In 1996 a several women came together and formed a group in order to support each other socially and financially through merry-go-round. Tawakal Women Group in Kaloleni Estate, Kisumu Central Constituency in Kisumu County, through the belief that unity is strength has taken up several group activities in order to ensure the social and financial welfare of its twenty five (25) members aged between 35 and 55 years through funds from Women Enterprise Fund.
BEFORE WOMEN ENTERPRISE FUND
Once formed, the pro-active group members, decided to register their group with the Department of Social Services. They also embarked on merry go round and table banking and managed to purchase utensils for catering. To expand their catering business, they also invested in 35 chairs which they hired out for Kshs.10 per chair. They carried out their activities as a group and shared responsibilities to evade more costs.
Despite these activities, members could hardly access local hospitals for treatment and the members could not contribute money for buying drugs for the patient. Most of them lived in cheap rental houses.
AFTER WOMEN ENTERPRISE FUND
As the group was renewing their certificate at the Social Services Offices, they got to learn about Women Enterprise Fund from the Gender officer. They approached WEF in March 2010 and received training then applied for their first loan of Kshs.50,000.00.
This was the first time the group was receiving funding from a financial institution.
They used the loan to buy plastic chairs at a cost of Kshs.700.00 each and the also bought equipment for their catering project. They could now start paying themselves from the profits that they were receiving.
Faithfull repayment saw them qualify for the 2nd loan of Kshs.100,000.00 which they received on 11th May, 2012. This time, asides from group activities, they decided to divide the money amongst themselves so that each member could start their own business.
Tawakal Women Group are well aware of the WEF loan cycle, and by 2015 when they applied for Kshs.350,000.00, they had a ready budget:
- They used Kshs 70,000/= to purchase some more trays and plates for catering,
- Kshs 10,000/= was used to apply for a meter from KIWASCO for a communal water point in Kaloleni,
- They used Kshs 40,000/= for renovating a toilet and bathroom which was allocated to them by the Municipal Council of Kisumu as a pilot project,
- Added Kshs 50,000/= to the group savings of Kshs 50,000/= and bought a tent which carries a capacity of 100 chairs.
- The rest of the money was given out as loans to members and they returned with interest according to the amount that one was given.
With a sound plan in place, ideas never cease, therefore when the group received its 4th Funding of Kshs 500,000/= in August 2016, they decided to join the land owners club and with part of the money, purchased 0.04 Ha in Kibos and are planning construction of some rental houses to generate some income for the group. The remaining balance was loaned out to members to boost their individual businesses.
GROUP PROJECTS AFTER WEF
They group supplies water to various institutions in Kisumu with some of their corporate clients being First Community Bank, the Kibos Slaughter House and also sell water to members of the community as well as water vendors in the area.
GROUP MEMBERS AT THEIR WATER VENDING POINT
A MEMBERS AT THEIR WATER KIOSK IN KALOLENI KISUMU
The group currently engages in catering work, their price ranges from between Kshs.30,000 to Kshs.40,000 depending on the budget, work load, distance, taste and preferences of their clients. They also hire out their tent and chairs.
CATERING UTENCILS CHAIRS READY FOR HIRE
Though most of their clients are churches, mosques and the local community around them, they also do catering for weddings and parties.
The group is also managing the public toilet on behalf of Municipal Council of Kisumu. They used WEF funds to renovate the toilet and bathroom. They have employed one person who takes care of the facility which is accessible to members of the public at Kshs 10 per person and Kshs 30 per person for the bathroom.
THE PUBLIC TOILET AND BATHROOM UNDER THE MANAGEMENT OF GROUP
They also make and sell liquid soap.
Each of their projects has a project manager and each member is allocated her responsibility.
IMPACT OF THE PROGRAMMES ON THE MEMBERS
Group members are able to directly relate the impact created by additional Funding by Women Enterprise Fund. Some of their achievements include but are not limited to:
- Their children can now attend private schools without disruption due to fee arrears;
- Better nutrition for their families have,
- Stable homes because of reliable incomes: They now have additional income from the additional projects that they have.
- Improved health, members can afford health care from both private and public facilities,
- Better housing for members i.e. each member lives in a decent house;
The group plans to build rental house with the land that they purchased so as to generate more income for the group.
The group has greatly gained from Women Enterprise Fund which has changed their lives and they are very grateful that WEF has helped them achieve their dreams.
“We owe it all to WEF for its great support”. SAYS THE GROUP SECRETARY
Name: Fatuma Yusuf Name: Najiba Abdul Karim
Title: Chairlady Title: Secretary
Organization: Tawakal Women Group Organization: Tawakal Women group