Kenya Community Takes Business into its Own Hands

By Abdallah Mohamed, East Africa Director

Yesterday after speaking with Wilson (the ThinkImpact Committee Chairman of Kaloleni, Kenya), it turns out that our financial literacy trainings are turning out to be a remarkable success! Students from Stanford GSB trained around 40 community members in December 2011 with a financial literacy “Deep Dive” and in turn, these community members are taking it a step further by returning to their local community with the desire to continue training and educating their fellow community members on financial literacy.

According to Wilson, this undertaking was agreed upon in January shortly after the training in Mariakani
by Stanford GSB students. Wilson and his team of community leaders believe that the best way of
ensuring that they always remember what they have learned is through educating others. I was inspired
by the community’s enthusiasm when he told me, “We have realized we can only be successful if we
assist others to be successful. If we run good businesses and our neighbors don’t, then we will have no
customers to sell to.”

Wilson is leading this group through the process of registering with the government as a Community
Based Organization (CBO). On the 3rd of March, they will meet to finalize their constitution, as well
as to flesh out plans for developing a curriculum that will foster financial literacy in this remote area of
Kenya. They are partnering with Equity Bank trainers who will review and endorse their curriculum, so
the community leaders can begin training the rest of the community.

I am truly moved and encouraged by the work we are doing here in rural Kenya. This community’s
motivation and dedication to educate their fellow friends, neighbors, and family members clearly
illustrates how communities can develop their own solutions to challenges, if they are given the right
tools.

Looking forward to more success stories as we expand to Ghana and Rwanda!

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Comments
One Response to “Kenya Community Takes Business into its Own Hands”
  1. Jerry says:

    I must say I am dumbfounded and nlehlacged by your story and enthusiasm. My friend and I started a education NGO in Nigeria. Our main focus is providing high quality education to match the current government effort to improve access to education. We knew we could not access many children so we focused on training teachers. Our experience showed that the underlying problem here is poor literacy foundation. Our first steps took us training primary and secondary school teachers on how to teach literacy. Monitoring issues are also fundamental with our system.We are looking at Action Research as a way to help us understand the situation better and see new possibilities in the field. The major challenge so far is how to provide resources for trained schools.I am happy to learn much from your experience and determination when you started. Well done Claire.

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