ECONOMIC UPLIFTMENT PROJECT NEWSLETTER
September - October 2018

The Economic Upliftment Project was initiated in the year 2006.This project is about empowering individuals in the rural centres with primary focus being Women.

This department mainly focuses with the following projects and activities: 

  • EUP group members (women) undergo module trainings and monthly follow ups are conducted by field trainers to check on the progress and development.
  • Microfinance- Group Members (Women) are provided with interest free loans to enhance their sole business.
  • Annual seminars (These consist of various relevant practical and theoretical sessions)
  • Exhibitions and trade fairs held to create exposure of the group’s commodities.
  • Livegoat project – every member receives one goat each to rear.
  • Tailoring project - Initiated for those who want to acquire further National examinable skills in this sector.
  • Computer Classes - provide computer knowledge to the youth, staff members and community and support literacy levels within the area.

 



MICROFINANCE PROJECT:

Microfinance loaning scheme was introduced under the Economic Upliftment project after the completion of Module trainings in all 15 centres. The main aim of this project is to eradicate poverty and create a sustainable development.

Through the support provided by our generous donors, the Mission was able to provide interest free loans to 29 members in the month of September and October 2018 making it a total of 133 loans approved in the year 2018.

BENEFICIARIES:

KASICHANA NIOTA             
Business: Selling Baobab seeds (Mabuyu) and Posho Mill
Group Member             Age: 50          Status: Single Mother                   
Dependents: 3 children                      Loan Beneficiary
 
Kasichana is a single mother of 3 children. She resides in Mackinnon centre and joined the Lamkani Women Group in 2008.  She has been an active member since the time she joined the group who attends weekly meetings and also regularly deposits in the savings.
 
She has so far borrowed a loan of Kshs. 30,000/- in 2013 and Kshs. 50,000/- in 2016 from the Mission to start up a Posho Mill. She earns a monthly income of Kshs3500/- to 5,000/-. She wants to set up the Mill with a higher producing milling machine which will assist her to generate a higher income.
 
In the year 2013 the Mission conducted EUP Annual seminar where 2 members from each centre got a chance to take part.  These 2 members who took part in this seminar passed on the knowledge to other members by conducting practical sessions to enable members comprehend the lessons taught during the seminar. It was through these sessions that Kasichana thought of diversifying her business by supplying baobab seeds in all neighboring kiosks.
 
Kasichana started by making 6kg of baobab seeds earning monthly profit of Kshs.680/-. As demand for it increased, she now cooks 48kgs per month earning Kshs. 12,000/- which is Kshs. 5,440/ of profit earned.
 
The income she earns from her business has helped her to support her children’s education. Her second born is in fourth year of university in Kakamega County whereas the last born is in Std 3 of Lower primary level in Mackinnon Centre.
 
Comment:
“Being a member of the Women’s Group has really helped me in broadening my confidence towards operating a business. You always get encouraged to do more every time which leads to growth. The Mission has not only supported me through loans which helped me earn an income, but also through expertise and competence taught during this Annual Seminars”.
 
Future Plans:
“Starting up baobab seeds business has been a success, Alhamdullilah. I therefore want to start making more snacks most of which have been taught in the seminar and supply them in nearby shops. This will increase my income which I can invest in my Posho Mill by purchasing a milling machine with higher capacity”.
 
AZIZA ABDALLA
Business:        Selling Water, Food Stall, Grocery shop
Group Member          Age: 46 years          Status: Widow                                 
Dependents: 3 children                             Loan Beneficiary
 
Aziza resides in Masongaleni centre. She is a mother of 3 children. Her husband was a butcher. He started keeping unwell for a long time and passed away in the year 2003. This phase was very hard on Aziza with all the responsibilities falling on her shoulders. Her in-laws were not supportive and they asked her to leave the house.
 
Aziza did not accept this as a defeat, instead decided to support her family. She rented out a home where she could stay with her children.  After a period of 8 years in 2011, she joined the Zainabbiyya Women Group with a flash of hope to change the financial condition of her family.
 
Aziza took her first loan of Kshs. 10,000/- for selling variety of local food and made a small stall from where she could conduct her business. She then came up with an idea of selling water due to scarcity of water in the area. She    borrowed a loan of Kshs. 20,000/- in the year 2013, from the Mission to start up this business. The main source of water was through a paid pipeline.
 
Everyone in the locality would buy water from her which would sum up to a monthly profit of Kshs. 3,000/- to Kshs. 6,000/-.  Recently a nearby village had a shortage of water. This was an advantage for her business as she happened to sell more than usual. She now earns a monthly profit of Kshs. 8,000/- to Kshs. 10,000/-. Aziza also sells basic grocery items and earns a profit of Kshs. 2500/- to Kshs. 3,000/-. Aziza has for now stopped her cooking business due to her health issues. She will however commence it in future when her health problems stabilize.

Comment:
“I appreciate the support I have got from the Mission. By being part of the trainings, I am able to operate business righteously and appropriately. With the loans that I borrowed from the Mission, I am able to support my children’s education expense, build my own house where I live with my children, and expand my farm”
 
Future Plans:
 “I want to build a big place from where I can operate both my food business and kiosk. This will enable me give time to both business without having to worry. As for my water business I want to purchase a bigger tank so that I am able to store more water”
 
 
The Bilal Muslim Mission of Kenya would like to thank all those involved in making a smooth running of these activities
 
For news of our activities, visit www.kenbilal.org
 
 
Prepared by: Faraah Sumar
Bilal Muslim Mission of Kenya

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