Winston Churchill says that success is not final, failure is not fatal; it’s the courage to continue that counts. For the group of individuals, we are highlighting this month, their courage and determination is an inspiration to us all. Their situation was reason enough to give in but they chose courage and effort.
Endwa 3 Self Help Group was formed in 2010 as an empowerment avenue for men and women who are infected with HIV/AIDS. The group currently consists of 6 women and 3 men aged between 44 to 64 years all of whom live in Mwimbi division, Chogoria location in Maara Sub-County.
Their lives as individuals have been characterized by numerous challenges because their positive statuses make them more prone to opportunistic diseases and infections that have unfortunately hindered them from working as efficiently as they would like to. The group, however, is determined not to let their health status restrict them from becoming financially stable and pursuing their dreams.
The group was registered with HopeCore as an Associate Group on 17th July 2013 and participated in a self-led merry-go-round savings scheme which helped demonstrate their commitment to HopeCore’s processes, build group cohesiveness and allow members to gain business acumen. In February 2014, the group was funded with their first soft loan of KES 30,000 (USD 300) to boost their table banking and help them improve their businesses. After repaying the first soft loan, the group went through two soft loan cycles. In November 2014, they received KES 60,000 (USD 600) and in August 2015, they received KES 90,000 (USD 900). The soft loan phase of the program was meant to assess the group’s commitment to operations, ability to build group cohesiveness, develop entrepreneurial dispositions, and refine individual business ideas and plans. Their repayment rate throughout each soft loan has been 100.00% and their individual businesses have grown tremendously as a result of the financial boost from HopeCore and the business education and advice that they have received over the years.
After the members completed paying off the soft loan, every member was evaluated through a series of interviews and field visits at each members’ home to see the status of their loan projects.
After assessing the group members, the team collectively decided that most of the members had made significant progress with their loans and would benefit from additional funding. Therefore, the 9 members were funded with a total group amount of KES 495,000 (USD 4,950) on 23rd September 2016 with their first normal loan cycle. Five of the nine clients invested in dairy farming, two in pig rearing, one in knitting and the other in a cereal resale business.
Before receiving any funding, the group participated in the Micro Enterprise led five-day long Business Training which was held at Kairuni Coffee Factory. During the training, the members gained knowledge and skills in business planning, financial reporting, enterprise management, animal husbandry, agribusiness and family planning, etc.
Apart from the economic empowerment, the group members receive the health care they constantly need from our Hope Core clinic. This ensures they are healthy enough to work and sustain their various projects.
Despite their health challenges due to their condition, they have strived to maintain an average repayment rate of 88% over the past four months.