Microfinance Kenya: Meet Cyrus Murimi

Utugi group meeting

The Kirinyaga Community Development Trust (KCDT) is a microfinance programme based in the central Kenya diocese of Kirinyaga.

It currently supports approximately 1,200 members in financial management and setting up and maintaining businesses. AID is responsible for paying the salary of Denis Maina, the KCDT coordinator.

Cyrus Murimi is chairman of one of the microfinance groups, Utugi.  His role includes the general administration of membership, savings and loan records.  He grew up in Kirinyaga and joined the Anglican Church of Kenya as a young Christian – he now attends Kithunguthia Church in Ngiriama Parish with his wife and two children.

Cyrus administrating group
Cyrus keeping track of Utugi group’s savings

Cyrus joined Utugi Group in 2014 when it was formed:

‘We started savings collections and depositing the collection in Kirinyaga Community Development bank account. Every member pays 250 Kenya shillings to join the group and continues to save at least 250ksh every week. This enables members to be active in savings before loan application’.

Since it was formed, the group cumulatively has saved 876,480ksh savings:

‘In 2015 I had saved 142,000ksh. I received a loan worth 230,000ksh after application and [business] training. The terms and conditions were to repay within three years. With the loan money, I bought a quarter piece of a land where I started growing tea. In a good year harvest, I receive 100,000 ksh profit from my tea farm’.

Thanks to these consistent profits, Cyrus was able to repay his loan in its entirety within 18 months.

Cyrus tea farm

Today, Cyrus is a leading example to the other Utugi group members. He can provide for his family in a sustainable way, is financially stable and has created employment not just for himself but also for two local young people who help him in tea picking and farm management. Being the chairman of Kithunguthia Utugi group, Cyrus has been able to mobilize more people to join the microfinance where they save, borrow and above all share the Gospel of Christ.

Cyrus in tea field