Self Help Project Helping to Establish Small Enterprises in Kenya
A project managed by Lindum Rotary club in Lincoln together with Grantham Kesteven Rotary Club has helped to set up micro-banking projects in Kenya which can help young Kenyan Women out of poverty
Community banking is sometimes called table banking as transactions take place over tables in the countryside. Customers become share-holders in the bank, run by a Kenyan charity. They have access to credit, pay much lower interest, and the bank retains a profit margin to ensure continuing viability.
Through local fund raising in Lincoln, a Rotary grant and money raised in Kenya has meant that £4500 has been used to establish the project in the Meru region of North East Kenya.
Twenty one groups and five hundred and fifty members received training in business practice, including community banking.
Examples of the enterprises established through the project include the Laithithi Kang’enyone Self-help group. With the seed capital of only 5000 Kenyan Shillings (£40), the 18 members hired one acre piece of land and planted tomatoes. The money made from the project was divided amongst the members to take their children to school. 20,000 Kenyan Shillings was injected back into the business. The project provided employment to 2 people as well.
Beatrice Karimi Malinge and her daughter Rose Nkirote, both members of the Peace Makers Self-help group, rented a shop to start a joint business. Rose is doing hairdressing while her mother is sewing school uniforms for local schools. Praising the table banking initiative, Beatrice said “It was a wise decision that I made to join Solidarity bank; I’m now able to get business capital when I need it!”
This project is one of a number in Meru that the Rotary Clubs have established to improve the lives of impoverished people in this rural area of Kenya. Alongside community banking, self-sustaining farms have been built, and a new initiative to provide tailoring workshops is about to be launched.
Organiser Mike Robinson of Lindum Rotary Club said “This work give opportunity and hope for people who have so little”