Pastoralist communities in East Africa rely heavily on livestock as a means to accumulate wealth. This financial model leaves local communities particularly vulnerable, as unforeseen circumstances such as drought can drastically impact their wealth. Microfinance savings offer them an opportunity to diversify risks and enhance their investments, thereby lessening risk. With this in mind, AWF helped establish Nasaruni Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization.
Located in Northern Kenya, the Nasaruni Savings and Credit Cooperative is one of a kind. It was established in 2008 as a women’s group project for the Kijabe and Nkiloriti group ranches in Laikipia County. The original model was unsuccessful, so in mid-2011, AWF stepped in and assisted in developing a business plan, creating lending groups, and providing training for local members.
Since that time, AWF has also provided a desktop computer, printer, and solar battery for the office. Additionally, AWF has provided a motorbike to allow the manager to reach new members. Up from just a few hundred members prior to AWF’s involvement, to a current total of more than 1,000 and KSh 6 million in capital, the Nasaruni Savings and Credit Cooperative is creating new opportunities for women and men alike, in East Africa.
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