Since its inception, GROOTS Kenya has worked with over 2,500 women led groups and community based organizations and the message has largely remained the same; ‘to empower grassroots women’.
Financial and economic empowerment has been one of the key areas of focus for GROOTS Kenya and major strides have been made in these respect.
GROOTS has invested great efforts into training women on how to create a savings culture for themselves and this can already be felt in the areas where GROOTS has had a presence.
There are currently two ongoing projects, ‘Accelerating Rural Women’s Access to Agricultural Markets and Trade’ and ‘Madini Yetu, Wajibu Wetu’ that have enabled women come together and save money and the results are hugely gratifying.
The former project works with women farmers in Nakuru and Kitui Counties in building their capacities to enable them produce more in the three value chains of dairy, poultry and horticulture and also enabling them access predictable finances and build their market linkages.
The latter, ‘Madini Yetu, Wajibu Wetu’ is being implemented in Kakamega County to organize and empower artisanal and small-scale miners (ASMs) and communities engaging in large scale mining.
In the Access to Markets project, one group, Golden Ladies Women Group based in Nyota Location of Kuresoi North Subcounty has managed to save upwards of KES 1,010,000 shillings from monthly contributions. However they only have KES 567,000 remaining in their account after they used KES 443,000 to buy chaff cutters for all 19 members of the group as they are all involved in dairy farming.
The group plans to continue to acquire assets that will help them increase their production in their various value chains.
Another group, Nyota New women group also from Kuresoi North, has managed to save close to KES 1,000,000 but they too have chosen to purchase assets. The group bought a piece of land for KES 500,000 while they leased another piece of land for KES 100,000 which has left them with just under KES 400,000 in their account.
Turi Green Women Group from Molo sub county which has 25 members also has savings of over KES 1,100,000 which they plan on using to purchase assets.
Agnes Wanjiru, a member of Turi Green women group said that she, like her fellow group members is very grateful to GROOTS for entrenching in them a savings culture.
“We used to save KES 20 a month, and somehow, we were fine with that. After the meetings we just used to pass by the shopping centre and buy chapattis and eat them happily, we foolishly went on like this for a whole year,” she said.
“Looking back, I can’t believe we are the same people who were comfortable saving money just to eat chapatti,” she added with a smile.