After only one year of participating in her savings group she held 9,000 shillings in her hand–a return of 346%. “I was ecstatic,” Jeniffer said. “I just didn’t believe it was possible.”
A few years ago, Jeniffer retired from her job in the city and moved to the village; and quickly ran into financial challenges. As a elderly woman, she didn’t have enough money to live on let alone take care of unexpected expenses as they arose. “I tried to plant and grow crops, but nothing would grow because there was no rain. It would sprout but then it withered and died. No one would help me,” she says.
Today, those are distant memories. With her savings and a loan from the group, Jeniffer was able to buy her first chicken. She was able to sell the eggs and bought vegetables for the entire week. Continuing with her savings group she learned how to make baskets for sale and bought her first cow. The cow gave birth and she was able to sell the calf! “Since gaining the cow, I have never bought milk.”
Although drought still ravages the area, the group has given Jeniffer alternative methods of income. “My biggest hope is that my grandchildren complete their education and get employed,” she says. “I don’t want them to live in hunger or go through what I’ve gone through.”