Self Help Groups: Source of Hope for Widows

 Veronica Wambui, 67, is a member of St. Augustine Self Help Group Juja, she’s a mother of three. She was widowed in 2001 when her beloved husband succumbed to injuries sustained from a fatal road accident. At the time of his death, Wambui’s husband had a loan at St. Augustine Self Help Group. Since her husband had been servicing the loan promptly, the balance due at the time of his death was paid by the loan security fund allowing Wambui to access her husband’s savings in full.This as Wambui explains came as a surprise, “I was not a member of any group at the time therefore was not knowledgeable about the group’s operations. I assumed that since my husband had a loan, the group would not give me any funds,” she says adding that in the midst of misery Wambui had renewed hope from the support she received from the group.

It is from this point that she joined the group and has continued to save. Wambui has taken out several loans from the group to pay school fees for her children and construct rentals from which she earns an income. Currently she owns 15 units, which she rents at between Ksh. 1, 500 and Ksh.5, 000 depending on the size of the house.

“Self Help Groups are very inclusive, members can save as little as Ksh. 200 per month meaning those with meagre earnings can enjoy financial services. Additionally, there is the aspect of security. When my husband died, I was able to recover the shares from the group. Truly my journey with the groups has been fruitful,” she says.

Posted in microfinance.