Savings and Loan

Gem Village, Kenya


Village savings and loan programmes are gaining momentum in many rural villages, and Gem Village is no exception. Because of the great benefits many are getting, the community is seeing improvement in terms of rising standards of living. Many have struggled to succeed by themselves; people have tried many ways to reach their goals and ended up depending on hard jobs like loading sand on a lorry. This hardness in living has also pushed women towards ending up in town areas and becoming slaves to others, working as nannies and even working in their homes as casual workers for less pay. But now the approach has changed with villagers pooling together their small resources and making a great impact loaning to each as per their lending capacity.


GHNI started networking with a partner organisation and offering free training to Gem villagers on how they can venture into various businesses using loans to provide the start-up capital. A Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) group was started. The group consists of less than 15 members and they are given a loan when it is their turn. The loan is for the members to create a place of financial stability, so that the members will be able to sustain the group. Members were trained on how to put money into a VSLA box where it’s a common pool of putting money together and at the end of the year they break up the pool and pay back the fund to the members as per their contribution. Paulina is one of the members who has benefited from joining the VSLA and this has changed the mindset of people of Gem and other neighbouring villages, as seeing the successful Gem VSLA has emboldened them to start their own. The VSLA group together with Paulina are happy and thankful for GHNI enabling them to change their lives and cater to their family needs.


Water is a real challenge since the rain was scarce. The borehole has been drilled but the solar panel remains to be installed. There are no farms in this area; since water is such a big problem, people use the river water for domestic uses.


Many villagers have expanded their businesses unlike before. Others have settled their soft loans and are doing very well, which is a good transformation indicator.


Most children are attending school. The TCD workers have been well liked and recognised by the ministry of health for reaching the community with their support and knowledge. We’ve actually set a programme where we visit five homes every week to bring transformation to many before we finish our term of five years.  


Thank you!


GHNI National Field Leader