AID is beginning to support a microfinance project in Kenya set up by the Kirinyaga Diocese of the Anglican Church in Kenya. The project supports 600 men and women in 32 groups and works in a similar way to AID’s Manna Microfinance programme in South Sudan. After meeting certain stipulations clients who join the programme are given a loan, they use this to develop a business and repay the loan from their profits, they are then eligible to apply for another loan. The programme is managed by an organisation called the Kirinyaga Community Development Trust (KCDT) but because they are supporting so many people there is a limit to how many clients can have a loan at any one time. AID is hoping to work with the KCDT to increase the amount of loans it can give out but also to provide someone who can coordinate the groups and improve training and processes so the project is more efficient and effective. Currently the KCDT project works in 19 of 114 parishes in Kirinyaga, AID would also look to roll this project out across the other parishes and indeed dioceses in Kenya.
Below are a few of the clients already in KCDT microfinance groups. AID consultant, Raj, has been meeting them over the last few weeks:
Not making enough money on the family farm, Phyllis (right) took the initiative to join a microfinance group and set up a hardware shop. She deals with many challenging customers, most of whom are small time labourers or contractors and some even come to the shop drunk. But she says: “I can handle them without fear.” Phyllis is now on her second loan and her profit has more than doubled since becoming involved with the KCDT microfinance programme. This money enables her to pay for her children’s education and also goes into the family farm.
Left is Lillian who used her loan to buy cows. Before joining she had been growing coffee and arrowroots but did not find she was making enough profit. Now on her fourth loan, she has 6 cows and 3 calves whose milk she can sell for a good profit.
Right is a new microfinance group of single mothers who heard about the KDCT through their church and joined together to support each other financially and spiritually. They also look out for other single mothers in their community.