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 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.

 

 

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. Oropah Muashi is a mother of seven. She told me she has managed to educate one of her sons and now he is in secondary school. The RSWR grant has really boosted her business by increasing her stock.

 

 

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.

 

 

Groups that were funded in the Fall of 2015

 

Kakilongo Friends Women Group
Chwele, Kenya

K303RabbitsBeneficiaries:  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.

 

 

Vakhavirizi Women Group
Serem, KENYA

Beneficiaries:  26 young Quaker womenMaize-mothers & child

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.

 

 

Chepsai Friends Women Group
Matete, Kenya

PoultryBeneficiaries:  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.

 

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.

 

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 womenPoultry

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.

Read more about Musemwa Wekhavila Friends Women Group

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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Groups that were funded in the Fall of 2014

 

Mokwo Friends Women Group
Sirwa, KENYA

BeneficiarVegetableVendingMokwoFWGies:  24 poor Quaker women

Projects:  Poultry, Vegetables, Sorghum

This group belongs to Mokwo Friends Church of Tuloi Yearly Meeting. The Mokwo community has many problems including poverty, lack of employment opportunities, and scarcity of food. The women started this group to work together to try to overcome these problems. Currently they are engaged in small scale poultry rearing. They fund their business with a monthly contribution of $1.16 per woman that is collected and loaned out to a few members at a time.

 

Click HERE to read the full report of Mokwo Friends Women Group, including their six month progress report.

 

Kisumu Friends Church Women Group
Kisumu, KENYA

Beneficiaries:  24 poor Quaker womenFirewoodKimboleFWG2

Projects: Poultry, Firewood and charcoal, Maize and beans

This group belongs to Kisumu Friends Church of Kaimosi Yearly Meeting. Currently the women are engaged in small scale businesses including vegetable and fruit selling, charcoal selling, maize and beans selling, firewood selling, and embroidery. They fund their business with a monthly contribution of $2.32 per woman that is collected and loaned out to a few members at a time.

Read more about Kisumu Friends Church Women Group

The women have already been trained on group savings and loaning. Before undertaking the RSWR project, the group intends to seek training for themselves on poultry management and local vegetable production, on group dynamics, and on business management and micro-credit. They have included money in their budget request for this training.

For this 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 buy and sell maize and beans, and 8 women will sell firewood and charcoal. They chose these projects because they have a good market in the local economy. The women will borrow between $170 and $200 each and will repay their loans in 12 months at 2% per month. They expect to make $117 – $142 per month depending on their business.

The monthly “merry-go-round” contributions of $2.32 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, the interest earned 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 who join the group.

 

SecondhandClothingGamurenFWGGamuren Friends Women Group
Serem, KENYA

Beneficiaries:  29 poor Quaker women

Projects:  Cereals, Kerosene, Secondhand clothing, Poultry, Firewood, Groceries and vegetables

This is a group of young and middle-aged Quaker women. They are all members of Gamuren Friends Village Meeting of East Africa Yearly Meeting. They began by outlining problems facing women in Kenya today:

  • Many men have abandoned their responsibility to their families. Women are expected to manage the families.
  • There are few ways to earn a living in rural areas. This leads to family conflicts, including domestic violence.
  • Illiteracy and general lack of knowledge among rural women keep them from engaging in economic activities.
  • Poverty and malnutrition are high, especially among women and children.

 

 

Click HERE to read the full report of Gamuren Friends Women Group, including their six month progress report and stories of some of the beneficiaries.

 

Ndabaranachi Friends Women GroupPoultryNdabarachFWG
Matunda, KENYA

Beneficiaries:   32 poor Quaker women

Projects:  Poultry, Rabbits, Local Vegetables

This group belongs to Ndabaranachi Friends Village Meeting of Lugari Yearly Meeting. Currently the women are engaged in small scale businesses including firewood selling, keeping local chickens, maize and beans selling, and vegetable and fruits selling. They fund their businesses with a monthly contribution of $1.94 per woman that is collected and loaned out to a few members at a time.

