The project will provide micro-loans to resource-poor women in Mandera County, Kenya. Mandera County is the second poorest county in Kenya with 89% of the inhabitants living below the poverty line. Women are affected the most by poverty due to their role in the family. They are in the frontline dealing with the impact of poverty. When there is no money to buy medicine for a sick child or buy food for the children, the mother is often the person to find ways and means to alleviate the problems.
Over the years, persistent droughts and communal violence have caused many families to lose their livestock, the primary source of their livelihood. They are forced to move into towns and survive on relief food. While some can start small businesses through the support of their extended families, many still depend on handouts from the government. Lack of confidence, business experience and lack of information on existing opportunities to access funds continue to hold many women back.
The project will support 100 women to form savings and loan group. Each group will consist of 5 members selected by the women. They will receive business training and the tools required to manage & run the groups' affairs. Although members of the savings and loan group have no asset, the project will provide them with the initial seed capital with no interest. The repayment will be over 24 months, and access to further support will depend on the repayment and accumulated savings.
The project will enable 100 women to acquire business skills, establish sustainable enterprises and gain the confidence to seek further support from existing national and county government funds. The women will use the increased disposable income to support their family, hence improve their status in the family. This will reduce cases of domestic violence & increase respectability for the women in the household. Increase household income means many children, especially girls, attend school.