“I owe my life and my baby’s to Joyce Maringa,” explained 15-year-old Rachel Kameme. On January 17, 2014, while in labor, she travelled 25 km to Waita Health Center. The nurse in charge, Joyce Maringa, helped safely deliver Kameme’s baby. However, a few hours after giving birth, Rachel suffered a postpartum hemorrhage, a serious potential complication of childbirth.
Kericho County Youth Bunge’s Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO) is one of several set up by USAID/Kenya under the Yes Youth Can (YYC) project to empower Kenyan youth through low-interest loans and grants. “We have issued 64 boda-boda (motorbikes) and 81 normal loans worth 13.8 million Kenya Shillings (Ksh) ($149,000),” said Naomy Rono, the SACCO Chair. As of March 2015, the SACCO boasted Ksh 5 million ($54000) in member savings.
In Kenya, many rural households rely on small-scale farming for livelihoods. For instance, Fredrick Mwachofi, a 47-year-old father of four, is a dairy farmer in Mwatate Sub-county in Taita Taveta County.
Before 2012 when the Ihigia-ini Youth Bunge was formed in Murang’a County, many members were unemployed and relied on menial jobs for survival. “Many of us were idlers before forming the bunge. We would spend our time drinking alcohol with the little money we earned and we were a menace to society. I was a drunkard and I barely made any income,” said David Mwangi, president of the 21- member group of eleven women and ten men.
Many rural households rely on agriculture to break the cycle of poverty and food insecurity. Jackeline Achieng’, a 35-year-old mother of five in Kisumu County, resigned from a job as a domestic helper to engage in agribusiness, specifically dairy farming. The meager Kenyan Shillings 1,500 ($16) per month she was earning could not cover household expenses and left no time to engage in meaningful farming.
Last updated: January 30, 2017