Farhiya Aliow is a trader from wargadud village in mandera central district, and mother to eight children. She has been a member of a Group Savings and Loans scheme since March 2011. According to her, Gs&l has written a history that will never be forgotten. Before joining the group, her income was so low that she could not send four of her eight children to school. The family could not afford three meals a day , with only her husband earning money to provide everything including sending the children to religious school in the evenings.
She took a loan of Ksh 7500 from her GS&L - Liiban saving women group, after receiving business training skills from Livestock ministry on how to increase income through poultry. After the training, she started a small poultry farm with fifteen chickens but now she has 102 chickens, of which she sold a few for 400 shs in Elwak and Kutulo. She is assured of getting at least two trays of eggs every week, selling each egg for 10shs. She also started traditional meat preservation, and sells and average of 3 bottles of Nyirinyiri (dried camel meat) per month at ksh 1000, getting a net profit of Ksh. 750 which is a boost to her household income.
'It has really helped me overcome worries of school fees for my children and am really grateful for CARE for the Gs&l concept, initially I use to wait for 6-7 months for my turn to get group loans in the AYUTA (merry go-round) but now with the GS&L group I can get money based on my needs, Alhamdulillah!' She tells us.
In four months of project activity, she earned gross net profit of ksh 13,350 from the sales of chickens and eggs.
Her dream did not end there. She embarked on another project and managed to start a mini- shop. She can now easily get loans from her Gs&l association and makes monthly loan repayment from the earnings of her enterprises.
After joining Gs&l, her income is now stable and she is able to provide a balanced diet for her family, support her children's education and purchase other basic needs. This success has completely changed her attitude towards her children's education:
'My girls were not doing well in schools, I wished that they failed in their final exams so that they don't continue with secondary school education, as I had no means to pay their school fees, but now I push them to work very hard as I am now able to pay their school fees', She concludes.
Farhiya Aliow is grateful for CARE-Kenya giving her access to loans which allows her to take care of small family expenses, while her husband covers other expenses, such as house repair. Respect for her by her family and by the community at large has increased. Community attitudes towards women and children have changed as women begin contributing to the household income, accompanied by womens' increased self-confidence and self-esteem.
'If only CARE would have introduced this concept earlier I would have had a pick-up to transport chickens and eggs to even Moyale and mandera'she jokes! Beaming with a smile!