Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sponsorship Program Business Start-Ups

Our new Sponsorship Program Coordinator, William Moi Otieno or "Moi" has been managing the Sponsorship Program since March of this year. He has really helped improve the program and is constantly making suggestions for improving its productivity and sustainability. Being a father of six children and long-time resident of Kibera himself, Moi is able to relate to the parents in our program and figure out solutions that will best suit their needs.

He also is the Program Director of a savings and loans group in Kibera. The group meets every week and each member is responsible for contributing to the savings of the group. After saving for five weeks, members are eligible for a small loan, that they pay back interest free. Repayment of the first loan makes a member eligible for a second and then third loan. Emergency loans are available for group members that find themselves in particularly rough spots in their life.

In May, after interacting with the parents in the program, he suggested to us that four of the mothers of our students join the savings and loan group so that they could start sustainable businesses and be able to better support themselves and their families. We provided half of the funds for the initial five weeks of savings (the mothers were responsible for matching the amounts) as well as the initial loan, which will be paid back to the group. Three of the mothers have started new businesses - selling household goods, selling shoes, and selling doughnuts. The fourth has added the loan funding to an already existing small restaurant that she runs in a market.

Getrude has started a business selling Mandazi (or doughnuts)

Theresa has started a business selling Mali Mali (assorted household items)

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