Kenya

A group member from the Malava Friends Women Group stands in front of her vegetable stand in the center of the village. She buys vegetables from a local farmer and resells them in the village.

Below is a list of all the RSWR  projects in Kenya that are in progress or recently completed.   To see  beneficiary stories and six month and one year reports, scroll down to the older groups that are at the bottom of the page.

 

Groups that were funded in the Spring of 2017

 

Rural Service Programme
Tiriki, Kenya

 

Activities: Various businesses involving buying and selling of consumable goods such as fish, greens, cereals, kerosene, etc.

Beneficiaries: 30 poor women who are running small businesses but lack capital

Rural Service Program is a Quaker church organization set up by all the Quaker Yearly Meetings in Kenya. RSP works in the Western, Nyanza and part of the Rift Valley provinces where most of the community members are living below the poverty line. They organize women who are operating businesses in a given area into cooperative groups. They currently support 10 groups with a total of 125 women members. The groups are from various religious denominations and various tribes. The members are expected to contribute “shares” of $3 each month to a general fund from which they make loans to upgrade their businesses. These “shares” are the members’ individual savings and can be withdrawn if the member leaves the group. A member must be at least 18 years old, must be a Kenyan citizen, and must have a share savings of at least $12 before they can receive a loan. RSP trains the members of all their groups on the importance of savings, how to identify and operate businesses in order to maximize profit, and how to utilize loans properly and avoid default.

The RSWR funds will support 30 women with a loan of $100 each. The women will be part of a women’s group, but they may be in different groups. When they repay their loans, the funds are sent back to RSP and are loaned out to another woman, who may or may not be in the same group as the woman making the repayment. Each of the women will have a different business selling various consumable goods such as greens, vegetables, tomatoes, etc. However, the economies of each business are generally the same and they are each expected to net $25 per month after repayment and savings.

 

Boiboyet Self Help Group
Nandi County, Kenya

Activities: Omena (fish) selling, Maize buying and selling, Tomato buying and selling, Hair salon, Eggs buying and selling, Secondhand clothes selling, Village kiosks

Beneficiaries:  20 interfaith women

Women in Kenya are dependent on their husbands and children for survival. They are not allowed to own or inherit land and property and they have little access to education. At the same time, it is the women who bear the greatest responsibility for taking care of their families.

Boiboyet Self Help Group was started in 2012 to bring small business women together to strengthen their business network. Most of the women in this group are in their mid twenties and early thirties. They are members of a variety of different churches. The area has been settled by different ethnic groups and this is reflected in the group composition. They have started a table banking system to combine their meager resources to help grow their businesses. They meet once a month and each member contributes $2 to the group fund. These funds are used to make small loans to members of the group.

For the RSWR project, the group will first arrange training for themselves on business skills and revolving loan fund management. All of the members are currently involved in small businesses. The RSWR grant will help them expand these enterprises. They will borrow $142 to $235 depending on their business. They expect to net $62 to $123 after repayment and savings.

 

Jipange Maendeleo Women Group
Hamisi, Kenya

Activities: Poultry, Cereals and legumes, Secondhand clothing, Grocery shops, Vegetables, Firewood

Beneficiaries: 22 interfaith women

This group was formed in 2013 in response to difficult economic conditions experienced by the women. The purpose was to work together in a self help group and cooperate in economic activities to improve their incomes. There are 22 members from several different Christian denominations. 4 of the members (including the chairlady) are Quakers and they introduced the rest of the group to Right Sharing of World Resources.

All of the members are currently involved in small businesses. They are seeking a grant from RSWR to upgrade these businesses. They will borrow $151 to $201 depending on their business. They expect to net $22 to $47 per month after repayment and savings.

 

 

Bisil Friends Church Women Group
Bisil, Kenya

Activities: Goat buying and selling, Bead making and selling, Animal fat buying and selling

Beneficiaries: 20 poor Quaker women in the Maasai Community

The area where this group is located has a harsh, dry climate that does not support food crop production. In addition, Kenya has experienced a severe drought in the past year. The drought has had very negative and serious effects on the livelihood of the residents of Bisil. The Maasai are pastoralists and their lives revolve around animals. The main preoccupation of women in Bisil was/is trading in sheep and goats. This has been disrupted because many of the animals have died due to drought. The RSWR grant will help to repopulate the herds.

The members of this group are already involved in several small-scale businesses. These include: shanga (bead) making, animal fat selling for cooking, goat rearing, salt selling, and selling shuka ya kimaasai (colorful traditional cloth). They sell their beaded and cloth articles to tourists who travel through their township to the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.

For the RSWR project, they will divide themselves into three groups and each group will undertake one of three projects. 6 women will buy and sell goats, 7 women will make and sell Maasai beads (shanga) and 7 women will sell animal fat. They will borrow between $159 and $167 depending on their business and they expect to net $65 to $78 per month after repayment and savings.

 

 

Kitulu Women Self Help Group
Banja, Kenya

Activities: Maize, millet and sorghum, Green groceries, Fruits, Potatoes, Smoked and dried fish

Beneficiaries: 22 interfaith women

This is a group of women from different Christian denominations that come from neighboring villages. The majority of the women in the group are less educated and unskilled. They and their children live in extreme poverty. The community as a whole is impoverished and there is much food anxiety because there is a permanent shortage of food. Malnutrition and poor health also result from their impoverished situation.

The women currently each run very small businesses, mostly selling farm produce, but their income from the businesses is insignificant because they do not have much to invest in them. They came together in 2014 to try to improve their livelihood by working together. They are now seeking a grant from RSWR to upgrade their businesses. Each woman will borrow $200. They expect to net $45 to $55 per month after repayment and savings.

 

Groups that were funded in the Fall of 2016

 

Jitahidi Self Help Group
Tiriki, Kenya

Beneficiaries: 24 women from various Christian denominations

Projects: Groceries, Smoked and fried fish, Cabbages, green vegetables, and potatoes, Chickens and eggs, Cereals, Milk sales, Tent and chair rentals and catering service

This group is comprised of 24 women from various Christian denominations who meet every Sunday evening. They formed this group to increase self-reliance among members, reduce poverty, improve health for family members, and cater to their children’s educational needs. They also hope to offer needed services to the community.

