Zero Violence254 Walk: Day 11
It's Saturday 25th March and Day 11 of the history-making Zero Violence254 Walk.
At this rate, John Burke Baidoo and Douglas Kinyua will be in Nairobi by the 5th of April.
And what a tremendous day it turned out to be!
The team was on the road by 6 am.
Self Help Groups And Schools Lend Their Support to the Zero Violence254 Initiative
They were privileged to meet with members of the Taita Taveta-based Lola Lola Women's Self Help Group during the early part of their morning walk.
Lola Lola means 'tafuta tafuta in kitaita, and 'search/look' in English.
Now, the establishment of Self Help Groups (SHG's) are an integral part of the work that Ripples International does in Eastern Kenya.
What Is A Self Help Group?
A Self Help Group is a group of 12-50 women who come together to form a small micro-enterprise unit.
They learn skills of trade and investment by contributing monthly sums of cash which are then pooled together to form a 'bank' that is then loaned out to individual members with interest.
To get started, professional trainers go to the community and bring the women together to explain the concept, benefits and justifications for being in a self help group.
Through the power of education and common vision, the women of the society are empowered to bring development to their communities, fend for their families and raise much needed cash.
These women are taught basics of finance and accounting that enable them start small micro-enterprise businesses like farming, trade, bee-keeping, basket-weaving, fruit-farming and other trades.
Each member contributes a monthly sum, mostly in the range of Ksh 100-800 for the more established groups.
Remember that SHG's are formed in impoverished areas, so sums of these amounts are pretty significant for the women.
Each SHG has an bookkeeper who keeps a record of all the finances that are submitted by members. They also have a rotating Chairperson who supervises all monthly meetings and determines the agenda of the group.
Coming back to John and Douglas.
With this in mind, John and Douglas were understandably delighted to meet the Self Help Group.
They took time out to chat with them and understand their progress in developing the local area.
In addition, they also met with students from one of the local schools, Mwangea Boys High School. The students had heard about the Zero Violence254 walk and came out in large numbers to cheer on the walkers.
In gratitude, the walkers camped at the school, where they engaged the students in awareness activities.
See some of the highlights below.