iMlango Microloans: Providing Hope to Women in Kiambani

Tumaini Women group is a group of parents from Kiambani Primary School. Tumaini means hope in Kiswahili, and the name was chosen to inspire other groups and their children; the group was formed in January 2018.

Group members are involved in various small businesses in Makindu town: salons and cosmetic shops, honey-selling, grocery stalls. 

In an effort to improve financial literacy and to economically empower members, iMlango field officers introduced table-banking, also locally known as Zangule, to the group. In this arrangement, each member is asked to make a weekly contribution during the group meeting.

  Tumaini Women group at formation stage

Tumaini Women group at formation stage

This collection is borrowed by members at an interest of 10%, and is repayable in the next group meeting. Weekly meetings result in more frequent collections, with more money in circulation and available to recipients.

From January to the end of May, the group has accumulated Ksh150,000 in their Zangule. They can now lend each other up to Ksh30,000, stemming from prudent and responsible financial management as guided by the loan officer. Members borrow to pay school fees, transport to school, pocket money for their children, business support, and emergency needs. 

In support of iMlango’s microloans initiative, the group officials have ensured that only borrowers who are active in their Zangule, and have consistently saved, are approved. They also warn members that in the event of a default, they would recoup their Zangule contributions to repay the loan amount due. This has helped to instil a high level of local financial ownership of the collective management of loan repayments.

  The iMlango team with group members, June 2018

The iMlango team with group members, June 2018

The group intends to open a bank account to save whatever remains in every sitting that isn’t borrowed by members. At the end of the year, they would pay out each member her interest earned for the entire period. Pay-out would be done in the first week of January 2019 so as to coincide with school opening, which will help support on school-related costs for the beginning on a new academic year.

Tumaini is one such example of a group driving their own financial development; as we are not prescriptive in our approach to developing financial capacity, only providing assistance where appropriate, and allowing for differing contexts at the local level.