Approximately 72% of Kenyans live in rural areas where farming is the primary livelihood. These isolated communities do not have easy access to financial services such as savings and loans. The lack of such financial services makes it nearly impossible for families to escape the cycle of poverty.
Your donations will help provide rural farming families in Kenya with saving groups where they can start to save and grow their money.
As money is deposited into a collective fund, families will begin to take loans to start new businesses, buy farm inputs, or help in times of crisis.
With our local church partner, group members are trained together and support one another. Villages with effective Savings Groups thrive.
Beginning in January 2020, Tearfund started a 3-year project to help rural farmers in 10 Wards of Kibwezi East and West Sub counties of Makueni County. Our goal is to create 240 new village savings and loans groups, which will provide 6,000 members a safe, sustainable way to save and grow their capital. Families will also be trained in conservation agriculture to help them grow their crop output, resulting in higher income.
Makueni Savings Groups and Agriculture
Without access to proper financial services, families cannot start new businesses, expand their farms, or survive emergencies without selling valuable assets. This leads them to resort to loan sharks which keep them in a perpetual cycle of poverty with predatory interest rates.
Food insecurity in the region is due to a high population, environmental degradation, deforestation, recurring drought, and soil erosion. In addition, lack of access to good seeds and other farming inputs have significantly reduced crop output. Farmers also struggle with post-harvest losses from pests and mold.
Through local church partners, 240 new savings groups will be established, providing 6,000 individuals a place to save and take out loans. Members will also be trained in business skills, women’s empowerment, basic health and nutrition, and gardening. Additionally, 800 farmers will be trained in conservation agriculture to help increase their crop output in the dry region.
- Location: Makueni County
- Timeframe: January 2020 – March 2023
- Total Budget: $634,736
6,800 families will have the tools and training they require to grow their income, save their wealth, and climb out of extreme poverty in a sustainable manner.
Stories of Transformation
A New Family
As a young girl, Pendo’s step-mother never allowed her to go to school past grade 5. Instead she was married off young to an older man. Abused, she fled, only to end up alone and in poverty. After hearing about a Village Savings Group run by the local church, she joined. Today she makes 20X she did before and found the family she never had.
She can barely hold back her excitement. For years, Jackline struggled to feed her growing children – often skipping meals to give them more. But this season turned out different, and she can’t wait to show us the results.