Captivating KISII – Esther finds hope through Micro-Finance
Over 110 single mothers, foster parents, and potential foster families are part of a Small Business development initiative put in place between Captivating and a Kenyan based MFI called ACDF. This program has as it’s key objective the desire to see orphaned children in this community fostered by families who care. The biggest issue is not finding willing families – it’s about helping them be able to financially afford to care for the child.
Meet Esther with her grandchildren. These children were born by Esther’s niece who is now deceased. Alice was the mother of these children before she passed away earlier this year after suffering for a long time. Their father abandoned them several years earlier having started drinking locally made brew. For so many years he has never came back home – he is assumed dead. These five children are staying with Esther in her one room house near the town where she sells vegetables. Financially, this was not sustainable and Esther was deeply concerned how she could keep caring for them.
This is Esther at her business. After Captivating became aware of her problem, our regional Program Manager (Everlyne) and partner (ACDF), came in and offered help. She received a micro loan to enable her business to expand into a more sustainable and profitable business. She now sells onions at both retail and wholesale levels.
Here’s how it works for Esther: she buys a 50kg tin of onions at Ksh.1500 and sells it for Kshs.2500. On Mondays and Thursdays which are market days in Kisii township, she makes at least about 1,000 or more daily. In four weeks she makes on average Kshs, 12,000 i.e $ 150.
Out of the profit she makes her small loan repayment, pays the rent, buys food, clothing and education for the children, then ploughs whatever remains back into her business to keep it expanding. She anticipates her business would have grown come January when they are going back to school, so that she can pay their school fees. Although life is still hard for Esther, she is living with a light of hope.
Little Joel became an orphan when his mother passed away but was recently adopted by his step grandmother, Nyanchoka. He is four years old and is expected to start school next year. Nyanchoka has been living alone since her husband died. Before Joel came into her home, she spent most of her time at her small tea farm, just waiting for the end of the day, then go home to her lonely house.
In celebration of International Women's Day (March 8), we recognize Gladys and the many other women just like her who have amazing stories of endurance, empowerment, and hope. With the help of the Foster Family Loan's Program in Kenya, she has grown her small fire-wood business to sell second-hand clothes around the community. This is an important step for her to provide for herself and her new-found family.
As a toddler, Michael was found abandoned near an orphanage entrance one morning. The workers took him in and gave him food and shelter. Michael stayed there til the age of three. This is when Venice enters his world. Venice and her husband tried for five years to have a child but were not able. They decided to adopt an orphan who needed a family, so they visited the orphanage and that's when they met Michael. They knew right then that Michael was meant to be theirs.
Jared's mother enjoyed drinking and also gave the brew to her little boy. Often, the villagers would find the mother very drunk and little Jared sleeping in the cold. Jared would often get sick and almost died a few times. Finally, Jared's mother couldn't take care of him any more so she decided to sell Jared to one of her customers. Jared was sold for Kshs. 450 (US$4).