Vision

To be a leading institution for change through empowerment of vulnerable individuals and groups in the society.

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SOLIDARITY INTERNATIONAL

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MISSION

To build capacity of marginalized groups in developing countries in essential areas of life including economic, social, cultural and leadership through education promotion and training in business management, entrepreneurship, agriculture, and technology

The Kenya Vision 2030 released in 2008, which outlines implementation plan of the Millennium Development Goals, which is the United Nations’ poverty reduction framework in developing countries like Kenya, underlines “Gender, Youth and Vulnerable Groups” as areas that require aggressive and concerted efforts so as to strengthen the social pillar of the country in order to take considerable strides toward poverty reduction in the country. And because the vision specifically identifies access to labour markets and productive resources as one of the areas in which women are disadvantaged, Solidarity House seeks to engage particularly women self-help groups toward empowering them particularly in social and economic circles. Toward an effort to empower women, the government aims at upholding gender equity by making fundamental changes in the following four key areas:


1. Opportunity    2. Empowerment

3. Capabilities     4. Vulnerabilities

   

What we do

Solidarity House is of the opinion that these fundamental changes can be achieved through, among other initiatives, promoting the concept of table banking, entrepreneurial development and promotion of education among particularly women and youth. To this end, the organization has experts trained in various aspects of business management to assist women and youth in entrepreneurial activities, including how to start and manage a business enterprise. This is done during the table banking monthly meetings and on request by group members.


When training groups in table banking, they are supposed to register with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development as self-help groups or community-based organizations to qualify for training. They are trained in the management of their funds (and those loaned to them from external sources) in a table setting, hence the name -“Table Banking”. Here, group members have access to funds without having to unnecessarily worry about the often strict loaning requirements imposed by most commercial banks, especially the requirement that they put up collateral for the loan. Practically, members contribute money as savings and borrow immediately. They are entitled to borrowing based on the amount of shares they save. All this is done openly on the table, and, conceptually, the revolving money is not saved in a commercial bank but goes with members who are expected to repay with a 10% interest within a month. The 10% interest is shared as follows: 7% goes to the group as dividends, 2% becomes the borrower’s additional shares and 1% is set aside for training and record keeping. Due to the duration of repayment, the loan is called “short term loan”. It accounts for twice the number of shares of the member seeking loan while “long term loan,” payable in more than one month, is thrice the number of shares. Unlike most micro credit institutions or commercial banks, this particular program distinctively underlines a ‘win-win’ character in its service delivery—that is, the program benefits all parties, not just microcredit institutions and banks.

Solidarity House CBO has more than 150 table banking groups in the two counties of Meru and Tharaka-Nithi. And the organization has assisted the groups to create wealth totaling more than 70 million in a period of six years.

© 2014 Solidarity International