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, 14 groups, comprising 321 members 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.
Visiting the Villages
Two of our Hoisters of the Year (2018), Karolina and Nicole had the opportunity to visit Kenya and meet with Hand in Hand and the villages of Njwata and Kinyambu. Here are some of their thoughts from their time in Kenya:
During our time in Kenya we were able to visit local Hand in Hand branches as well as the two villages that partake in the Community Uplift Program. We were able to witness firsthand how this program benefits not just individuals but the community of the villages.
We first visited the village of Kinyambu and were introduced to locals. It was explained that the training they do through the Community Uplift Program teaches basic business skills such as bookkeeping, marketing, and pricing. They also teach how to develop and strengthen small businesses to make use of their skills and potential.
Then we went to Ngwata where we met a community made up of people from all walks of life. The villagers were at the start of a new project with Hand in Hand and were keen to join together to help improve their lives as a group. They decided to set up a community fund, which is paid into weekly by all members and then used by any individual in need. The sense of a strong bond between the community of people was really nice to experience.
Both villages that we visited have received the Hand in Hand officers very well and it was clear to see that they really enjoyed the work that was being carried out by the team. “It was nice and very overwhelming to see how much they [Hand in Hand] enjoy their work and how dedicated they are to the support they provide,” said Karolina.