 

Click HERE  to read the full report of Ndabaranachi Friends Women Group, including their six month progress report.

 

 

Lutonyi Friends Women Group
Kimilili, KENYA

TomatoesatmarketLutonyiFWGBeneficiaries:  30 poor Quaker women

Projects:  Groundnuts, Cabbages and tomatoes, Indigenous vegetables

The members of this group belong to the USFW chapter of Lutonyi Friends Village Meeting, which is part of Lugulu Yearly Meeting. The reason the women founded the group was to try to overcome the problems in their lives, including high poverty levels and poor health due to inadequate nutrition and diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. They want to create employment for themselves and improve the health care and education standards of their children.

 

Click HERE to read the full report of Lutonyi Friends Women Group, including their six month progress report and stories of beneficiaries.

 

 

Kapsogoro Friends Women Development Group
Hamisi, KENYA

Beneficiaries:  25 poor Quaker womenVegetables and dried fish

Projects:  Tailoring, Kiosks, Cereals, Vegetables and fruits, Kerosene, Smoked and dried fish

These women are members of Kapsogoro Village Church of East Africa Yearly Meeting-Kaimosi. In their proposal they lament the burdens on Kenyan women today: They are expected to produce food for their families but their small landholdings do not produce enough food. They also must manage uniforms and school supplies for their children. When they are not able to provide adequate meals, this causes family disunity, including domestic violence. In addition, health care is out of their reach economically and so they and their families live in deplorable conditions. They have no social or political power and cannot achieve these rights because of their poverty.

Read more about Kapsogoro Friends Women Development Group

These women began their group in 2010 to address some of these problems. They meet every month and each woman contributes $2.31 to the group fund. These “shares” are a member’s investment in the group. They currently use them as a small revolving loan fund from which they give loans to group members. The RSWR grant will be added to this amount and the repaid monies, the interest earned and the share contributions will all be pooled and will become a permanent revolving loan fund which will be used to recruit new members and to fund projects on a continuing basis. All 25 women in the group are already engaged in a small business. They are requesting funds from RSWR so that they can expand their current businesses. The women will borrow between $173 and $208 depending on their business. Loans will be repaid in 6 months @ 2% interest per month. They expect to make $37 to $54 per month after expenses and repayment, depending on their business.

 

Etiet Friends Women Group
Kapsabet, KENYA

Chapati breadBeneficiaries:  25 Quaker women from two tribes

Projects:  Buns & chapattis (flatbread), Poultry, Cereals, Fruits & potatoes

These women are drawn from two ethnic tribes, the Luhya and the Nandi, a sub tribe of the Kalenjin. They formed this group to promote peace between the two groups. They explain that the two tribes had lived for many years in harmony in their community but in 2008 political agitation stirred up animosity between them. This is an effort to restore harmony between the two groups. The name of the group, Etiet, means “bridge” in the Kalenjin language. The chairlady is from the Nandi tribe and the Secretary is from the Luhya community. They began with 17 women in 2009 and now have 25 members drawn from the two tribes. They are all Quakers and all belong to Tuloi Yearly Meeting.

Read more about Etiet Friends Women Group

Their goal is to work together to help alleviate the economic problems of their village. In Kenyan families it is the women’s responsibility to provide food and other necessities for the family but the farms are not large enough to support family needs. Women must have some other income-generating activity in order to feed, clothe, and educate their families. Each woman in this group contributes $1.39 per month to a group fund from which members can borrow small sums to start or expand their small businesses. In the beginning, they collected and banked the contributions but did not make any loans until their bank balance reached a certain amount. They gave their first loans totaling $324 in 2011 to 7 women. Since that time, small loans have been given on a regular basis. The group has had various trainings by Equity bank officers, the Rural Service Program of East Africa Yearly Meeting, and government and agricultural extension officers. They learned about RSWR in August 2013 when the chairlady and secretary attended the East Africa Yearly Meeting (Kaimosi) USFW Annual Conference where Samson Ababu was the speaker. The group is requesting funds for its members to expand their current businesses. They will each borrow between $173 and $231, depending on their business. The loans will be repaid in six months @ 2% interest per month. They expect to make $37 to $60 per month after expenses and repayment.

