When I’m gone

During quiet reflective moments, I sometimes wonder what will happen when I’m gone.

As I ponder, I realize that life will still go on. My eyes become misty and then it dawns on me that a legacy is a good thing to leave behind.

In the humanitarian world – some kind of impact and sustainable projects. 

So when I received an invitation to attend an event by a village bank in Embu, I was stoked. Mostly because Kigumo FSA which was started by World Concern more than a decade ago, and supported for only 4 years, is not only still running, but growing fast on its own.

World Concern Kenya Country Director Harun officially opens new bank building
World Concern Kenya Country Director Harun officially opens new bank building

Kigumo FSA started out in a rented building, but the group has over the years managed to purchase a piece of land and rehabilitate a building on it, to establish their fully owned premises.  Today, the FSA boasts of 1615 members, a share capital of Ksh 3 million ($ 30,000) and loan portfolio of Ksh 4 million shillings ($ 40,000)

Financial Services Associations (FSA) were introduced as a more sustainable intervention of World Concern’s Micro-Finance program. An FSA, or ‘village bank’, is a facility wholly owned by the local community through shares.

As I sat to write this post, I realized I had been invited for a party I didn’t deserve to be in – I was in high school when that project started!

World Concern helped birth something that would affect the lives of people who would come a decade later – like me, and possibly their children, even generations; and today Kigumo FSA is a testimony that communities can take charge of their own transformation when properly facilitated.

We’re proud.

Some photos from the July 25, 2015 event, below.

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Embu County Minister Mrs Pamela Rita Kiarie speaks at the opening event

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Embu County Minister Mrs. Pamela Rita Kiarie speaking at the opening event

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Harun speaking at the event

 

Members at the event
Members at the event

A member follows event proceedings

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Evans who has provided financial guidance to the FSA over the years, speaks

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Zachary, one of the FSA founders makes remarks
World Concern staff leading a chorus
World Concern staff lead a chorus

FSAs started by World Concern in remote parts of Embu and Narok have become extremely pivotal.

They enable families access mainstream banking services right in their villages: they save money, access normal and emergency loans, have 3rd party member & non-member cheques cleared, access bankers’ cheques as well as mobile money transfer services.

 

Mukuru kwa Njenga comes calling

Sunny, yet so chilly. Nairobi.

In mid-July, World Concern launched The Nairobi Slum Development Programme at Mukuru Kwa Njenga in Embakasi. Tens of representatives from 5 youth groups who are impatient to see positive change attended.World_Concern_Kenya_Mukuru_Kwa_Njenga

The launch was for an multi-sectoral programme in which World Concern is partnering with Commons Agencies, to build capacity in the slums. Youth who had taken part in an earlier Common Agencies’ training programme on self awareness and empowerment dubbed ‘Pepeta Initiative,’ described how it had impacted them:

“When we started out, we were earning about Ksh 5, 000 per month. The 35 of us would share it among ourselves. Now we earn up to Ksh 80,000,” said Alex Kyalo, Chairperson of Vijana Wa Neema self help group.

Together with partners, World Concern will offer Biblically-based life-skills training, Leadership development, Group management, Entrepreneurship, Mentoring, Apprenticeship as well as Addiction and family counseling. We will also empower churches to become agents of reconciliation in their own communities.

In his speech, Kenya Country Director Harun Mutuma emphasized that real transformation comes from Christ, terming that as a distinct area of focus for World Concern’s programme. The programme was then commissioned by Pastor Christopher Maina of LifeSpring Chapel-  Embakasi.

Some photos from the launch, below.

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