The group is located in an area of stony hills and sandy soil that is not suited to agriculture, so the residents must find an alternative means of survival. 62% of the people in the village live below the poverty line. Problems include HIV/AIDS, a high drop-out rate, especially for girls because of early pregnancies, children roaming the markets looking for food, and no proper plan to take care of the aged, widowed mothers and other vulnerable members of the community.

All of the women of JSHG already have individual businesses. They contribute KES.25 (25¢) each week to a group fund that is loaned out to members on a rotating basis to invest in their individual businesses. The RSWR funds will be used to expand these businesses. In addition, the women have a group catering business on the weekends which they all participate in and share the profits. They say of this business: “It binds women together that they have something to do jointly”. They are asking for KES.85,000 ($853) to buy another tent for this group business. They make about KES.10,000 ($100) for each event they cater. In 2015, they catered 4 events. The group has had several trainings from Solidarity Microfinance, Ministry of Agriculture, Care International and Social Services.

The women will borrow $100 to $200 for their individual businesses. They expect to net $30 to $51 per month after expenses, repayment and savings. Income from the catering business will be in addition to this.

 

 

Mahanga Friends Women Group
Webuye, Kenya

Beneficiaries: 26 Quaker women

Projects: Rabbit rearing, Bee keeping, Firewood selling

This group began meeting together in 2012 and were officially registered in 2014. They meet once a month. Their resources are meager and they struggle with poverty and food insecurity in their families and in their community. They started the group so they could pool their resources and start some income-generating projects.

The women are currently involved in many small scale businesses, including firewood, poultry, rabbits, bananas, charcoal, buying and reselling milk, vegetables of all kinds, running of kiosks, maize, onions and tomatoes and groundnuts. They fund their business with a monthly contribution of KES.200 ($2) per woman that is collected and loaned out to members of the group. The RSWR Field Representative says of the group: “These women are very knowledgeable about local market trading and are capable of succeeding in business if given the needed capital.”

For the RSWR project, the women have chosen the three projects listed because they are needed commodities in the community and thus they have a good market. They have never done bee-keeping before, but 6 women decided to undertake it after attending a Farmer’s Field Day presentation by the county department of livestock production. The other two projects will be undertaken by 10 women each.

The women will borrow $116 to $213 depending on their business. They expect to net $94 to $107 per month after expenses, repayment and savings.

 

 

Vushitsyula Friends Women Group
Kakamega, Kenya

 

Beneficiaries: 25 Quaker women

Projects: Poultry, Vegetables, Bee-keeping

These women are members of Vushitsyula Friends Village Meeting of Kakamega Yearly Meeting. They formed this group to reduce poverty and unemployment and improve food security and health among their members and in the community.

For the RSWR project, the women have chosen the three projects listed because they have a good market in the local community and will bring a good income. The women will divide themselves into three sub-groups. There will be 10 members in the poultry group, 8 members of the vegetable group and 7 members will do bee-keeping. The women will share the profits equally within their group.

The women have already had training on commercial poultry production and bee-keeping from the Kakemega county government department of livestock production. They have also received extensive training in business by many organizations ranging from the World Bank, Women Enterprise to the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture and the Kenyan Social Services department. They expect to arrange further training for themselves, if funded, on capacity building and group dynamics.

The women will borrow $132 to $212 depending on their business. They expect to net $99 to $112 per month after expenses, repayment, and savings.

The women currently save KES.100 ($1) per month in their group which is used to give small loans to members to engage in their income-generating projects. If funded, this amount will be raised to KES.200 ($2) per month and the money will become “shares” which will earn the members dividends.

Click here to read more aboutVushitsyula Friends Women Group including their Six Month Report.

Six month report – received October 2017

This group had a very terrible thing happen. When the chairlady went to the bank to withdraw funds for the first loan, she was attacked and the money was stolen from her. The chairlady was not harmed, but the group lost Ksh.183,500 ($1,800). This was very discouraging to the women and several members left the group. The remaining women decided to carry on. They made another withdrawal and were able to give first loans of Ksh.5,000 ($50) to Ksh.10,000 ($100) to 11 women. 8 of the women repaid the first loans in full and 6 women received second loans.

In addition to the stolen money, the group has faced other problems as well. The poultry have had diseases and there was too much rain for the vegetables. The group had to abandon the bee-keeping project because it was not profitable. Several of the women who received the first loans have defaulted.

However, the group is beginning to rally now and try to overcome their problems. The guarantors of the defaulted women will contact them and encourage them to rejoin the group and repay their loans. They have also tried to diversify their businesses so that problems with one business will not affect their whole income. Several of the women have taken up the buying and selling of “vintage” fabric (traditional African prints), which is very popular in Kenya right now and they are making a profit from this business. They conclude their report:

Despite the challenges cited above, the women have picked up and are working hard to sustain their businesses. Although we have not yet achieved our objectives of reducing poverty and raising the living standards in our community, these objectives are long-term. We still hope to fulfill them in the long run.

 

Butunde Village Friends Women Group
Sirisia, Kenya

 

Beneficiaries: 20 Quaker women

Projects: Poultry, Buying and selling of beans and groundnuts

These women are members of Friends Church Butunde of Chwele Yearly Meeting. They formed this group to reduce poverty and unemployment and improve food security and health among their members and in the larger community.

The women currently save KES.200 ($2) per month in their group which is used to give small loans to members to engage in small personal income-generating projects. This practice will continue and the money will become “shares” which will earn the members dividends. The shares will act as security for the women’s loans from the group fund. The women will be able to withdraw their shares if they leave the group.

For the RSWR project, the women have chosen the two projects listed because they have a good market in the local community and will bring a good income. The women will divide themselves into two sub-groups with 10 women in each group and will share the profits equally within their group.

Butunde women have been trained by officers from the Department of Social Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and by the One Acre Fund. The RSWR Field Representative was very impressed with the unity of the group, their capable leadership and their detailed record-keeping.

The women will borrow $164 to $200 depending on their business. They expect to net $105 to $130 per month after expenses, repayment and savings.

