Written by the Micro Enterprise Team, November 2017
As the year ends, we have one more success highlight. Her story shows how she started with nothing but a midst of numerous challenges. Due her determination, she has managed to come very far. She continues to be an inspiration to everyone who hears her story.
Consolata Karegi Geoffrey is a vibrant, fifty-one year old woman whose smile never fades. She is married and has three grown children. At a young age she was determined to get a good education, but due to financial constraints she had to drop out of school before she could complete Primary School.
She soon married and moved to her new home where conditions were no different from her childhood struggles living in poverty. Her husband was a carpenter who made very little money. He was her only source for income. Her income stood at KES 5000 (USD 50). They had land where they planted coffee, tea, and Napier grass. Their family gave them a calf that they diligently cared for as they watched it grow.
Just when they felt they were on their feet, their eldest son fell ill with a mental related illness. He was constantly being admitted to the hospital which led to very expensive medical bills. The struggle was very real as the other children were still in school. At this point, the land they inherited from their father had many lawsuits leading to further expenses. They had to sell everything they owned in an effort to clear the bills. This took them right back to where they started. Fortunately, her son soon recovered and got a job selling fruit in a nearby town.
During the tough time, Consolata joined Karia 2 Self-Help Group where found solace and company. Most importantly she found people who were struggling just like her, but she was not going to give up. On October 10, 2013, the group received their first loan and she received KES 30,000 (USD 300). She was able to use that money to buy a dairy cow. The cow soon had a calf that they also raised up.
On November 18th, 2015 Consolata received a second round of funding of KES 30,000 (USD 300). She used that loan to buy another dairy cow. That dairy cow later had a calf leaving her with a total of four high breed dairy cows with good milk production. She gets a monthly income of KES 57,000 (USD 570) by the milk her dairy cows produce.
She was then able to construct a house where she started a resale business. From her resale business, she gets a monthly income of KES 8,000 (USD 80). Her expenses for the shop are approximately KES 4,000 (USD 40) which is an additional profit added on to her monthly income. She also started an MPESA business which is a mobile phone-based money transfer, financing and microfinancing service where she gets a monthly income of KES 10,000 (USD 100).
Her total monthly income currently stands at KES 75,000 (USD 750) which grew from KES 5000 (USD 50), a 1400% increase. She was able to install electricity and do a few renovations on her house in an effort to make it a home.
We are so proud of her, her accomplishments and are so happy to be part of her amazing journey.