It Can All Start by Word of Mouth
Dependent on her husband’s small earnings for all the family’s needs, Scholar’s home life was tough. So, when she learned through a friend of hers that women in a neighboring village had experienced significant transformation in a Self-Help Group (SHG), she thought, “Why not here?”
Local partner Jitokeze Wamama Wafrika promotes SHGs as a proven way for women to overcome the difficult circumstances that often result from poverty, such as marginalization, illiteracy, limited access to nutritious foods and clean water, hunger, violence, and vulnerability to natural disasters.
Scholar mobilized women in her own village to form a SHG, and they invited Jitokeze to train them on the SHG concept. SHG members save small amounts of money together, loan each other modest sums to start small businesses, and use their profits as a jumping-off place to realize bigger dreams.
With her first loan Scholar bought 10 pounds of sugar to repackage and sell from her home. Her earnings allowed her to invest in other basic household items to stock, like soap, salt and cooking oil. She reinvested continuously in her little grocery, learned to raise chickens and sheep, and is at the point now where she makes enough to pay her children’s school expenses.
Jitokeze’s support of SHGs is just one aspect of the organization’s work to heal the lives of the women it serves. Participants may choose from a variety of training topics like dressmaking and fashion design, organic farming, agroforestry, animal husbandry, and basic literacy and numeracy. Strengthening skills and receiving psychosocial support improves lives on the individual and community levels.
As an example of the success of the approach, Scholar says her contribution to the family’s financial responsibilities has helped to reduce conflicts in her marriage and household.
Kenya West Pokot Program
Led by Covenant World Relief & Development and Local Partner Jitokeze Wamama Wafrika