 

 

Wenyange Women Group
Maragoli, Kenya

 

Beneficiaries: 20 women who do business at a common market

Projects: Omena (dried fish), Cereals, Tomatoes

This is a group of women who do business at a common market. They formed this group in 2014 to set up a table-banking system so that they could have a source of loans to augment their businesses. Each member contributes KES.200 ($2) per month and members take business loans from this pool. They also work together against discrimination against women and girls. The members belong to different denominations, including: Pentecostal Assemblies of God, Anglican Church of Kenya, African Divine Church, Quakers, African Israel Nineveh Church, and the Salvation Army.

The community where these women live has many problems including poverty, high unemployment, food insecurity, illiteracy among women and youth, and poor health standards. The women and their families also suffer from the ills of their community. The table-banking system does not give them enough capital to create a sustainable business.

The women have arranged several trainings in business for themselves from Kenya Women Finance, the Kenyan Department of Gender and Social Services, and Equity Bank staff.

For the RSWR project, they will work together in 3 groups and will share the profits equally within their group. They chose these projects because they have a good market locally. 6 women will engage in omena (small dried fish) selling, 6 women will sell maize and beans, and 8 women will buy and sell tomatoes. They will borrow $181 to $247. They expect to net $102 to $115 each month after expenses, repayment and savings.

After receiving the RSWR funds, their monthly contributions of KES.200 will continue, but they will be converted to “shares” which will become a member’s investment in the group and will earn dividends annually. The repaid monies, interest, and the share contributions will all be pooled and will become a permanent revolving loan fund. This fund will be used to give loans to members who have repaid their loans and to new members.

 

 

West Sabatia Women Group
Chavakali, Kenya

Beneficiaries: 20 women who do business at a common market

Projects: Poultry and Fireless cookers

This is a group of women who do business at a common market. They formed this group in May of 2015 to set up a table- banking system so that they could have a source of loans to augment their businesses. Each member contributes KES.200 ($2) per month and members take business loans from this pool.

The members of WSWG belong to different denominations – some are Quaker but not all. The women and their families suffer from poverty and the other ills of their community, including food insecurity, poor healthcare, low literacy rates and high unemployment. They say, “The situation is no different from the rest of the community members, especially among women and youths”.

For the RSWR project, the women will work together in two groups of ten women each and they will share the profits equally within their groups. One group will raise chickens and the other group will make and sell “fireless cookers”.
The women have already received training on both of these businesses. They received several trainings on different issues in poultry production from the Kenyan department of livestock production. A German NGO called GIZ has recently educated the community about the need to minimize firewood use and introduced the fireless cookers. The WSWG women learned how to make these cookers and have had an enthusiastic demand for them from the community.

A business training from Care International introduced the women to the concept of e-recording whereby borrowing, loan repayment and savings are transacted via their mobile phones so that each woman is able to tell how much she has borrowed, when she is supposed to repay the loan, the interest due, and how much she has saved. It is a distinct advantage to this group.

The women will borrow $154 to $201 and expect to net $94 th $169 per month after expenses, repayment and savings.

 

 

 

Groups that were funded in the Spring of 2016

 

Dungululwa Friends Women Group
Hamsi, Kenya

Beneficiaries: 25 young married Quaker women

Projects: Green groceries, Tailoring, Poultry, Cereals & groundnuts, Tomatoes, Baked goods

Young married women with children often met together after worship in Dungululwa Monthly Meeting and they discovered they had similar problems – they could not make ends meet and were suffering because of the poverty in their families. They decided to form this group to do something about their problems. The purpose of the group is to encourage young married women to undertake self employment projects to strengthen their financial resources and create self-reliance for the women. The group has an elected management committee that is re-elected every 3 years. Members meet each week after worship and each person contributes 50¢ to a merry-go-round scheme. Recently, they have begun making small loans to members with the accrued funds.

The members of the group already have established businesses. They are seeking RSWR funds to expand these businesses. They will be loaned $149 to $199 and repay in 6 months with 2% interest per month. They expect to net $32 to $62 per month. . If members repay on time, the group expects to grow their resources so that they can take new members into their group and give them loans within two years.

 

Maganda Friends Women Group
Kaimosi, Kenya

 

Beneficiaries: 55 poor Quaker women

Projects: Poultry, Cereals, Firewood

This group belongs to Maganda Friends Church of East Africa Yearly Meeting. The pastor of the Meeting is the chairlady of the group and she has arranged training for the women on various topics pertaining to empowerment of rural women. The women formed this group to work together to overcome the many problems of their community, including high poverty levels, high unemployment among women and youth, food insecurity, and poor health standards. They meet once a month and each contribute $2 to a group fund. This fund is used to make loans to members to start small businesses which currently include kerosene and firewood selling and keeping of local cows and chickens.

For the RSWR project, the group will undertake 3 projects that they have determined are the most economically viable in their community. 19 members will undertake poultry rearing, 18 members will undertake firewood selling, and 18 members will undertake the buying and selling of maize and beans. The project will be implemented over a period of 12 months. They will take loans of $64-$73 and will repay at 2% interest per month. They expect a net monthly income per person of $45-$52.

Click here to read Stories of Beneficiaries and an update from Samson Ababu

Update from Samson Ababu – October 2016

On 27th July 2016, Maganda Friends Women group benefited from the RSWR micro-credit program with a grant of Ksh.450,725 ($4,450). Before the disbursement of the grant, a one day training was conducted with a total of 27 active members present. Members indicated that they were already engaged in small IGPs but at a meager level, dealing in cereals, fish mongering, vegetable/fruits and tomatoes selling, local poultry keeping, and firewood and kerosene selling. Now that funds were available they could not hide their joy! Last week I visited members of Maganda Friends Women Group and I now send you the following pictures and stories:

 

Josephine in her Kiosk selling fruits and vegetable. Josephine is a single mother of two kids, one in class four and the other in class one. When I asked her if she has any message for RSWR as a donor, she said in one sentence, “God saw my plight and with what I was going through he had my prayer and opened a window for me through Maganda Friends Women Group.”

 

 

Noel Oyiera impressed me quite a lot with her enthusiasm. Prior to RSWR funding she already had a village shop, although without significant stock as compared to what she has now after funding. Noel was openly straightforward and admitted to having problems tracking her sales and asked if I would help her to receive training in recordkeeping, bookkeeping, and stocking. I immediately communicated with the group leadership to organize such a training.

