Women's GroupsThe Women's credit union program provides micro-loans to women's groups needing capital to start or enlarge income- generating activities.
The Future In Our Hands - Kenya, women's credit union is based in the Kibuye Market, one of the busiest open air markets in East and Central Africa. This provides a readily available market for both service and consumer goods. Despite this potential the twelve women's groups had been unable to access funds to enable their businesses to grow.
The goals of the micro-loan program are:
Loans up to $600 are provided on a revolving basis for a term of three months. The loans are paid back weekly at a low interest rate. To date all loans have been repaid in full. They are now on their second round of loans.
Loans have been used for many income-generating projects. These include tailoring businesses, pharmacies, a chair rental business, and providing capital to fund a business that manufactures jiko's - high efficiency wood burning stoves. With the success of these businesses, the groups already have plans for future projects.
FIOH - USA has plans to begin funding a similar women's credit union in Bunda Tanzania. This credit union is part of Future In Our Hands - Tanzania.