Rufo is a member of the Madaraka Women Group. In 2012, she separated from her husband and moved with her kids. Life became tough due to a lack of regular income and she started looking for casual labour work to sustain her needs. This is how she managed to support herself and her children for the next few years.
In 2018, she joined Madaraka to help improve her economic situation. She was asked to top up her savings in order to be at the same level as the other members. With small instalments, she was able to raise her savings, hard earned money from casual labour, to the same level as others within months.
Madaraka is one of several village groups we work with in Qusanno to empower women economically. The approach works by women coming together to save small amounts of money on a monthly basis. The pool of funds is then loaned out to individual members to start or support small businesses, pay school fees for their children and clear hospital bills. We train them on financial literacy, support them with record keeping and occasionally inject grants into the groups.
After a while, Rufo requested for a loan to start a small business. The village group approved a loan of 100,000 shillings and she opened a small shop selling common household goods such as sugar and bread.
Within a short period of time, she started growing. She states that it was almost as if her “eyes were opened”. Her life became brighter and profits from her business gave her a sense of calmness that was not there before.
Madaraka village group was not only an eye opener but a safe space for her where she could trust to keep her monthly savings.
“The business has benefited me a lot. I am no longer going out to look for casual labour on a daily basis. I have my own business whose profits far outweigh the casual labour wages I used to earn.
My financial status has greatly improved and I now know how to save. I am currently expanding my business. I will always appreciate the kindness I was shown by the members of the Madaraka village group.”– Rufo