 

 

Ruth Bisitsa crochets mats for stools and chairs as she vends tomatoes within the village of Kaimosi. Ruth has six children, four in primary school and two in secondary school. Her husband is a casual laborer within the tea farms around Kaimosi with a meager salary. Ruth hopes that the fruits of her business engagement will augment the husband’s effort.

 

 

These four women are: the charlady, Janet Mulama, Beatrice Lwova, Rachael Musungu, and Phyllis Amagove. They all keep local poultry. They are standing next to a chicken yard structure at one of the ladies’ homes. They opted to rear local birds which are easy to keep and manageable, and because of their delicious meat they are in high demand.

 

 

Rose Inyanja has a food kiosk at the busy Cheptulu market. Rose has engaged her daughter, a single mother, to help her in running the food kiosk. Joss Inyanja is a trained accounts clerk but she can’t find a job. Now, she is helping her mother keep proper sales and stock records, and she wants to develop her mother’s kiosk into an attractive rural restaurant. I also encouraged her to extend her hand to help other members of the group who may need training in record keeping and accounting.

 

Oudilia Lihavi, a mother of seven, has strategically located her firewood business at the Cheptulu market. When I visited her she had engaged a young teenager to split wood as the demand was high. The boy had become a trouble maker in the village and so Oudilia deliberately engaged him so as to help him turn into a good person. She gives him food every day he works. She does not give him cash but saves a percentage for him for his future.

 

 

Doricus Ojido is a grandmother of many. Her smiling face is well known at the Cheptulu market as she hawks ripe bananas.

 

 

Makomo Friends Youth Group
Maragoli, Kenya

Beneficiaries: 30 young adult Quakers

Projects: Poultry, Firewood, Rabbits

This is a group of young adults from Makomo Friends Church. There are 25 young women and 5 young men. They formed this group in January 2013 to try to work together to overcome the economic challenges of the youth of their community. Some of these challenges include: illiteracy and high unemployment among women and youths, poor health standards, food insecurity, and high poverty levels. They have arranged training for themselves by officers from the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture on how to do farming as a business. They have also been trained on successful group management skills by the Kenyan Department of Social Services.

They meet once a month and each contribute $2 to a group fund. This fund is used to make loans to members to start small businesses which currently include vegetable and fruit selling, indigenous vegetable farming, firewood selling, and local chicken keeping.

For the RSWR project, the group will undertake 3 projects that they have determined are the most economically viable in their community. 10 members will undertake poultry rearing, 10 members will undertake firewood selling, and 10 members will undertake rabbit rearing. The project will be implemented over a period of 12 months. They will borrow $114 to $125 and will repay at 2% interest per month. The repaid funds will be used to give new loans to women who have repaid in full and to new members in the church. They expect a monthly net income of $80 – $105.

Click here to read more about Makomo Friends Youth Group including their Six Month Report and Stories of Beneficiaries

Six month report – received May 2017

The project was begun in August 2016. All 30 members received “first loans” of Ksh.15,000 ($148) to begin one of the projects listed above. After repaying their first loans, 24 women applied for and received “second loans” of Ksh.24,000 ($236) to begin other personal businesses which they run alongside their group businesses. They report that this has greatly improved the women’s living standards. They have not had any difficulties so far and things are going well. A few members have had trouble making repayments on time, but they are still repaying – only more slowly.

Beneficiary stories

Mrs. Margaret Onzere raises poultry. She currently has 36 birds. She has also begun to raise rabbits. She is planning to build a bigger poultry house as she expects to have over 50 birds before the end of the year.  Below are pictures of Mrs. Onzere and her chickens and rabbits.

This is Mrs. Eppiness Uside. She also raises poultry. Here she is feeding her chickens. She has recently made a new enclosure for her chickens to keep them safe from predators. Below, you can see another poultry enclosure at Mrs. Uside’s home. The birds live below and the top is a drying rack for her dishes!

 

 

Groups that were funded in the Fall of 2015

 

Kakilongo Friends 

 

 

Women Group
Chwele, Kenya

Beneficiaries:  24 poor Quaker women

Projects:  Poultry, Rabbits, Local vegetables

The Kakilongo community is located on the slopes of Mt Elgon. It is a very poor community with multiple problems, including high unemployment and poor health services. The terrain is difficult and farming is the only viable business. Currently the women are engaged in small scale businesses including buying and selling maize and vegetable and fruit selling. They fund their businesses with a monthly contribution of $2 per woman that is collected and loaned out to a few members at a time.

For the RSWR project, the women will divide themselves into three groups and each group will undertake one of the three businesses listed and share the profits equally. 8 women will engage in poultry keeping, 8 women will raise rabbits, and 8 women will grow vegetables. They chose these projects because they have a good market in the local economy. They will repay their loans in 12 monthly installments. They expect to net $88 to $120 per month depending on their activity.

Click here to read the One Year Report of Kakilongo Friends Women Group, stories of Beneficiaries and an update from Samson Ababu

One year report – received June 2017

This project has gone very well. 24 women received a first loan of Ksh.5,000 ($50) and 20 women repaid the loans in full. 20 women received second loans of Ksh.10,000 ($100) and all 20 women repaid in full. 20 women received third loans of Ksh.20,000 ($200) and 18 of them have been repaid in full. All of the women who are not fully paid up are still actively repaying their loans. No one has defaulted.

One reason for the success of this project is that the leadership realized early on that the women who were having problems repaying on schedule were not keeping proper records so they were spending the money that was meant to be used for repayment and business expansion. Therefore, the leaders of the group helped the women establish a proper record keeping system.

There were some small problems of animals being lost to predators or theft in the beginning, but these were addressed by building secure enclosures for the animals.

This group also organized several trainings for their members to help their businesses succeed. They received training on: rabbit production and management practices, local poultry production, compost making and utilization, and record keeping and bookkeeping. All of the trainings were organized through various government departments.

