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Thursday, 17 October 2013

Kiriko youths strive for financial empowerment

By Ephantus Kiptanui

Unemployment among youths and women remains the single largest challenge facing Kenya. Youths in Kiriko Village, Wangwaci location in Laikipia County decided to tackle this problem by forming a group called Kipkelion Self Help Group. The group which was registered in February 2013 is already certified.
Their main objective is to ensure that all the members are empowered to become financially stable and also to ensure that they create employment opportunities for the youths.
Kipkelion Self Help Group currently has fourteen (14) members. Male members are eleven while female members are three. Most members are between 19-25 years.
Group members contribute five hundred and twenty shillings which goes to their account at Jua Comm Sacco. They also hold a merry go round every weekend where they contribute one hundred shilling. During the merry go round a secret ballot is held in which one member pockets one thousand three hundred shillings.
The group is currently in the process of applying for Uwezo Funds. Most of the group members have been going to Ng’arua Maarifa Centre to obtain KRA pin.
“One of the requirements for a group to obtain Uwezo Fund is for each member to have KRA pin. We are happy with the opportunity presented by the Maarifa centre as we have been able to obtain KRA Pin free of charge,” said Ishmael.
The group plans to use part of the money they hope to get from Uwezo fund to purchase a piece of land and erect a rental building and also to install a Posho mill. Another objective of the group is to start horticulture farming and chicken rearing from their savings.
The group intends to see each group member rise above the poverty line and attain financial stability. The group advices fellow youths to follow the same path.

Group chairman Naftaly kiptoo says that they decided on Uwezo Fund as it will enable them gain access to interest-free loans while only a 3% one-off administration fee will be payable.
“United we stand strong as youths but divided we will definitely fall and continue swimming in the ocean of poverty,” said Naftaly.
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