Most people in Ihushi belong to an ethnic group called Sukuma, which is known for its many groups and associations, focused on mutual support and collaboration for different needs. The groups are often justified by the saying "umoja ni nguvu, utengano ni udhaivu", i.e. "unity is strength, separation is weakness".
IDC has followed this tradition in the way women's groups are organised. Each group is gathered around a common activity such as growing vegetables, making batik fabrics energy-saving stoves or crocheted materials.
The group also serves as social support; being a member means being there for each other and helping out when someone needs assistance.
Each group also serves as a small cooperative bank: The members save money together and individual members will take loans and pay interest. Read more.
Today (2018), there are 13 women's groups connected to IDC with 10-20 women (and some men) in each group. IDC supports the groups with seminars, field trips, etc – according to the their needs and interests.
The Batik Group was formed in 2005. First, they got the help of IDC to organise a course in batik dyeing. Since then they have continued to work together and now their fabrics are in demand in the village. But unfortunately, the colors are expensive and the group's income could be better. The group is now trying to market their batik in the townships nearby, hoping to find customers with more purchasing power.
Friendship with Ihushi has supported the group by purchasing batik fabrics for sale in Sweden.