Kenya, Africa

KEN11 - Lean on Me: Partnership Reports



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Report Date: August 8, 2017

Report from BHW Kenya Partnership Facilitator Following Visit in July

 

Key person: Jacklyne Ogutu 

Recent Events

Activities

new sewing machineThis partnership only started recently (February 2017) although the table banking groups were established before BHW got involved financially. BHW funds have boosted one of the table banking group's funds and Jacklyne is considering boosting another group's funds.

They have distributed some of the disposable sanitary pads, purchased five sewing machines, trained a few of the women to use the machines, developed a design for re-usable sanitary pads and started to make the re-usable sanitary pads.

They are continuing to refine the methods used to make the re-usable sanitary pads with the aim of producing enough pads for the 200 girls who are the beneficiaries of this project (and hopefully more).

 

Personal Stories

Rael: Rael is part of a table banking group. She borrowed 7,000 KSH (about US$70) from the group and has used the money to start a small business selling fish, oranges, onions and tomatoes. She has also used the money to purchase a solar power unit and pay for her children to go to school. 

Monica: Monica (Jacklyne's mother) is part of a table banking group. She borrowed 7,000 KSH from the table banking group and has been able to purchase a solar power unit using the loan. Table banking has really helped her life and she is very happy.

Marcella: Marcella is a widow and cannot walk properly. Her involvement in a table banking group has helped her pay school fees and start a business.

Each of the table banking groups keep books which meticulously record the savings, loans, interest and repayments of each member.  

 

Partnership's Influence within the Community

creating communityThe unity and community spirit is obvious in this partnership. Many people spoke about how the initiatives of this partnership have helped them. The community works together. 

Table banking is a community activity in the sense that people work together carefully trusting the others in the group with their hard earned savings.

The impact of the sanitary pads (both disposable and re-usable) will also have a significant impact in the community. The direct impact will be that girls can continue to attend school while they are having their periods. Consequently, the education of the girls in the community should increase, giving greater opportunities for the girls. This will have a positive flow on effect to many other aspects of the lives of the people in this community.

 

Plans for the Future

learning new skillsThis partnership has only really just begun so in some ways it is too early to review how it is going and consider its future. However, we discussed the future briefly with the board and they have a few ideas, for example to expand the sewing to make uniforms. 

We asked the board to discuss the next year between themselves and to come back to us by October with their ideas.

 

Current Issues and Challenges

In relation to the production of the re-usable sanitary pads, the women need to make 800 pads per year so that there are enough for the 200 girls. They have only just started so it is not yet clear how difficult this will be. It may be a challenge to consistently produce that many pads each year. They are still in the early days and need to work on better systems of production. We discussed this with them. 

 

Prayer and Praise Points

good businessPraise 

The table banking groups are going well in general with the members contributing savings, borrowing loans and starting businesses. One of the groups started with 7,000 KSH (US$70) and now has 167,000 KSH (approx US$1,600).

Prayer 

The young women are still learning the best way to produce the re-usable sanitary pads and may need to become more efficient to make enough for the girls at the school (about 200 girls). Pray that they will learn quickly, continue to become more efficient and persevere.

 

Comments

It was very encouraging to hear the feedback from the table banking groups. People are excited about table banking - people are being empowered, working together and holding each other accountable. It appears to me to be a great way to cultivate and grow small businesses in an empowering way.

It is not yet clear how successful the production of the re-usable pads will be. If they persevere and can efficiently and consistently produce the required quantity of pads, this project will have a significant impact on the lives of girls. This concept has the potential to also be applied in other communities.