Some of the positive effects of this project include:

• The group has been recognized by the local Department of Agriculture as an “important stakeholder” in the county • Because of their success with this project, the group has been able to attract other donors to help them with Dairy Goat production and Tree Nursery planting. • All of the members have increased their monthly income significantly – doubling or tripling it. • All of the members are now growing kitchen gardens and using organic manure which has improved the diets of the members and their families. • The living standards of the members have gone up. • The project has motivated other women in the community to also take up small businesses

Now that the project has ended, the group plans to continue to grow their revolving loan fund and offer loans to members and to others in the community to begin or expand small businesses.

 

Report from Samson Ababu–November 2016

We are now on the top of Mt. Elgon. This is where the 2007- 2008 tribal war was at the top.

To visit this group, I have to leave my car at the top and walk down five kilometers. The Chairlady of Kakilongo got some boys to watch it.

Donkeys are the only means of transport.

 

 

 

This is Mama Elizabeth Namwatikho, a mother of seven. She has milking goats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Milika Nyongesa is a mother of 12 – yes 12!! She deals in tomatoes, vegetables, and during corn harvesting, she buys to stock up for sale to the neighbors.

 

 

 

Hellen Masasabi is the chairlady of Kakilongo. She is a mother of six school going children. She has local poultry, a milking goat, rabbits, and buys and sells cereals.

 

 

 

 

 

Corn being dried. Hellen Masasabi and Roselyne Chichi.

 

This is Rose Nekesa. She has milking goats and buys and sells corn and cereals.  These are some of her children outside their home.

 

Vakhavirizi Women Group
Serem, KENYA

Beneficiaries:  26 young Quaker women

Projects:  Cereals buying and selling, Kerosene selling, Secondhand clothing, Poultry, Firewood, Small groceries

Most of the women in this group are aged 20-27 with two in their thirties. They each have 3-5 children. Most are the bread winners of their families and they are dependent for food on a small plot of land. They formed this group to work together to raise capital to start small businesses to augment their income. Their goals are to provide enough food for their families, alleviate poverty in their community, and have enough money for medical expenses when members of their families get sick.

The women meet once a month and each woman contributes $1 to a group fund. This fund is used to make loans to members to start small businesses. Currently, they are involved in several small businesses which are listed above. The RSWR funds will be used to upgrade their existing businesses. They will receive loans of $100 to $200 depending on their business. They will repay their loans in six monthly installments. They hope to make $31 to $52 per month after expenses and loan repayment.

Click here to read the Six Month and One Year Reports of Vakhavirizi Women Group and Stories of Beneficiaries

Six month report – received November 2016

Loans were disbursed to the women on February 1st 2016. 18 women received first loans of Ksh.5,000 ($50). 14 of them have repaid the first loans and 13 women have taken second loans of Ksh.10,000 ($100).

Some of the difficulties the women have faced so far include family conflicts that discourage some women from doing their business. Also, some lose hope when they don’t make as much profit as they expected. The group leaders endeavor to encourage the women to work hard and persevere.

Difficulties the group has faced so far include members who fail to attend meetings and loan defaulters. The group leaders hope to organize more training on group dynamics. They also are advising their members to change the commodities they sell according to the season.

Goals that the project has achieved so far include:

• It has created self reliance • It has fostered unity among families • Members’ families have enough food • Members are able to pay their children’s school fees and seek medical help when they need it • Improved church offerings

The group has not yet been able to fulfill its goal of alleviating poverty in the community and they have not arranged as much business training for themselves as they had hoped to. However, they are hopeful that these goals will be achieved over time as their businesses grow.

 

One year report – received August 2017

This group reports that at the end of the year 17 of the members have been able to upgrade their businesses and significantly increase their incomes. They are now making on average 50% more than they were previously. In addition, the group has been able to arrange several trainings so that they can become better business women. They have received training on business management from the Social Services department of the Kenyan government, Africa Young Entrepreneurs, and Care International.

There have been difficulties too, especially with food spoiling and therefore being unable to sell it. Timely repayment has been a problem for some. 5 of the women who received the initial loans have defaulted and left the group because they did not understand what was required of them.

However, the group reports that the project has had mostly a positive effect in their community. They say: The women in the group have one burning desire: to grow and expand their business. They save and are working hard to be successful and become role models to other groups. The community has accepted and appreciated the work that we do. All the products we buy are from the local community. The community is also our market. We have brought the market to them. The grant from Right Sharing has been an eye-opener. Women in this group have been forced to think about business all the time. They have learned a lot and continue to learn even more in areas that are new to them. The grant has given us more opportunities to expand our businesses.

 

Beneficiary stories

I am the mother of 4 children age 10 to 23 years old. My husband’s job is not stable, so having enough food, clothing and education for the children has always been a problem for us. Being a Christian, I prayed to God to tell me what to do. I happened to get Ksh.500 ($5) and it came to my mind to start a business. I bought a big tree and cut it into firewood and sold it. So I made Ksh.600 ($6). I did this over again and again and the business went this way until 2016. Then Right Sharing of World Resources came in and I got a loan of Ksh.10,000 ($100). I was able to expand my business and sell more firewood. I repaid my loan and had money for my family. Then I got another loan for Ksh.20,000 ($200). Then my business expanded a lot. I am now making Ksh.4,500 ($45) per month. I spend Ksh.2,000 ($20) to repay the loan, Ksh.1,000 ($10) on school fees, and $1,500 ($15) to maintain my family. I am very grateful to Right Sharing of World Resources for helping me to care for my family. – Catherine Tanga.

 

I am Nivah Lugadiro. I am a widow and a mother of three children. I had a small business selling indigenous vegetables. It was going well and people wanted to buy my vegetables but because of lack of capital, I was not able to sell very much. Then I joined Vakhavirizi Women Group and received a loan from the RSWR fund. I decided to start a new business of selling fish. I sell dry and smoked fish and chicken feeds. I first received a loan of Ksh.5,000 ($50) which I repaid and later borrowed Ksh.10,000 ($100). These loans have really boosted my business. Now I can raise school fees for my children and feed them. I repay my loans promptly. I am grateful to God for sending Right Sharing of World Resources my way!

 

 

 

Stories and Pictures of Beneficiaries from Samson Ababu – November 2016

 

 Mama Dinah Awinja at the market selling tomatoes. It is a big market day.

