Wezesha Business Skills Program
Rachel is one of our Wezesha Business Skills Program (WBSP) recipients from the Ufaulu Group at Kiptangweny and the group co-ordinator.
Rachel has a visually impaired daughter, Kamau, and 9 other children.
Rachel’s life has been full of uncertainty, relying on casual jobs, that are especially hard to come by in the dry season. Rachel and her family would often have to go without food and her children were forced to leave school as they didn’t have any money to pay the fees.
In 2015 the Kiptangweny Group (20 members) took up the opportunity to undertake the Wezesha Business Skills Program (WBSP) with So They Can. Wezesha means ‘to enable’ in Kiswahili and the WBSP is So They Can’s Micro-Finance business. This program delivers business, education and financial services to women and disadvantaged groups in the wider community to enable them to develop skills, earn an income and become self-sufficient.
In 2015 and the group received their first loan of AUD $57. They decided to focus on what they knew best and used the loan to purchase maize, beans and fertilizer. They had a bumper crop making a profit of AUD $428.
Rachel’s share of these profits allowed her to clear all the school fees and send her children back to school and it also allowed her to build a house for her family.
The second loan Rachel took out in 2016 was for AUD $214 and was use to purchase a water tank. This purchase was life-changing. Giving her family clean drinking water for the first time.
The third loan in 2017 was for AUD$430 was for Rachel to invest in her farm.
Rachel is now doing very well and can provide schooling for her children, run a business, and provide food and drinking water for her family.
Her loan has been completely repaid.
The businesses WBSP invest in vary greatly and diversity is encouraged. Small-goods retailers and micro farming are amongst the most popular businesses. To date over 400 community members, the vast majority women, received training and many subsequently received loans. So They Can has reported an increase in the standard of living for the participants of this program and will continue to educate the community with these life-changing skills to enable them to become self-sufficient. The program has been successful in working with self-help and other groups who took collective loans.