Financial Fitness; Pursuing it, Embracing it

Blog written by the Micro Enterprise Department

“Financial fitness is not a pipe dream or a state of mind. It’s a reality if you are willing to pursue it and embrace it.” – Will Robinson

A general definition of financial fitness is having the money at your disposal for when you need it: to many of our clients, this is totally strange. Before joining HopeCore, many of them lived from hand to mouth barely making ends meet. Living a life of lack is not something pleasant but sadly some of us have either experienced it or watched from a distance as it has adversely affected the lives of others. Poverty is a degrading situation where one is unable to access basic needs and could be caused when one is in a situation of financial vulnerability.  The financial vulnerability occurs when individuals or households have low, no, or negative net worth and, consequently, are at high risk of going under financially in the event of an interruption in their income, unforeseen increases in their expenses, or curtailment of their credit.

“You can’t always visualize the reward, but you can believe in the sacrifice if the vision is strong enough.” – Don Connelly.  At Village HopeCore, we envision a transformed, enabled and empowered people of Kenya and the rest of Africa who can respond to their personal, social and economic challenges effectively. One of the efforts in place to make this vision a reality is financial empowerment.

By lending as little as $300 at HopeCore, we help a borrower start or grow a business. The small loans that we give to our clients have been used to set up income generating projects which have the potential to reduce poverty directly hence made it easier for them to even gain access to medical services, food, shelter, access clean water or realize their potential dream. For some, it’s a matter of survival, for others it’s the fuel for a life-long ambition. We believe lending alongside thousands of others is one of the most powerful and sustainable ways to create economic and social good. Lending at HopeCore creates a partnership of mutual dignity and makes it easy to touch more lives with the same revolving fund. Fund a group, get repaid, fund another. HopeCore creates the opportunity to play a special part in someone else’s story through funding them. At HopeCore, loans aren’t just about the money they’re a way to create connection and relationships. When a HopeCore loan enables someone to grow a viable business and create an opportunity for themselves, it creates opportunities for others as well. That ripple effect can shape the future for a family or an entire community.

Through their funding, HopeCore Micro Enterprise program has boosted borrowers wellbeing and increased the ability of our clients to cope with risk, strengthened community ties through group formation and increased access to informal credit throughout its loaning period. Our microlending program has provided poor households with access to financial services allowing them to borrow and save in reliable and convenient forms. The success of our program has been impressive over the years.

We strive to help our clients in their endeavors to achieve financial fitness through continuous training especially on the importance of saving, making wise investments and continuous business advice all through their loan cycle. In the month of March, HopeCore’s Micro Lending Program funded four (4) self-help groups with their very first normal loan. In total, 43 clients were awarded loans of various amounts depending on their business plans.

Since the program’s inception, the department has experienced spectacular success with its approach that marries lending, training and mentoring in order to economically empower communities across the Maara Sub County. The poverty eradication program has witnessed encouraging growth even with the very limited resources available; a total of 99 Self Help Groups have been funded in the history of HopeCore, which at an average of 6 dependents per family means approximately 7,128 individuals in the community have been empowered through the Micro Enterprise program. Our financial empowerment approach has continued to work well for us amidst of many challenges

Steven Covey says” I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions”. We are very proud of our clients for the decision they have made to make an effort to improve their lives instead of sitting back and playing the victim. We are definitely going to support them in every way we can to see them become a product of their hard work and determination as they strive to achieve financial fitness.

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