Vulnerable groups from Thika informal settlements have a reason to smile after receiving financial boosts from the Uwezo fund to expand their start-up businesses.
The 13 groups consisting of the visually and hearing impaired most of who live in Kiandutu slums could not hide their joy after years after being awarded cheques worth Sh 1.65 million from the constituency’s Uwezo Fund kitty.
Chairperson, Tuvumiliane self-help group of visually impaired, Jacinta Syombua said they will use the Sh100, 000 they received to expand their start up.
The group of about 20 rears goats for sale and already it has around 40. With the funds, they will buy more goats and open a butchery to sell goat meat.
“Poverty in the slums is high, and given our condition, we have been able to make ends meet through selling some goats to raise money. With the Uwezo funds, we shall be buying goats for sale, and save the proceeds,” she said.
Another hearing impairment group rears pigs and received Sh100, 000 to expand their start-ups.
Kiandutu Centre Base, a merry go round group consisting of 20 women has managed to purchase a two acres piece of land for Sh1.6million at Kakuzi area, Muranga County.
Chairlady Pauline Wanjiru says the Sh200, 000 Uwezo support would be used to offset the balance so that they can subdivide the land for private investments.
The groups lauded the government’s empowerment funds saying it has created self-reliance and enabled wealth creation.
“This is a big boost. We however call for the funds to be increased so that more groups can benefit from huge amounts to change lives,” said Wanjiru.
Thika MP Patrick Wainaina who presented the cheques said only groups whose projects are aligned to the Government’s Big four Agenda have benefited from the funds.
He said they will not be loaning groups money to save in merry go rounds saying in most cases, the impact could not be felt.
Wainaina however said he will continue to rally the government to release more funds to benefit serious cluster groups in the country.
Before the disbursement of these loans, the participants underwent a rigorous training in financial management, value addition and on the Uwezo Fund policies and procedures in order to equip them fully.
By Muoki Charles