A GROUP IN REVIEW; MT KENYA MAJIRA SELF-HELP GROUP
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”~ African Proverb. The group in review this month is the very definition of the power of togetherness in achieving success in life.
Individuals’ participation in Self-Help Groups can stimulate empowerment through group support, training, and increased financial stability, which might in turn result in improvements in their bargaining power, autonomy, and self-confidence.
Mt. Kenya Majira Self Help Group was formed in the year 2016. The group consists of 8 women and 4 men aged between 30 to 65 years, all of whom live around Majira village, Maara Sub-County, Tharaka Nithi County. The family size of the group members ranges from 4 to 7 members, with a few of the families caring for their aged relatives.
The group became formally registered with HopeCore in 12th October 2016. The group participated in a merry-go-round savings scheme which involved the members supporting each other using a strategy of economic empowerment that is anchored in teamwork for building self-reliance and self- sufficiency. This savings scheme worked to demonstrate the group’s cohesiveness and contributed to their individual livelihoods by giving them access to a pool of funds from which to draw upon.
In November 2016, the group was funded with their first soft loan of 30,000 KSH(300USD) to boost their table banking and help them improve their businesses. During this period, the group members demonstrated a very high level of group cohesion, active participation in activities and strong desire to progress in their businesses and they soon qualified for the normal loan. Before receiving any funding, the group participated in the Micro Enterprise led five-day long Business Training which was held at Katharaka PCEA Church. During the training, the members gained knowledge and skills on business planning, financial reporting, enterprise management, animal husbandry, agribusiness and family planning etc. The group invested well and have worked very hard to build their businesses resulting in them becoming one of the best groups in terms of repayment. The Micro Enterprise team continues to offer support and guidance to the group with their table banking activities and as such they have accrued a large sum of money in their account.
Six of the clients invested in dairy farming by purchasing dairy cows, three expanded their resale business, one expanded their pig rearing business, one bought a motorbike and one a chauffeur.
The Micro Enterprise team has been meeting the group on a monthly basis to monitor their business and provide the necessary business advice and mentorship. Amidst many challenges, the group is now in its 20th Month of payment out of the 22 months’ repayment cycle. Their repayment has remained consistently above 100% The group will complete their 1st cycle loan cycle in April 2019 and we are hoping to take them through the second round of funding to enable them to expand their businesses even more.
We are so proud of their achievements and are honored to be part of their amazing journey.