Monday, August 24, 2009

Jamii Bora Micro Financing

The Jamii Bora micro financing institution provides opportunities for thousands of people in Kenya to turn their lives around. Their vision is that with a little bit of help, people, no matter how poor they are, can make their way out of the poverty cycle.

Jane from the Mathare slum, three miles outside of Nairobi, is one woman who was able to improve her situation with a loan from Jamii Bora. As a single mother of two, who had not been able to raise the funds to go to school, she had a limited skill set. However, she did not let that stop her and made a living by altering gowns to sell in her neighborhood. With some start up capital, she was able to start a lucrative business. Although she was making four dollars a day, which is a large amount for the slums, she was still stuck in Mathare without an opportunity to find better and safer housing. Recently, Jamii Bora opened a low-rent housing development in a safer location designed to aid people like Jane.

With small investments, micro finance institutions and non-governmental organizations can make big changes in many peoples lives.
--Jessica Milstead