Florence Nkinga is a warm and likable 35-year-old lady. She resides in a small village called Nguruka in Maara Sub-County, Tharaka Nithi County. She is a proud mother of two children; a boy and a girl. When you first meet her, you would think she has it all together but in reality, she is a woman who has been through so much in her life but has managed to keep her smile.
The reality is that life has a way of kicking us when we’re down. And just when we think we can’t fall any lower, we get kicked again. But it’s important to remember that setbacks, failures, and tragedy are a part of life. Whether we manage to find joy and success in the daily struggle of life is largely dependent on our ability to persevere through even the toughest adversity without ever giving up.
Florence has gone through the harshest of situations but she did not relent. Her determination, courage, and resilience is something that we are all amazed at and we can all learn something from her.
Florence is a fifth child in a family of nine. Being part of such a large household, she had a difficult childhood. Florence was passionate about getting an education but due to financial constraints, she dropped out after completing her primary school education. Her father could not educate her beyond that because she had younger siblings who needed to be educated as well.
In an effort to meet her basic needs, she sought for a casual laborer job at a Coffee Factory near her home. With this job, she received a monthly income of KSH 1700 which was hardly enough to meet her basic needs.
In 2002 she got married to the love of her life Nicholas Kinyua and they were blessed with two children. Her husband was always supportive of their family. Unfortunately, he fell ill and passed away in 2007 leaving her with two young children and at the mercy of harsh in-laws. She was thrown out of her home a few months later with no source of income and young children to fend for. She turned to casual laboring specifically tea picking to try and make ends meet. Having to work so hard and take care of small children was very challenging for her.
In 2010, she joined Jolly Self-help group. The group registered with Village HopeCore in 2012. The Micro Enterprise team began training them on table banking and how to make wise investments. The group received their first soft loan of KSH 30,000 (USD 300) in March 2015. With the money she borrowed from their table banking scheme, she was able to start farming as a business in the small farm her father gave her. She planted bananas, maize, and beans. With her harvests, she was able to feed her family and get a little income to get by but this was not yet enough. She was getting a monthly income of KSH 15,000 (USD 150). She also bought a small calf.
The group’s hard work, determination, and consistency paid off as the group was awarded a normal loan of KSH 645,000 (USD 6450). Florence received KSH 45,000 (USD 450) with which she bought a dairy cow. She confesses that this was a turning point for her. She used the knowledge she had received during the one-week business training to start her business and sustain it to the best of her ability. From this, she received a monthly income of KSH 12,900 (USD 129). Additionally, she still picks tea where she gets a monthly income of KSH 12,000 (USD 120). Her total monthly income currently stands at KSH 24,900 (USD 249), This registered a 93% income increase.
She is now able to take care of her two children one who is completing his primary education this year. She is confident that she will provide him with quality education which she was not lucky to acquire herself. She is now able to meet her basic needs, renovate her house and live a fairly comfortable life.
Florence considers herself blessed to have been in a HopeCore Self-help Group. She is very thankful to HopeCore for its efforts to improve her life and that of others.
Her average repayment rate is at 100%.