Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Getting to know Bujenje SACCO

Bujenje SACCO Road Sign
The day spent with 8 members of the Board of Directors and the staff a Bujenje SACCO was both exhilarating and enlightening.

This organization has about 1,000 members who live within a 20 kilometer radius of the SACCO.  Many of the members are farmers: sugar cane; honey bees; maize.  Others are vendors at market stalls; another is a 'boda boda' driver (motorcycle taxi).
Farming is a common practice here

We heard stories from several of the board members about the change that having access to credit has made to their lives.  One man talked of borrowing the money to purchase a motorcycle to start a boda boda business.  He was able to pay back the loan and then left that line of work -- which, everyone acknowledges, is a sure way for them to get to heaven quickly! (Whether they meant the line of work, as driving here can be dangerous, or paying back the loan quickly, we can't be sure) A woman on the board of directors spoke of originally borrowing money to pay school fees for the youngest four of her seven children.  She served tea in a village restaurant to earn the funds to pay the loan back.  She then applied for a loan to purchase a maize grinder so she can sell the flour.  And, she has also borrowed to purchase bees to produce honey!  She is one of 54 women that work in a production co-operative and this has allowed all of them to raise their family lifestyle above the poverty line.  Oh! And by the way, one of the children she put through school is now working for the United Nations in the middle east.  

These are just some of the powerful stories of success that have been realized in the six years the SACCO has been in existence.

We worked with the Board to complete an analysis of the strengths and opportunities this SACCO needs to build upon.We also worked with the manager and cashier to review and address some operational weaknesses and threats.

Both Dixie and I agree this is indeed work, but very rewarding work!

Bev meeting with Board of Directors
Dixie working with the cashier

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