Eunice Achieng Ogilo, Goodnight For Orphans and Widows Self-Help Group

Losing a spouse is hard enough anywhere, but for women in some communities becoming widows carries with it additional burdens. For women in rural Western Kenya, widowhood not only means the loss of a loved one, but significant change in status and access to resources. For some women, cultural practices such as wife inheritance mean that they are also remarried to a relative of their deceased husband – a situation which can bring abuse or further difficulties.
Facing these difficult situations, with children to raise, and with little outside help, women in many communities have banded together to support each other. In Kanyaweigi, Goodnight for Orphans and widows invests in table banking ensuring that women can access microloans to start income generating activities and support their families.
East Africa Hub Team member, David Omondi, was connected to the group by another one of his flow fund recipients while visiting her project. She explained to David the vital role that the women play in the community, and how much potential a project of this kind has to support them. One of the strengths of this kind of relationship based ‘flow fund’ grantmaking is that these grants help knit the community together and allow them to collaborate rather than competing for funding.
The funds from this grant will provide microloans to an initial group of 15 women, and the plan is that those funds will then be repaid to a table banking scheme which will allow the project to help others. David is following this plan closely so that he may help other communities implemented in the future based on the results of this project.
Date grant awarded: October 29, 2016