000 chickens.

More than providing economic vitality, Obiero said the chickens have given the people new opportunities, specifically for women.

In a culture that views women as lesser than men, Obiero said the chickens have brought unity and equality.

“They have earned respect from men, their husbands, their leaders,” Obiero said. “They have a voice.”

She’s seeing economic and cultural changes and hopes to see women in politics next.

“I think in all of our hearts that’s the question: I wonder what impact this is going to make,” Sister Amy Wright, First Counselor in the General Primary Presidency for the Church said.

Obiero’s story is just one example of seeing the impact of giving machine purchases — and that’s just what’s happening in Africa

For 2023, 61 cities and seven countries will have giving machines. Last year, only 28 cities had the machines.

Twelve hundred items are available on the giving machines from local and global non-profits.

In 2022, 2.2 million meals were provided, more than 500,000 children were vaccinated, and 6.5 Olympic-size pools of purified water were made available because of the giving machines.

Other services, like help from domestic violence and child abuse were provided for 459 women and children.

More than 3,000 people were given safe shelter — just a few examples of what happens when you click a button on The Giving Machines.

“Service is how we heal and every single one of us in the world has something we need to heal from,” Sister Wright said.

The giving machines at City Creek Center in Salt Lake City will open on Nov. 21. University Place in Orem will open machines on Nov. 20.

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Giving machines provide opportunity for women in Tanzania