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Kenya: Livelihoods Project update

November 2017

ABM is proud to work with the Anglican Development Services Eastern (ADSE), our partner in Kenya, to provide livelihood support to many communities struggling with poverty.

Kalawani countryside
Kalawani countryside, where members of the local Community-based organisation view established projects.
© Julianne Stewart/ABM, 2017.

The Livelihoods project is targeted at Community-based Organisations, which are essentially trained and registered community organisations with nominated representatives from various existing groups in Kenyan villages (such as the ‘Women’s Chicken-raising Group’, the ‘Youth Group’, and the ‘Widow’s Farming Group’). Anglican Development Services Eastern works with each Community-based organisation (CBO) for a defined period of time, helping build their capacity to become self-sufficient.

Chair of Kalawani CBO with ADSE Project Officer
 Jennifer Mutua, ADSE Project Officer, with the Chair of Kalawani CBO
© Julianne Stewart/ABM, 2017

CBOs generally meet monthly, and whilst in the program are trained in;

  • Proposal writing
  • Drought-resistant crops
  • Tree planting
  • Drip irrigation
  • Sand Dam construction
  • Water management
  • Farm ponds
  • Marketing
  • Budgeting
  • Disability inclusion
  • Child protection

This training continues for several years, after which a Savings and Loan group is established.

As a result of being in the program for some years, the Kalawani CBO has now graduated, and since doing so has completed and submitted several proposals to local government and other NGOs. The local government have now agreed to build a bore-hole in their community. They have also organised a common market to sell their produce, to generate opportunities for their members to sell goods.

Perhaps most significantly, the Kalawani CBO has recently established a SACCO – a registered credit union. This larger-scale credit facility has grown out of their Village Savings and Loans program, which was incredibly successful in raising capital for new business ventures within the CBO community. The SACCO will enable people to save and borrow from a much larger entity, increasing the loan amounts available for business activity.

Let’s hear from several of the Kalawani CBO members, to learn of their experiences;

Rebecca, Janet and Pius from Kalawani CBO
Rebecca, Janet and Pius from Kalawani CBO.
© Julianne Stewart/ABM, 2017

“I am so happy because I have been taught new things by ADSE and it has transformed our life. Horticulture, sawuma wiki [a kind of spinach], poultry rearing for eggs and meat. The Village Savings and Loans Scheme (VSL) has brought a lot of impact in my life. The majority who have joined the VSL are women. They have opened businesses. I am happy about the SACCO with its low interest rates. Also the trainings have transformed our lives.  We have also been taught about bringing up our children, and staying with them. This has made us happy.”  
– Rebecca

 “The time we started constructing the sand dam, the water is near our homes. We were so tired of fetching water from far away.  Now we are more relaxed. We can bathe, and the cattle can access water.  When we began our VSL, we learned new ideas. Now we do not wait for our husbands to give us money and to give us food. I know how to save a little money and take care of it. This money has helped us to buy many things – the VSL has helped women a lot.” – Janet 

“I can now borrow money to send my kids to school, buy fertilisers, and also maintenance items for the home. Now that there is a SACCO, more men will join the VSLs (this is a prerequisite to joining the SACCO). They are interested in the bigger loans that a SACCO will bring. For example, some men want to buy a boda boda (motor cycle that takes passengers).”
– Pius 


ABM would like to thank our generous supporters who have donated towards this project, helping to empower many people struggling with poverty, and creating the self-sufficiency that brings dignity as well as economic benefit.


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