A week ago the JRP team conducted financial management training in Aromo sub-county with members of Awe Ikoko Women’s Group one of the groups under the Women’s Advocacy Network housed by JRP. The objective of the training is to impact knowledge to victims of SGBV in five WAN groups to have increased agency to plan for their future, know about savings and credit options in their communities and to learn how to make a savining with a purpose to fund their income generating activities.
We also aim to ensure that the women understand the benefits of business planning and how to manage the performance of business planning as well as how to record manage performance of business through record keeping. The training we did in Aromo training focused on saving with a purpose, record keeping, investment decisions, planning for the unexpected.
The training was facilitated by an expert in the field of village and loan saving scheme (VSLA) who really used different approaches from lecturing to sharing of experiences and then group discussions where the participants expressed themselves to have understood what was taught. This was witnessed on how they were able to demonstrate individually their business plans and how they will be able to invest through saving with a purpose.
One woman said she will save 2,500 shillings every week for six months alongside the normal VSLA scheme to enable her buy a goat and then use the same procedure to acquire what she has not been able to acquire before.
Post training the women of Awe Ikoko said they will put the knowledge gained into good use by planning well and investing in things where they are able to realize profits which was not the case before, keep record of their investments like farming, VSLA, Saving With a Purpose (called ‘SWAP’ for short) as others have always used their money to buy clothes.
The significance of this training is that the women will be able to share their knowledge with other women in the community. As a member of the group stated: “I will go and teach my daughters in law about the knowledge have acquired today, as this is very crucial to help plan for the future.”
A member said this knowledge is going to build their capacity as a group and individual members in their household which will ensure sustainability and independence of the group at one point in time.
Communities can provide for themselves if their capacities are built and trained basic concepts. Looking at the training, the women are hard working and are doing things like farming but they did not have the knowledge on how to invest in it and use proceeds to enable them get the basic needs in life which they have longed for.
Victoria Nyanjura is a Project Assistant with JRP’s Gender Justice department.