Maziwa Women’s Group – Rural Kenya

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The Maziwa women’s group is grant aided by Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR), an independent, American based, Quaker not-for-profit organization that IQFA has supported for many years.  RSWR gives grants to groups of marginalized women in Kenya, Sierra Leone, and India to fund individual micro-enterprise projects.

The group, based in Vihiga County in rural western Kenya, was formed to pool resources to start small market businesses so that the women could support their families and get out of poverty. Some sell fish, others vegetables, charcoal & firewood, chickens, groundnuts or maize, while others run the village kiosk. Although each woman makes a regular contribution and the money is then pooled to give the total to one woman a month, the capital is so small that without outside help the group can never really grow. They desperately needed help.

The grant IQFA gives to the group via RSWR will help make the group sustainable, helped by a local RSWR field representative. Individual women receive loans from the group fund so that they can increase their business stock and their profits. The individuals pay the loans back to the group over a year and then the group will loan the funds out again. The group provides budgets, with maximum amounts set for admin and travel and detailed reports to RSWR every six months.

The loans given out are small, about €120, and just 20 women are involved but the group offers a way out of poverty and a real opportunity to involve more and more women.

With this system, each woman can make a sustainable income, while still paying back a portion of the loan each month.

This method of group funds and individual loans repaid over time is tried and trusted.

When we help RSWR with a project, we know that the funds are used in a way that will help poverty-stricken families and empower the women to learn important skills in basic business and finance.

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