Jael Akoth, Inua Mama
Western Kenya is home to Bumala, a small community where 54 women have come together in self-help groups to empower one another in embodying the entrepreneurial spirit. Jael Akoth founded the Inua Mama project, a Swahili expression meaning, “Rise up a woman!” The project is aimed at empowering village women to adopt social entrepreneurs as a group in order to start up village ventures for poverty alleviation.
The groups are actively involved in following a savings and loan association model, fostering an environment where income is earned and savings lead to financial security. The groups will be given grants to establish income-generating activities and will pay forward the grant to another group after six months with a 5% interest to secure sustainability. The participants of the Inua Mama project have to be enrolled for vocational skills and business training at the Women’s Academy, established by Jael’s co-leader and former Pollination Project Grantee, Lindy Wafula. Through these components, Jael and Lindy can ensure that the women will work together with the common vision of economic empowerment.
All $1,000 will go towards establishing the revolving loan.
“We believe that women build homes and communities. Women foster peace. This project will enhance rural development, improve transfer of services and goods from one village to another and build peaceful co-existence amongst the members of our community. Inua Mama will be the tool that will make women become agents of free trade and peace between villages.”
East Africa Hub Grant