When Moses and I were talking with the teachers at the Special Needs Unit at Matsangoni Primary they asked if Mnarani Aid could supply a porridge breakfast every day for the children. Apparently the children’s families could not afford to give them breakfast before they came to school. Whilst we were very sympathetic to the problem Mnarani Aid could not afford to do that everyday. But then we got to discussing not how we could feed the children but would there be a way of helping the parents increase their income so they could afford to do that themselves.
Moses Abwao who is a member of the Kilifi Rotary Club is very experienced in this area. His proposal was that we approach the parents, especially the mothers, and ask if they would like to set up a Self Help Group to improve their income. We all thought this would be a great way forward. So we organised an invitation to the parents to come along and hear our proposal.
The meeting was set up and we were able to put the project ideas to them. We explained the idea was that they would form this Group and decide how to go about learning how to increase their income and how to manage the affairs of the Group. This would be their project, not Mnarani Aid’s.
We would if required provide some training from support agencies we work with and any small start up capital that may be required. But it was explained that they must become self-sufficient and really generate the funding in the future themselves.
We were pleased that they decided to think about the project and come to a followup meeting the next week.
At that following meeting it was decided by the parents to set up the Group. It will be called ‘Bidii Self Help Group’.The parents elected all the Officers for the Group. These Officers include Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Timekeeper. These Officers signed the proposal which will be registered at the County offices.
So all is going very well with the parents excited with the project. They are proposing to set themselves up to make liquid soap and cleaner which they can sell. We will shortly supply the training for this project. After that they will investigate the production of value added products made from coconuts which grow in abundance in their home area. We are also setting up some Bookkeeping training for the Officers.
The Group is now a legal entity with the issuing of the certificate from the local government. A whole new chapter opening for the people of Matsangoni.