Microfinance for Young People
Since Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta took office in 2013 millions of Kenyans have found themselves without employment despite a supposedly ‘booming’ economy amongst the wealthier in society. This has left many less-skilled adults and young people without work or job prospects. This then only further exacerbated by a growing working population across Kenya. In this context, the Kirinyaga Community Development Trust (KCDT), offers real hope.
The KCDT currently supports around 200 teenagers to get into employment, providing them with loans that are tailored specifically to low skilled and youth, alongside business support and discipleship. Meeting in local groups the KCDT also provides mutual support, financial assistance and a sense of fellowship, coordinated and supported by different local church parishes. This means such groups often constitute a mixture of Christians and non-believers. The trust are constantly on the look out to expand this work further.
In Kiangwachi Parish a group called ‘Kinyakiiru Utugi’ exists for youth in their teens. Starting in April 2015 with just 18 members the group has grown steeply to now include 47 members. In total they now have 447,000 Kenyan Shillings (roughly £3336.86) in savings between them, and 381,000 Ksh in loans granted.
Anthony is one member of this group and a part of a local, Anglican church in the Kiangwachi parish. He joined the group in 2016 with savings of just 200 Ksh but slowly, by his hard work and determination, he slowly grew this figure by doing various handiwork jobs in people’s homes, such as plumbing. During the dry season however, Anthony diversified and turned to another source of hydration; making fresh fruit juices for local people in the heat of the Kenyan sun. To set this business up he accessed a loan from the KCDT.
In September 2017, Anthony took out another loan of 50,000 Ksh (roughly £373.25). With this he bought a sugar cane crusher before renting a building to begin milling sugarcane to make juice! Anthony’s business, selling sugarcane juice, now takes a lot of time to monitor and run. He gets to the shop for 7am and won’t be back at his home until late in the evening. This is because many customers arrive later in the day after travelling a long way distance to get their sugar cane milled. For 5 litres of the juice, customers pay 300 Ksh so it’s well worth staying open!
Anthony has since repaid all of his loans to KCDT and is now saving in order to afford a bigger piece of land with help from another loan from KCDT. This will improve the sustainability of his business and its profits.