We are delighted to hear that the Rotary Club of Lincoln Lindum have raised funding to support table banking groups. Details of the project are set out below
Support to Empower rural Kenyan Women through Table Banking
This district grant is working within the community of Tigania West, the same area of rural Kenya where Grantham Kesteven are currently implementing a Global Grant to build 17 irrigated schools farms at Special Units . Our project focuses on increasing the resilience and livelihoods of the peasant farming families of the special needs children in these communities through establishing a table banking (micro finance) group attached to each school farm.
Our project focuses on the parents and carers of special needs children, as these are typically the most vulnerable, least educated and poorest in the community. The majority of these families live in extreme challenge. The families we are targeting are also in hard to reach rural areas where other lines of support fail to reach.
Our aim is to improve lives and bring lasting change to the families of special needs children. Our strategy to achieve this is to establish table banking self help groups. This would be achieved in partnership with Solidarity Bank, a not for profit community bank for the rural poor based near Tigania West.
Long term group training /capacity building is the secret behind the success of this micro finance approach. Unlike conventional banks, Solidarity will begin with basic training such as elements of a stable group–leadership, participation, education, and socialization–before talking about money. These groups of mothers/carers will require ongoing support for many months. Through the Grantham Kesteven project we have identified a member of the community known to these families who has built up a high degree of trust within the special needs community. The district grant would enable her to work with these groups for a year. At the end of the grant period it is planned that each group would have reached a stage where can contribute a small service fee (3000 ksh/£24 max per month) which can support the trainers fee and make this intervention sustainable.
The impact of micro finance
Micro finance has the power to improve lives and bring lasting change. Small loans are given for a variety of reasons, to buy seeds, buy items for resale, set up a small shop, sew school uniforms. These small loans help hard working people make a living on a daily basis. The opportunity for women with no material collateral to access funds usually denied to them by the normal banking system, is often the difference between subsistence living and making a small profit. This small profit can improve food quality, health or to send children to school. Research shows that through financially empowering parents and carers children have brighter futures, and there is a reduction in the numbers living in extreme poverty.
Through supporting livelihoods and developing resilience within the community, the micro finance groups become a central holistic plank in building up the wealth, health and ongoing well being of these special needs communities.