At least 34 youth groups in Kajiado East constituency are transforming the livelihoods of their members courtesy of loans from the Uwezo Fund.
Kajiado East constituency Uwezo Fund manager Mathew Maloi said the Sh3.4 million disbursed to the groups during the 2021/22 financial year have gone a long way to change the lives of the beneficiaries.
“We have groups in different scopes of business, from agriculture to manufacturing, processing among others. The groups have used the funds to boost their businesses such as selling fuel and fattening calves,” said Maloi.
Joshua Sekoyo, the treasurer of one of the beneficiaries, Illang’eni Youth Group, said they started the organisation to learn from each other and create an avenue to save and invest for their future.
“The Uwezo Fund has been a great opportunity for us as a group. We applied for the Uwezo fund where they granted us Sh100,000 and we topped up Sh70,000 from our savings,” says Sekoyo.
The group, with a membership between the ages of 20-34 years, has invested in calf fattening. The Fund gave them a grace period of six months for them to set up the business and get the calves for fattening before they could start repaying their loan.
“We started with five calves and we were able to fatten them for the required market and sold at a profit that enabled us to buy another 10 to do the same,” said Sekoyo.
Sekoyo urged other youth in the county to form groups and take advantage of the interest-free loan from the government to invest.
“The beauty with Uwezo Fund is that we didn’t have to repay an interest on the loan we took and every month we would pay back Sh5,000,” he said.
He said working as a group is better because there is more accountability as opposed to working as an individual.
To qualify for the Uwezo Fund, the group must be registered with the relevant government body, and possess a valid group registration certificate.
Youth group membership must be at least 70 per cent youth (18-35 years), and leadership, 100 per cent youth. The loan is repayable within a period of 12 months upon the expiry of a six-month grace period.