Financial Planning for the Future Makes a Difference

We are proud to introduce Ibrahim Sifuna, the Nuru Kenya Community Economic Development (CED) District Manager. With his extensive background in microfinance and community economic development, he has much to share with the Kuria West District and beyond. Below, find a CED success story told in Ibrahim’s words.  

Today I have the privilege of introducing to you one of CED’s successful savers, Mrs. Brigida Wankuru. Brigida learned about the CED program from a friend who invited her to join Baraka Self Help Group, one of the more than 350 groups supported by the CED program.

Brigida is married and has two children. She along with her family lives in a small village called Nyametaburo in Kuria West District, Kenya. She and her husband used to support a family of five from the small subsistence income they got in maize farming. The farm income was not enough to feed the family of five let alone cover other core expenses. Life was always hand to mouth so there was no bright future for the family. When life got tough, Brigida opted to support her family by establishing a makeshift restaurant in her village. She used to make a traditional pastry called Mandazi and supplied to nearby residents. After selling Mandazi for six months, she realized that the little money she was making was fully spent on household consumption. Nothing was left for savings. Everything was from hand to mouth as it was before and her family keep living with a notion that tomorrow will care for itself.

When Brigida realized that her family life was not changing, she started thinking about the root causes of the problem. Despite her increased income, she was not able to manage it well. She realized that she need to change something fundamental if life is to get better. She shared her thoughts with a friend who in return informed her about the Nuru CED program and its support to farmers.

She joined the CED group savings and loan program in 2009 with five other members and received training on the importance of savings and household income and expenditure planning that boosted her money management skills and changed her savings habit.

After the trainings, she learned how to plan her finances very well. She started saving parts of the extra income in the group savings program. She regularly saved until a point where she had enough to open a small local kiosk with an initial capital of 30,000Ksh, the majority of it came from her savings and the rest was covered from a group loan.

Her income significantly increased after opening the kiosk. With improved sales income  and income from her farm, she managed to save every two weeks regularly for four years and now she has 16,500Ksh in the group savings account. She took loans in two occations and expanded her thriving business. Ever since she opened the kiosk, life has  improved siginificantly. She purchased a dairy cow to supplement her income and provide milk for the family.

Recently, she opened a second business that buys maize and other agricultural produce from farmers and resale to wholesalers. She believes that the new business will increase her income further. She is very grateful to Nuru and its holistic approach in assisting farmers to tackle poverty from every angle.

She praised Nuru for the extra mile it brought her so far and wishes others to join the program to learn basic money management skills and better plan for future through its savings and loans program.

About Elias Fanta

Financial Inclusion Strategic Advisor — Elias initiated and coordinated the first microfinance project in southern Ethiopia. For eight years he worked for the German International Cooperation (GIZ) in Ethiopia as a program officer. Elias graduated with a BA in Economics from the Addis Ababa University, MA in Development Management, and PhD in International Development Studies from the Ruhr University of Bochum.

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