Blog post was written by the Micro Enterprise Team
Diane Marie Child says that a woman is a full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform. At Village Hope Core, we are firm believers in this assertion because we have seen it unfold before our very eyes. Our women not only stand out as powerful but also as role models and inspiration to all those who hear their story. Our March highlight is such a lady.
Kellis Kageni Mwirichia is a jovial lady aged 47 years old. Her warm smile is always welcoming and we have grown very fond of her over the period we have worked with her. She is a member of Neema Self Help Group. Kellis hails from Gataranki village in Maara Sub-county. She married to Gilbert Mutembei and blessed with two children. As she can explain, her blessings and her accomplishments weren’t always there.
She grew up in a not very well up family among many children. Kellis was zealous about getting an education after completing her secondary school but unfortunately, her parents could not afford to send her to school due to financial constraints. She stuck around her home helping out in the tea and coffee farms. She had no source of income at this time. Additionally, traditions did not see the importance of educating a girl who would eventually get married and soon the idea of getting married seemed to be only viable one for her. Soon after, she got married. She, however, vowed to work hard and ensure her daughter pursues education as far as she possibly can.
In 2015 she took a step of joining Neema Self-help group where she practiced various activities such as merry-go-rounds and table banking with other group members. Her efforts soon paid off because later that year, the group received a soft loan of KSH 30,000(USD 300) courtesy of Village Hope Core International, which they used to expand their various projects. During this time, the group received rigorous training and advice on table banking and received advice on how to invest and sustain small projects. Kellis borrowed money from the group’s table banking and purchased two pigs. This was the beginning her pig rearing business which she runs to this day. At this time, she had one dairy cow, which was quite sickly and her business was not doing very well.
In October 2015 the group received the normal loan courtesy of Village Hope Core where Kellis received KSH 60,000(USD 600). Prior to this, the group attended a five-day training courtesy of Village Hope Core International. This is meant to impact them with knowledge on how to invest, run the businesses, maintain strong groups and also formally introduce the Village Hope Core dream and vision to these new clients. During this training, the group was trained on Farming as a business, gross Margin Analysis, Conservation Agriculture, Livestock Production, Marketing and Networking, business planning, group dynamics and health-related topics.
Kellis used her loan to expand her dairy farming business by purchasing a dairy cow. She sold a sickly cow to add to her loan and bought a high-quality dairy cow with a milk production of up to nineteen liters per day. She was now able to get an income of KES 20,520 (USD 205). Over the years with her increased income, she was able to buy two additional dairy cows, which at their peak produce ten (14) and twelve (12) liters of milk daily. They are both currently inseminated hence not producing any milk for now. One of her cows was inseminated and got a calf, which is growing well. She currently has three dairy cows and one calf. She is currently getting milk from one dairy cow where she gets an income of KES 15,120 (USD 151). Her expenses stand a total of KES 6500. (USD 65) leaving her with a profit of KES 8620 (USD 86). Her two cows are in their last trimester and once they get the calves, the milk production will go up once again and she will have two calves.
With her increased income and profits, she was able to start a chicken-rearing business from which she gets a monthly income of KES 14,000 (USD 140). Her expenses are approximately KES 7800 (USD 78) leaving her with a profit of KES 6200 (USD 62).
She also started a goat and sheep rearing business and continues to expand her pig rearing business. She currently has eight goats, three sheep, and four pigs. She buys two, two-month-old pigs, at KES 3000 (USD 30) each, which she feeds and sells when they are six months old for KES 20,000(USD 200) each. Her expenses total to around KES 10,000(USD 100) hence a profit of KES 24,000 (USD 240) over a period of four months.
Her increased income has really helped her in paying school fees for her two children without any financial struggles and she hopes to educate them up to the tertiary level. She has been able to install electricity and piped water in her home. She is also In the process of completing her stone house with the profits she gets from her various businesses.
Kellis aspires to be a successful and a well-known dairy and chicken rearing farmer. Now that the group is about to receive a second round of funding, she plans to construct a zero grazing shed, which will ultimately increase milk production. She also has plans for completing building her house.
She really appreciates hope core for the loan she received as her living standards have improved immensely. She says that Hope Core’s approach to education and economic empowerment is unique and is the reason that she is where she is today. We are very humbled to be part of this amazing story of this woman hero and wish her the best in all her endeavors.