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28 March 2014

MUKHWANO GROUP

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DISABILITY IS NOT INABILITY

 

John Mutuku Muli is a resident of Mukuru kwa Njenga and also a businessman in the area. He is a cordwainer. Mr. Mutuku has 7 children, 5 who are still under his care. He has a special needs child who is in class seven and attends Kwa Njenga Primary School in Mukuru. He started his business in 1994.

 

 

In the year 2012, Mutuku together with 25 other Mukuru residents joined hands and formed a savings group. Mukhwano Disabled Group comprises of men and women who have disabilities and parents of children with disabilities. The disabilities range from physical to mental.

 

These men and women came together for a common goal; to improve their lives. When they started the group each member would contribute Ksh. 25/ per week. This totaled to Ksh. 625 in a week. However at the beginning of 2013, they increased the amount to Ksh. 30/ per week.  They would then deposit the money in a bank.  After raising Ksh. 20,000 they started table banking. This allowed members to borrow money from the group for emergencies and for also improving their businesses.

 

“I borrowed Ksh. 500/ from the group and I managed to buy beads for my wife so that she could sew accessories for women sandals,” Mutuku says proudly displaying the beads he bought.

 

Once a member borrows a certain amount of money, he/she is expected to repay within a week with a 10% interest.

 

As they continued saving, they felt the need to borrow more money for bigger developments. They approached various banks but found their interest rate was too high for them. They tried micro-finance institution but yet the interest rate was quite high.

 

When they were just about to give up, one of their members Grace, was invited to a meeting about Akiba Mashinani Trust (AMT) by a friend. There, they found a solution. Grace shared the information with her group members and they were interested in finding out more about AMT. A meeting was set up between Mukhwano Disabled Group and an AMT official.

 

Impressed by what AMT had to offer, the group unanimously agreed to apply for a loan at AMT.  They were granted a loan of Ksh. 50,000. The group used the money they received for internal lending to the group. 12 members benefitted from this loan.

 

“ I managed to buy a bale of clothes from the Ksh. 5000 I was loaned by my group. I sold these clothes and made some good money,” Leah Ombati says happily.

 

The group repaid their loan after 3 months and applied for a second loan. This time round a loan of Ksh. 110,000. This second loan will also be used for on lending to more members.

 

Asked whether they would like to carry out a project as a group, John Mutuku the Chairman of the group responded, “ Our main goal is to get a loan of Ksh. 1 million from AMT  and start a daycare centre for disabled children”.

 

 

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Akiba Mashinani Trust (AMT) is a housing development & finance agency by the Slum Dwellers Federation of Kenya - Muungano wa Wanavijiji (MWW), an affiliate of Slum Dwellers International (SDI). It operates in all Counties of Kenya. More...

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