The Community Uplift Program
Creating a sustainable future
At Hoist Group, we believe it is important to engage in community development and to contribute, which is why we are honored to be supporting Hand in Hand in Njwata and Kinyambu in Kenya. Our goal is to aide in the creation of new family-based enterprises leading to a better life.
Since the Community Uplift Program started in July 2017, 32 groups, comprising 705 (134 men and 571 women) in total have been mobilized. Each week members of the groups learn about saving and budgeting, as well as contribute to a shared “group bank” where members can take micro-loans from one another. The group members will also be introduced to enterprise development, where they will learn about modern farming techniques as well as crops that can yield results despite the dry climate. There are also classes on how to diversify your income through other means (such as rearing goats or keeping bees) and classes on how to market your business. Finally, members of the group will work with capital and how to borrow and repay loans. This can lead to larger loans, which help to grow their business. Through training in entrepreneurship, self-help groups and access to micro loans, the villagers of Njwata and Kinyambu can take themselves and their families out of poverty.
Stine & Christian’s Story
Hand in Hand provided us with a lot of information prior to our trip. The program is such that providing business advice is not possible at first. At first ground work must be done to prepare the mind, and to prevent conflicts down the road. So first they learn to be a professional group with bylaws and with attendance keeping. Then they learn about finances and they make arrangements to start saving.
Then they talk about business and everyone starts to think about what they do as a business, and not just to it because they always have done it. They become aware of expenses and profits and can assess if what they are doing is the best way to spend their effort.
We were lucky to hear a few good examples for how Hand in Hand has made a difference on a personal level. One woman could tell that her baby was suddenly ill, and needed to go to the hospital. Previously this would have been a great challenge because of the cost of this. She would have had to go to all her neighbors and family to get the money. Now she had managed to save 6 dollars. She brought this with her, and the doctor accepted to help her child, and whatever more it cost, it was agreed that she could pay this later. Without the 6 dollars the doctor would never have accepted to help. It was easy to see that it had made her feel good about being able to take care of her own challenges.
The importance of focusing of saving money is one of the key points Hand in Hand teaches. The work Hand in Hand does is very valid, Good procedures are a in place which promote trustworthiness and make an actual impact.