 

             

 

             Mama Mboga at the market selling dry fish fingerlings.

 

 

 

 

Sheila Salano, a mother of three, does tailoring. She is such an enterprising lady.

This is a wall picture in Sheila’s kiosk for customers to choose what they want her to sew.

Chepsai Friends Women Group
Matete, Kenya

Beneficiaries:  29 Quaker women

Projects:  Cereals buying and selling, Poultry, Groundnuts

These women formed their group to try to free the community from poverty through increased food security, increased income generation through business, and improved health. They meet once a month and each contribute $2 to a group fund. This fund is used to make loans to members to start small businesses. Their businesses include: buying and selling maize and beans, vegetable and fruit selling, charcoal and firewood selling and keeping local chickens.

For the RSWR project, the group will undertake 3 projects that they have determined are the most economically viable in their community. 10 members will undertake poultry rearing, 9 members will undertake the buying and selling of maize and beans, and 10 members will buy and sell groundnuts. They will receive loans of $116 to $163 depending on their business. They will repay their loans in 12 monthly installments. They hope to make $80 to $93 per month after expenses and loan repayment.

Click here to read the Six Month Report of Chepsai Friends Women Group, and Stories of Beneficiaries from Samson Ababu

Six month report – received November 2016

The group was trained by the RSWR training team of Samson Ababu and Lotan Migaliza in January 2016. Soon afterwards they disbursed their first loans on February 1, 2016. 36 women received Ksh.5,000. ($49) 29 of the women have repaid those loans in full. 22 women have received second loans of Ksh,.10,000 ($98). All of them are still repaying.

The group has encountered several problems in implementing this project. Fluctuating prices has been a big problem. Also, the market is slow and some of the poultry died. To remedy these problems, some of the women have changed their businesses to take advantage of better prices for different commodities. The group also hopes to arrange more training in business.

In addition to market problems, the group has had problems because of the attitude of some of the women in the group. People don’t attend meetings as they should and some women don’t repay their loans because they are illiterate and didn’t understand that it was a loan, not a grant. The leadership plans to arrange more training to address these problems.

Some of the positive effects of this project are:

• It has improved the living standards of most of the women • It has reduced poverty in the community • The women feel empowered • It has increased employment • Offerings have increased in the church Some of the objectives that have not been fulfilled are the intention to increase employment for the youth of the community and to enhance the spiritual growth of the members. Also, the group has not yet arranged the capacity building training that they intended to arrange.

 

Stories and Pictures of Beneficiaries from Samson Ababu – November 2016

Zainab Nekesa, a mother of five, is a member of Chepsai Friends Women Group. She deals mostly in cereals. She was a Muslim before she became a Quaker. Evans Lunani, her husband, is a great support to her.

 

 

Zainab also takes care of a young orphan girl who, sadly, is deaf.

 

 

                    Ruth Naliaka is also a member of Chepsai, selling onions in the same market.

 

 

 

Pamela Wanyita is also a member of Chepsai. A widow and a mother of four. Pamela has a village kiosk just in her compound. She also keeps a few local birds behind her house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kidundu Friends Church Women Group
Matunda, KENYA

Beneficiaries:  30 poor Quaker women

Projects:  Maize and beans, Firewood and kerosene, Dry fish sales

These women are members of Kidundu Friends Village Meeting of Lugari Yearly Meeting. Their community has multiple problems including poverty, lack of employment opportunities, and scarcity of food. The reason the women started this group was to work together to try to overcome these problems. Currently the women are engaged in several small scale businesses including: poultry keeping, maize and beans selling, fruit and vegetable selling, firewood selling, tree nurseries, and vegetable growing and selling. They fund their businesses with a monthly contribution of $1.50 per woman that is collected and loaned out to a few members at a time.

For the RSWR project, the women will divide themselves into three groups and each group will undertake one of the three businesses listed and share the profits equally. 10 women will buy and sell maize and beans, 10 women will sell firewood and kerosene, and 10 women will sell dry fish. They chose these projects because they have a good market in the local economy. They will receive loans of $110 to $147 depending on their business. They will repay their loans in 12 monthly installments. They hope to make $79 to $83 per month after expenses and loan repayment.

Read more about Kidundu Friends Women Group including their six month report

Six month report

The women received training in financial management and micro-credit from the RSWR Field Representative before their funds were released. In addition, they arranged training for themselves on group dynamics, leadership roles, and marketing strategies from the Rural Service Program, Kaimosi, a development program of East Africa Yearly Meeting.

The first loans were disbursed on February 11, 2016. 24 women received loans of Ksh.5,000 ($50). 21 of the women have repaid those loans in full and have received second loans of Ksh.10,000 ($100) to upgrade their businesses. The women have decided not to sell kerosene because it was not making them enough profit. One difficulty that the group had was marketing problems, for which they sought training. The group was also frustrated by poor attendance at group meetings and people not showing up for trainings. They also feel they need to find a way to help each other to stand firm in the face of unforeseen business challenges.

Positive effects of the project include: group unity, and the fact that the women are learning to be self-reliant. They all now have employment and their monthly incomes have doubled, tripled, and in some cases, quadrupled. Their school-going children can now have lunch and school uniforms.

The women feel like they have made a good start, but they don’t yet feel that they have stable incomes. They will need to save and reinvest in their businesses to grow them over time.

 

 

Vuyanzi Christian Women Group
Migori, Kenya

TreeNurseryBeneficiaries:  24 poor Quaker women

Projects:  Tree nursery seedlings, Omena fish selling, Sorghum selling
The average age of members of this group is about 30 years old. They formed the group to work toward financial independence through small scale business ventures. Members are currently running small businesses which include: village kiosks, selling omena fish, vegetable and fruit selling, and poultry rearing. The group has received training on group dynamics, leadership skills and resource mobilization from various governmental development programs.

The women will divide themselves into groups of 8 women each and undertake 3 different projects. They will receive loans of $134 to $160 depending on their business. They will repay their loans in 12 monthly installments. They hope to make $120 to $141 per month after expenses and loan repayment.

