Beneficiaries Speak

Salome Githuku, member of the Advisory Board for Village of Love Canada, on her visit to Kenya, April 2012, reports on four women speaking about the benefits they have experienced through Kijiji Cha Upendo (Village of Love).

Salome says, “They are all strong women, and Kijiji Cha Upendo has brought them hope.”

Agripina

“Kijiji is a good organization,” Agripina asserts. “Some people come and take photos, they leave, they find resources, but nothing ever comes back to the beneficiaries. They just give empty hope. But the Obaras have provided real help!  The volunteers and managers of Kijiji are honest. They are interested in the beneficiaries’ welfare.”

Through the “Kijiji Cha Upendo”  micro-loan program, her business now is very helpful to her.  “We never sleep hungry,” she says. What Agripina sees as unique in “Kijiji Cha Upendo”  is the combination of loans along with the counseling.  

“I no longer stay at home with nothing to do, I’m employed.” 

People see her there every day selling her groceries. If one day she doesn’t sell anything and she needs some food, a person with a shop across the way will give it to her, because they see that she works. They regard her now as trustworthy. They know she will give back what she has borrowed when she can. Her business provides her with credit in the community!

Salome needs a hand jumping across the open sewage stream in the middle of the road.Ngesa

When they visit Ngesa, there is only one chair in the house and so they visit standing. Ngesa sells homemade “charcoal,” water and vegetables.  She is very happy to be able to access interest free loans, together with counseling and referral services. Kijiji is a great source of support to her.

“The other caregivers are like sisters to me,” she says. “Anything we get we share. We help one another out.”

The Kijiji Cha Upendo beneficiaries have common problems. The Kijiji therapy sessions encourage group sharing and closer bonding. The organisation brings them together.

When Ngesa hears that Salome will be visiting another beneficiary, she asks a couple of children to keep an eye on her business.  She’s not going to miss the opportunity to visit with another of her sisters!

Kanini

Kanini lives at the far end of Kibera, near to forested land, and she has a firewood business. Raising nine children presents many challenges. However, being associated with KIJIJI has helped her a lot. She narrated how it’s hard today to get firewood and sometimes they are arrested. But with help from other caregivers, she is happy. The visits she receives from the Kijiji team to her household is a source of encouragement.

20 bicycles were donated to Kijij Cha Upendo through Africa on Wheels. The bikes have been distributed to people who can use them to enhance their small businesses.Fanice

Salome decribes how small Fanice’s house is, and how the volunteer has to hold back the corrugated iron so that Salome can squeeze inside without getting scraped. The first thing she notices inside is the bicycle hanging on the wall.  Because of limited space in the house, the bike can only be stored by hanging it off the ground. The bicycle apparently is a tremendous help. Fanice purchases good quality charcoal to sell and the bicycle enables her to transport the charcoal. Many others would also like bicycles! 

Fanice has nothing but praises for Kijiji. She is  very proud of  the Kijiji team!

Fanice says, “My business is good and I am able to feed my children. I used to acquire my charcoal on credit, but now I am able to pay cash.”

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