 

 

Groups that were funded in the Spring of 2014

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Lotego Friends Church Women Group
Chamakanga, Kenya

Beneficiaries:  25 Quaker womenFirewoodKimboleFWG2

Projects:  Maize and beans, Firewood, Fish fingerlings

This group was formed in April 2012. The members belong to Lotego and Isiegudi Village Meetings of Lotego Monthly Meeting of Vokoli Yearly Meeting. They all belong to the Lotego USFW group. Members of the group are peasant farmers who practice mixed subsistence farming for their daily livelihood.

Currently the women are engaged in small scale businesses. They fund their businesses with a monthly contribution of $2.36 per woman that is collected and loaned out to a few members at a time.

Read more about Lotego Friends Church Women Group

RSWR Field Representative, Samson Ababu, says of this group: “Members are both young and middle aged. These women have diversified individual economic activities. The young women are indeed very active and their businesses make them travel long distances in search of merchandise and commodities for trade purposes. They also have had various trainings with different business organizations operating in the area”. For the RSWR project, the women will divide themselves into three groups and each group will undertake one of the three businesses and share the profits equally. 10 women will trade in maize and beans, 10 women will cut and sell firewood, and 5 women will raise and sell fish fingerlings. The women will borrow between $212 and $264 each, depending on their activity, and repay their loans at 2% per month. They hope to make between $190 and $272 per month after repayment and restocking. The women have also requested $943 for their own revolving loan fund. This fund is used to give small loans to the members of the group to carry out their own personal small businesses and for new members who join the group.

 

Musasa Friends Women Group
Hamisi, Kenya

FishMusasaFWG

Selling dried fish

Beneficiaries:  21 poor Quaker women

Projects:  Cereals, Vegetables and dried fish, Firewood

This group began their proposal by outlining the social and economic difficulties facing rural women in Kenya:

• In many rural families, the woman is the head of the family and main breadwinner because the husband is either dead or has left the family to look for work in the city.
• Women in Kenya do not have deeds to their land and widows are often not allowed to keep family assets, including land.
• Women usually cannot apply for credit because they do not own land or other assets in their name.
• Women in Kenya are often the target of violence and exploitation in the family and they usually do not seek justice because of illiteracy, ignorance and poverty.

MFWG was formed in 2010 to try to overcome these problems. At this point, there are 21 members who are a mixture of married, widowed, divorced and single mothers whose ages range from 19 to 54. The members belong to Musasa Village Meeting of Kinu Monthly Meeting of East Africa Yearly Meeting. The chairlady of the group is the recently retired chairperson of the Microfinance wing of the Fellowship of Christian Council and Churches in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa.

Read more about Musasa Friends Women Group including the Six Month and One Year reports and Stories of Beneficiaries

The group has already had several training sessions from the Kenyan Ministry of Social Services on group dynamics, group management and how to draft group rules and regulations. As part of this project, they intend to acquire training on business management and microcredit. RSWR Field Representative, Samson Ababu, says of this group: “Within the last three years, women in this group have formed a strong solidarity group so that they work together and support each other in their businesses. They have set aside one day a week when they come together, have a cup of tea and talk about their work, home lives, share knowledge and information and help each other solve common problems. The leadership is strong, focused and constantly planning to do different things for the benefit of the members and the community. They can mobilize and organize the group, and inspire and encourage their members. The group exhibits a lot of enthusiasm in their work. They have managed their funds well and, I am confident, will continue to do so in the future.” Currently the women are engaged in small scale businesses. They hope to expand their current businesses with the RSWR grant. 7 women sell cereals and legumes, 7 women sell tomatoes, onions, green vegetables and dried fish, and 7 women sell firewood. The women will borrow between $176 and $235 and will repay their loans in 6 months at 2% interest per month. They expect to earn $26-$44 per month after restocking and repayment.