Click here to see the Six Month Report of Vuyanzi Christian Women Group

Six month report – received November 2016

This group received their funds in January 2016. In addition to the training received from Samson Ababu and Lotan Migaliza when the funds were disbursed, they also arranged training for themselves in financial management and loan repayment from a local bank. 24 women received first loans of Ksh.5,000 ($50). 22 of these women repaid their loans in full and received second loans of Ksh.10,000 ($100).

Some of the difficulties that the women have had include:

• Fluctuating prices for commodities

• Loan repayment – members had difficulties repaying the first loan and took extra time repaying it. However, most of them managed it and are now repaying the second loan.

To remedy these difficulties, the women arranged more training from Samson so that they could learn better loan repayment strategies. They also received training on strategies for buying and selling commodities for the best return.  

 

Groups that were funded in the Spring of 2015

 

 

Nasham Nkai Women Group
Maralal, KENYA

Beneficiaries:  20 young Quaker women

Group members and their children

Group members and their children

Projects  Poultry — eggs

This group is part of Loltulelei Village Meeting which is part of the Samburu Friends Mission, under the care of East Africa Yearly Meeting North. The Samburu people are closely related to the Masai. Previously, they were a nomadic people and some still are today. Friends United Meeting sent a missionary to this very poor area in 1995 to try to help after a prolonged drought. In 2012, a Samburu Quaker, Sammy Letoole, became the first Samburu graduate of Friends Theological College and took over the job as the director for the mission. With Sammy’s leadership, the number of village meetings is growing and currently there are 8 village meetings.

Read more about Nasham Nkai Women Group including their Six Month Report and a Beneficiary Story

Currently the Nasham Nkai women are engaged in small scale businesses including bead making, beekeeping, and poultry keeping. They fund their businesses with a monthly contribution that is collected and loaned out to a few members at a time. They have attended a training workshop given by World Vision. Additionally, the local Friends Meetings have organized trainings on poultry farming, resource management and bee keeping.

For the RSWR project, the women will engage in large-scale poultry keeping. Each woman will be loaned $266 to purchase 60 hens plus feed and supplies to build a pen. They expect to get 50 eggs per day which they will sell for 11¢ each. They will repay their loans in 12 monthly installments with 12% interest. They expect an average monthly income after expenses and loan repayment of $58.

Six month report – received March 2016

This group has decreased in number to only 15 women. Each of the 15 women received a loan of KES.30,000 ($300) in July 2015. They are carrying out their poultry business as planned. Some of the difficulties have included drought, diseases and less of a market than expected. They have also had some transportation problems. To remedy these difficulties, they have begun vaccinating the birds and they are changing the place where they sell the eggs.

Beneficiary story:

My name is Mrs. Rosano Leadiamo. I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ. I am saved and believe in Jesus Christ as my personal savior. I thank God and the Right Sharing of World Resources for supporting us with funds. It has changed my life economically. I am now able to pay school fees for my children and feed them properly. I am praying for you so that God will provide you with much for you to be able to support women in the world. God bless you. Amen. Thank you very much.

Mwangaza USFW Group
Hamisi, KENYA

Beans

Beneficiaries: 25 poor Quaker women

Projects:  Cereals, Poultry, Potatoes, Vegetables

In 2009, the women of the Bumuyange Village Meeting decided to come together to work to overcome the socio-economic problems facing their community. Some of the problems include: high unemployment levels for women and girls, high drop-out rates from school, especially for young girls who “walk aimlessly in the villages”, high poverty levels, poor health and inability to buy medicines and pay hospital bills.

Read more about Mwangaza USFW Group

This group of 25 women meets each Thursday. For the first three months, they just talked about what to do and wrote down their ideas. Then they began group savings and merry-go-round schemes. The women also arranged trainings for themselves. They have had training from the Rural Service Program, a Quaker community development program of East Africa Yearly Meeting. They also had two training sessions from the Kenya Commercial Bank rural enterprise division officials. In January 2013, the group felt they had enough in their group savings to begin advancing loans to their members. Members borrowed money to begin small businesses. Currently, the women are buying and selling several commodities: maize and beans, poultry, potatoes, and vegetables. The funds from RSWR will be used to upgrade these businesses. The women will borrow between $178 and $200 each depending on their business. Loans will be repaid in 6 months with 2% interest per month. They expect to net between $56 and $98 per month.Content goes here

Musemwa Wekhavila Friends Women Group
Mabusi, KENYA

 

Beneficiaries: 30 poor Quaker women

Projects: Poultry, Vegetables, Firewood

This group belongs to Musemwa Village Meeting of North Yearly Meeting. They formed the group to pull together their meager resources so they could start small business ventures for sustainable income generation. They meet once a month and each contribute approximately $2 to a group fund which is used to make loans to members to start small businesses.

The group has received training on poultry production and vegetable growing from the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture. They also have had training on project development and group dynamics from AQUAVIS officials. For the RSWR project, the group will undertake 3 businesses that they feel are the most economically viable in their community. 10 members will undertake poultry rearing, 10 members will undertake firewood selling, and 10 members will grow and sell local vegetables. The project will be implemented over a period of 12 months and they will repay their loans at 2% interest per month. They expect to make between $83 and $120 per month depending on their project.

Read more about Musemwa Wekhavila Friends Women Group including their six month report and stories of beneficiaries.

Six month report

This group has had two trainings since beginning their project on July 21, 2015. They were trained by the RSWR Field Representative on the basics of micro credit and revolving loan funds just before the grant was awarded. Later, they arranged training for themselves on diversification, record keeping, entrepreneurship, and group dynamics.

The first loans were given on July 21, 2015. 30 women were loaned Ksh.5,000. ($49). 28 of the women repaid the first loans and received second loans of Ksh.10,000 ($99). Only 5 of the women have repaid their second loans in full. The others are still repaying.

Marketing and competition have been the women’s biggest challenges. They have tried to combat this by bringing all of their commodities together and finding a common market for them. They hope to soon arrange more training for themselves on this issue.

Although there have been some difficulties, the members have seen a marked improvement in their business activities and in their profit margins. The positive effects of the project include:

• Enough food in the homes • Food security and improved nutrition in the community • Improved living standards • Members feel empowered and not as dependent • More harmony in the home • Members are able to pay school fees for their children • Tithes have increased in the church

They feel like they have achieved all of their objects except one. That is to try to provide employment opportunities for the youth. They will work on this one.

