Compiled by Murage K. Diana
Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Do not think about your frustrations, instead, think about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you have tried and failed in, but with what is possible for you to do. Every great dream begins with a dreamer.
Florence Igoki is a forty-six-year-old woman, whose story is worth telling. Florence was born third, in a family of six children. Unable to pay the school fees, she dropped out of high school. .. To survive, she took a job as a house cleaner, earning KES 2,000 (USD 20) monthly. The income, however, was hardly enough and for three years she struggled to get by. At 16, she got married and began a small farm where she grew maize and beans to sell for additional income.To further increase her income, Florence attempted to start a pub, and then opened a hotel, both of which failed because she lacked the necessary experience.In 2012, she started a cereals resale business. This business went well since she was meeting a dire need in the community and her prices were friendly. The business grew and, in a few months, she started selling animal feeds as well. Unfortunately, she fell ill after developing complications of childbirth and was hospitalized for months. She recovered, but the illness had taken a negative toll on her business and she had to close up shop..
Next, she started a second-hand clothes business. However, without the capital to afford rent for a storefront, she sold clothes by the roadside. During this time, she became separated from her husband and was the sole breadwinner for her three children. At a self help group called Mitheru Sculptures, she found enthusiastic and like-minded individuals who were also struggling but determined to make it in life. She saved the little she earned and eventually rented a shop at the Mitheru market; a small Village in Maara Sub-County, Tharaka Nithi County. Shortly after joining Mitheru Sculptures Self Help, she received a loan of KES 60,000(600 USD) from Village Hope Core International. This funding, coupled with the rigorous business mentorship and training provided Village HopeCore, finally allowed her business to expand.At first, she started selling new clothes and general shop items. One year later, she added cereals, fruits, shoes, charcoal, and gas cylinders to her business. Currently, she gets a profit of KES 2000 (USD 20) daily which makes a monthly profit of KES 48,000 (USD 480).
Florence can now comfortably provide quality education for her children, something she never got to have herself. Her determination is an inspiration to the members of Mitheru Sculptures. She has also been able to purchase one Acre piece of land which she plans on establishing a dairy farm.
Florence attributes her success to the loan she got from Village HopeCore International’s Microenterprise Program Which boosted her business and her living conditions have improved greatly.
We are so proud of her accomplishments and will continue to support her through her journey.