Six month and one year reports – both received in June 2016

This group has been working hard to make their project a success. 24 women received initial loans of KES.10,000 ($100). They used this money to expand their current small businesses which included raising poultry or vegetables, buying and selling fish, buying and selling beans or cereals, small kiosks selling household items, and firewood or kerosene selling. Most of the women were able to repay these first loans and 19 women received second loans of KES.20,000 ($200) to further upgrade their businesses. So far, 11 women have repaid these second loans, 7 women are in the process of repaying, 4 women defaulted on their loans and 2 of their members died.

Problems have included the fact that many of the businesses are seasonal and therefore income fluctuates from month to month. In addition, the women are afraid to take risks and so they choose familiar businesses that everyone else is also choosing, which causes stiff competition. Also, the women do not have enough time to devote to their businesses because they are expected to continue to work on the family farms and run their households. And many of the women are illiterate and so they have a hard time with record keeping. Because of these difficulties, the women have not been paying their loan installments on time which has hampered the group.

The group leadership has tried to overcome these problems by encouraging the members to diversify their trades by season and also choose businesses that no one else is doing. They have arranged several workshops on record keeping and have engaged a young girl to help the illiterate women keep their records. To help those who have had trouble repaying, the leadership has extended their time of repayment, helped them choose different businesses that are more profitable, and arranged training for the group on how to trade profitably.

The positive impacts of the project include:

• Some women have done extremely well and upgraded their businesses significantly. • Members have gained experience and are now knowledgeable at the market. • Member have become more responsible in handling money. • Women have become suppliers of needed commodities, especially food items, in the community. • There is now active trading within the community.

Stories of Beneficiaries

Fridah Mbone

I have a neighbor called Rose Ihdiazi. She is a primary school teacher in our village. I am a housewife and sometimes I would work in my neighbour’s farms for money to use on the family. My husband is a painter and does work on and off and brings very little money home for the family use. I cannot blame him because he never went to school.

I mentioned Rose because I work for her most of the time when I am not working on the family farm. Sometimes I found myself borrowing even very small things we needed to use in our house. Sometimes I felt ashamed to ask for these items but I had no alternative.

I worked for Madam Rose for 10 years. One day she called ma and sat me down. We had a woman to woman talk for many hours. After our long discussion, she gave me Ksh.2000 and told me to start a business of my own. She told me not to continue going to her house for handouts but work with the money she had given me. In the beginning, I was scared because I had never done my business before.

This happened when Musasa Friends Women Group had just been formed. I borrowed some ideas from the chairlady who encouraged me to start a small business. Musasa Friends gave me a further Ksh.500 and together with what Madam Rose had given me, I went into the business of selling live chickens.

Then came the grant from RSWR. Oh it was a big booster to my business. The Ksh.10,000 I received from Musasa Women Group made a huge difference to my approach to business. I have now switched from dealing in chickens to selling of cereals and a green grocery. I will not forget the contribution RSWR has made to my life. I have completed repaying Ksh.10,000 and submitted my application for a further loan of Ksh.20,000.

Thank you so much RSWR for making our lives change for the better. As a member of the group we are very grateful indeed.

God bless you all.

Yours sincerely, Fridah Mbone

 

Damaria Ayisi

My name is Damaria Ayisi. I am a member of Musasa Friends Women Group. I belong to a family of seven people who include my husband our five children. Three of our children are primary school and two are in secondary school. My husband works in Nairobi as a casual laborer and whatever money he gets is sent back home for our children’s education. For a long time I have been thinking of how to assist him because he appears to be straining so much and his heart is not good.