Stories of Beneficiaries:

Josephine Asingwa is raising three children on her own. Her husband left home to look for work in the city a year ago. She is pictured here with her daughter Joyce. Joyce is in her last year of secondary school and is about to take her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination. She helps with her mother’s poultry project and the money from the sale of the eggs pays her school fees and buys her uniforms.

Josephine has built her poultry house up high to help keep the birds safe.

 

 

 

 

Mama Flora Micheka is a mother of six school-going children. She has a food kiosk and she also raises local poultry.

 

 

Esther Mueini is a mother of four children. Her husband was arrested for a crime he didn’t commit in 2014. He remains in prison pending investigations. Had it not been for Musemwa group, Esther would not have survived. Her business does very well. She uses every opportunity to sell her wares. Even after Sunday services, she strategically sells at the entry gate.

 

This is Mama Flora Kibisu in her village kiosk. She is the mother of three children. She has also started making bricks so that she and her husband can build a house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lokirimo Friends Women Group
Lodwar (Turkana), KENYA

Turkana scene #2Beneficiaries:  20 poor Quaker women

Projects:  Mats selling and Maize and beans selling

This group of women belong to Kanamkemer Village Meeting, Lodwar Monthly Meeting of Turkana Friends Mission. Turkana is the northern-most county in Kenya and is isolated by numerous hills. It is a hot, dry area that is drought-prone. The community has many problems including high poverty levels, food insecurity, high drop-out rates, and poor health. The women formed this group to work together to improve their social welfare, reduce the poverty levels in the community, and build their resilience against drought. They meet once a month and each woman contributes approximately $3 to a group fund. This fund is loaned to one woman each month on a rotating basis to enhance her business. Members are currently running small businesses which include: retail shops, second-hand clothing sales, butcher shop, cereals selling, and basket making.

Read more about Lokirimo Friends Women Group including their Six Month Report

For the RSWR project, the group will undertake 2 projects that they have determined are the most economically viable in their community. 10 members will undertake mat making and selling and, 10 members will buy and sell maize and beans. The women making mats will borrow $188 and the women buying and selling maize and beans will borrow $163. The project will be implemented over a period of 12 months and they will repay their loans at 2% interest per month. After expenses and repayment, they hope to make between $129 and $136 per month.

Six month report – received May 2016

The funds were received in July 2015 after training on small scale business management skills. The training was conducted by RSWR Field Representative Samson Ababu and Lotan Migaliza of AQUAVIS (Africa Quaker Vision), a Kenyan Quaker development organization that RSWR contracts with for training.

RSWR General Secretary Jackie Stillwell with members of the Lokirimo Friends Women Group in front of the house they are building

RSWR General Secretary Jackie Stillwell with members of the Lokirimo Friends Women Group in front of the house they are building

After receiving the funds, the group decided to change their project drastically. Instead of doing individual businesses, they decided to use the majority of the funds to build a house that they could rent out to tourists and business people. Turkana is becoming a popular tourist area since there is a big lake and tourists come to fish. They hope to have the house completed and ready to rent by June 2016. In addition to the funds for the house, 6 women were also given loans for individual businesses. When rent begins coming in from the house, they will be able to give more loans for individual businesses.

 

Solidarity Friends Women Group
Vihiga, KENYA

Beneficiaries:  24 poor Quaker women

Cindi of Solidarity FWG in her food Kiosk

Cindi of Solidarity FWG in her food Kiosk

Projects:  Vegetable & fruit sales, Maize, beans & rice, Kerosene, Tailoring, Kiosks

These women formed this group to “put their meager resources in a common pool and find other ways of raising funds for productive purposes.” They work together so that they can meet the basic needs of their families, especially for food. They plan to seek training and assistance from other women’s groups that have received grants from RSWR in the past and are currently doing well. They will also seek advice from USFW leaders.

The group meets once a week for fellowship and once a month they each contribute approximately $2 to a group fund. This fund is used to make loans to members to start small businesses. Members are currently running small businesses which include: green groceries (fruits and vegetables), cereals (maize, beans, sorghum, groundnuts), kerosene, tailoring, and home kiosks for household needs. The RSWR grant will be used to upscale these already-established small businesses.

Read more about Solidarity Friends Women Group including their Six Month Report

They will borrow between $164 and $218 depending on their business and repay their loans in 6 months with 2% interest per month. They hope for a net income after expenses and loan repayment of $24-$58 depending on their business. The group management committee will provide support for the women by visiting them at their business sites to “have a feel of what they are going through.” At each monthly meeting of the group, every member will be called upon to talk about the challenges and any problems or opportunities she may have encountered in her work.

Six Month Report received April 2016

Solidarity Friends Women Group received their funds in July 2015 after training by RSWR consultants Africa Quaker Vision (AQUAVIS) on financial management, savings and repayment. It is the custom among the women’s groups in Kenya to give business loans in stages. At first the women receive a small “tester” loan and when that is repaid, they then receive a larger loan. All 24 women received “tester” loans of Ksh.5,000 (approximately $50) in July, 2015 to be repaid within 6 months. 19 of the women have repaid that loan and received a second loan of Ksh.10,000 (approximately $100) to expand their businesses. The women have 12 months to repay these second loans.

Some of the difficulties have been the seasonal nature of their businesses and the problem of family financial needs conflicting with the need for business expansion. Because of the women’s rural background, they lack knowledge of how to expand their businesses successfully. To remedy these difficulties, the women hope to arrange more training for themselves and to “encourage members always to take business with boldness.”

SEE PHOTOS BELOW OF SOME OF THE WOMEN AND THEIR BUSINESSES

Brenda Vuguza and her vegetable business

Brenda Vuguza and her vegetable business

Christine during market time selling tomatoes

Christine during market time selling tomatoes

Mama Kasoha during market time selling vegatables

Mama Kasoha during market time selling vegatables

Matroba sells French fries

Matroba sells French fries

Evelyn Kaisha tailoring business

Evelyn Kaisha’s tailoring business

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We ask that you prayerfully lift the work of these courageous individuals.


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