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Micro-finance: Will be a top saviour for women.

I have visited many communities in Kenya and realized how much power the women have,and how much more power we could have if we were financially empowered! Many women have to stay in poverty due to lack of small start-up capital to start businesses.

How can women get financial empowerment? Most women do not have direct access to loans since the dont have "security" and are so considered a high risk to the financial institutions.Some that are kind enough to give such women loans do so to groups? Why in groups and not as individuals? So that the women are each other's guarantors and must pay should a member default.Most of these groups have inhuman laws for their members who default,even for only a month.Their household property is taken by the group,and any assets such as animals and sold off at throw away prices for default for as little as Ksh1 000.This is about 15 dollars.

Who knows which institutions have good lending terms for women.How can we start our small micr-finance institutions to empower our groups and communities?

Many Kenyan women are able to come up economically in a short span of time.All we need is support and empowerment.The advantage of this would be to have richer and more educated communities.Kenyan women are known to be be better at paying back loans than men.They have also proved to be good enterpreneurs and have diverse talent in making fantastic handicraft.

Lending institutions in Kenya have proved women at being better and more reliable in paying back loans than their male counterparts.Why then,should they be the ones to sugger most when it comes to issues of empowerment?

I would love us to use this forum to share ideas and discussions on how we can take care of this to empower all our women and communities.

Love,
Leah.

Comments

Nyarkorando's picture

Micro Finance to Women

Hello Leah,

I really support your call for a way out to women's enterprenuership. I also believe the women in Kenya are less privileged and cannot acquire finance for development as soon as convenient. The Micro Finance Organizations available have extra tight rules that most women, especially in the rural areas get discouraged and give up in the end.

I support the fact that Kenyan women are better off in paying loans than the male counterparts. We also have very talented women who can be so creative and produce wonderful handicrafts too.

I would therefore call for other ways of lending women loans to enable them develop and make a better community to live in.

Love

Nyarkorando

JaniceW's picture

Jamii Bora (Good families)

Mpendwa Leah,
Jamii Bora is a wonderful example of microfinance being successful on many levels. Not only do they assist members in moving beyond poverty by providing access to crucial services — such as affordable housing and education — but they also provide the much needed supportive network enable economic self-empowerment.

In Kenya, the poor pay more in rent per square meter than the rich. Jamii Bora realized that if the poor could construct their own houses, then they could pay the same amount of money per month in loan repayment and soon own the house they live in. This would not only lead to increased savings in their household budget, but would open the doors to investment opportunities for both their businesses and the education of their children. It is this forward thinking that has made Jamii Bora such a success in the empowerment of its members.

You asked about other ways of lending women loans but here is one example of a microfinance organization going beyond just offering loans, creating a whole program of empowerment. Check them out at:
http://www.jamiibora.org/index.htm

p.s. I would love it if you would post this in your journal so that it appears in Voices Rising. This is an important topic that I think many should think about. Salamu za upendo!

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