Sylvia Kainyu Mutwiri is a member of the Balm Banners Self-Help Group, which just completed repayment of its loans. $6,000 donations from both the Rotary Clubs of Sebastopol and Healdsburg, matched by Rotary District 5130 and The Rotary Foundation, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Meru, Kenya, provided a total of $42,000 to VHI for training and $400 loans for 84 individuals organized into seven Self-Help Groups in January 2008. This is the story of one of those 84 people.
Sylvia achieved an incredible 1,650% increase in her monthly income over a two year loan cycle.
Sylvia, 29, and her husband John Mutwiri, who is 36, have two children. Prior to receiving a loan from Village Hopecore International, she was earning a monthly income of only US$26.32. Two years later her average monthly income has risen to $460—larger than the amount of the loan she received.
In 2005, while in VHI’s Merry-Go-Round phase, she invested personal funds and one month’s contributions from all members of her self-help group, Balm Banners, to start a business selling clothes, while making changes in her farming activities. With the loan she received two years ago, Sylvia spent two-thirds of her loan on ready-made clothes to sell at her shop, and used the remaining one-third to purchase a dairy cow.
The increased profits from her businesses enabled her to improve her family’s nutrition, raise her general living standards, and change her attitude towards the future. She says she would enthusiastically recommend Village Hopecore’s microloan and health education program to others without hesitation. Her loan payment record is perfect, and it is now fully repaid so the funds can be lent to someone else. She hopes VHI’s loan program will continue to benefit others as it has benefited her and her family.