Monday, July 9, 2012

“This is how we do it” says Kibera Agenda Chairperson

by Thomas Bwire

During her visit to Kenya recently, Amy Auguston, Uweza Foundation's Board Vice President, had a rare opportunity of attending one of the weekly meetings of Kibera Agenda 4 Business Savings. Sitting with the members was very thrilling as they all looked calm.

The attendance was full house and group members, the majority of which were women, sat patiently as the chair of the meeting Mr.  Tom Odumo briefed them on the day’s agenda. “First we have an important visitor with us called Amy from the US who is also the Vice president of Uweza Foundation. She is here to learn more about us, so don’t feel intimidated by her presence," says Mr. Odumo.

From left: Kibera Agenda Program Manager William Moi, Chairman Tom Odumo and Project Coordinator William Ochieng
A sneak preview was given by Mr. Tom Odumo regarding the aim of the group which targets people of integrity and self commitment to enable their small scale businesses to grow gradually. “Our objective is to uplift our own people so as they can be self sustainable in what they do."

Kibera Agenda Program Manager William Moi addresses the group
Members can also apply for a loan, and for one to get a loan, many factors are looked upon like how they have been active and also shown some commitment in repaying earlier loans given to them. This is done through assessment of their progress records on how they have been paying previous loans.
The interesting bit about the loans is that if one fails to repay given loan on time, then a small fee of ksh.4 shillings is collected as a penalty for defaulters. The group also focuses on giving support to struggling members whose businesses are not flourishing as they receive a top up amount to continue with their businesses.

Agenda member receiving a loan for her business
However, the group also has a major challenge when some members request huge some of funds, that cannot be given out and this takes a while before they can be given amount requested.  In such forums, members are also reminded to keep track of their daily earnings, so as to facilitate proper remittance of records. In her remarks, Amy appreciated the group’s hard work in each one of them and that she was happy to see them all and participate in one of their meetings just to get a better understanding of their operations.

Kibera Agenda members with Uweza Vice President Amy Auguston
And just before the meetings adjourns, the secretary takes note of all transactions carried on the meeting day to help keep track and also for safe record keeping.

Related stories about Kibera Agenda:

Hard Work Pays:
Interview with Chairman of Kibera Agenda
Empowering the Community:

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