When Musasa Friends Women Group was formed, I did not hesitate to join them. I wanted to do something that would benefit my family and myself. The idea of Merry-go-round was introduced in the group. I borrowed Ksh.500 in 2010 and later increased it to Ksh.1000. This money, though small, helped me to start a small business of my own. I bought green vegetables, onions, and tomatoes. This enabled me to get some money to support my husband’s efforts. I really dreamed of expanding my business but I did not have the money to do so.

In one of our meetings, our chairlady mentioned something to do with RSWR. We got interested and gave her permission to take up the matter. Later your people visited us and in the end we prayed so hard that our project may be approved. We talked and talked together about the prospect of receiving the grant and what it would mean to our lives.

When our group received the grant, I was the happiest woman on earth. There was hope. I would be able to borrow enough money to expand my green grocery. This is exactly what I did. Thank God because of the grant from RSWR I am able to support my husband in paying school fees for our children. I now operate a bank account – something I never dreamed of! Many thanks to RSWR. I pray that God may bless your organization.

Yours sincerely,

Damaria Ayisi

 

 

Kongoni Friends Women Group
Moi’s Bridge, KENYA

Beneficiaries:  27 poor Quaker womenK-016KFWG-picture

Projects: Poultry, Cereals, Firewood

This group was formed in August 2011. The members belong to Kongoni Friends Church of Lugari Yearly Meeti ng. The Kongoni community has multiple problems including poverty, poor health standards, and high unemployment, especially among women and youth. The reason the women started this group was to work together to try to overcome these problems.

Currently the women are engaged in many personal small scale businesses including maize, beans, vegetables, and fruits selling, kerosene and firewood selling, fish mongering, and keeping of local cows and chickens. They fund their businesses with a monthly contribution of $2.36 per woman that is collected and loaned out to a few members at a time.

 

Click HERE to read the full report of Kongoni Friends Women Group, including stories of beneficiaries and their six month and one year progress reports. 

 

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Solongo Abe Self Help Group
Kiritu, Kenya

K303RabbitsBeneficiaries:  30 poor women from various denominations

Projects:  Poultry, Vegetables, Rabbits

This is a group of women who belong to a number of religious denominations. Half are Quaker and the other half are members of various other churches in the area. The leader is a Quaker and they meet at the Wakaleka Friends Church which is part of Vokoli Yearly Meeting.

This group was started in 2009 so that the illiterate women in the village and their drop-out children could learn to read and write. They met three times a week for Adult Basic Education classes. By 2011, they had all learned to read and finished the ABE classes, so they turned their attention to farming and business. They registered as a group with the Kenyan Department of Social Services and started small-scale businesses. Presently they are engaged in the following activities: vegetable and fruit growing and selling, firewood selling, and poultry keeping. They fund their businesses with a monthly contribution of $2.36 per woman that is collected and loaned out to a few members at a time.

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Click HERE to read the full report of Solongo Abe Self Help Group, including stories of some of the beneficiaries and their six month progress report.

 

Avakali Vo Vulavu Women Group
Maragoli, Kenya

Beneficiaries:  30 poor Quaker womenMaizeAVVCFWG

Projects:  Poultry, Vegetables, Beans and Sorghum

This group belongs to Chango Friends Church of Vihiga Yearly Meeting. The members of the group meet together every two weeks to share social, spiritual and economic challenges and to pray together. The community as a whole has severe economic problems due to widespread poverty and lack of employment opportunities. Additionally, they face health problems from HIV/AIDS and malaria related diseases.

Currently the women are engaged in small scale farming and livestock and poultry rearing. They fund their businesses with a monthly contribution of $2.36 per woman that is collected and loaned out to a few members at a time.

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Click HERE to read the full report of Avakali Vo Vulavu Women Group, including their six month and one year progress reports.

 

 

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


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