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Co-operative society

In May 1992 a small group formed a cooperative society to help people who had little to no financial security obtain loans from commercial banks

1996 Available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese

Footsteps magazine issues on a wooden desk.

From: Street children – Footsteps 28

Learning from different groups about how best to support vulnerable children

Your issue No 26 on credit and loans was of great interest to me, especially the HEED credit and loan scheme. In May 1992 a small group sat down and thought out ways to obtain loans from commercial banks when they had no securities. They decided to form a cooperative society and seek registration from the Government.

The Homa Bay Traders Savings and Credit Co-operative Society, as it is known, has grown from strength to strength in terms of membership and finance. We now have 800 members. These are our rules for lending:

  • Applicants must be members of the society for at least 6 months.
  • Applicants are loaned twice their savings.
  • Applicants must be guaranteed by at least three other society members.
  • If a person fails to repay a loan it is recovered from savings. The guarantors help to persuade the loanee to pay regularly.

We collect savings daily through a field collector. So far we have managed to save about 10 million Kenyan shillings and have loaned out 16 million Kenyan shillings.

This self-help co-operative movement has really changed the economy of our region.

Tom Cleopas Onyango Akuku (Treasurer), The New Mbita Clinic, PO Box 299, Mbita, Suba District, Kenya.

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