CARE Kenya’s Women and Girls Economic Empowerment program provides opportunities for positive change by providing a pathway for women and girls to access and take control of productive assets. It does this by providing a channel for women and girls to become financially included, build assets that enables them build a sustainable livelihood.
The Program is aligned to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1 which focuses on ending poverty in all its manifestations, SDG 5 which focus on the reduction of gender inequalities and SDG 8 which focuses on sustainable economic growth. CARE has developed a Women Empowerment Strategy to complement its efforts in reaching out to women and girls.
We work towards building positive changes to Women and Girls through financial inclusion and economic empowerment initiatives that address needs of chronic livelihood insecure women and girls constrained by lack of access to and control over productive assets, basic services and denial of rights living in urban informal and rural settings.
This is done by building the capacities of poor communities using CAREs Group Savings and Loans (GS&L) Methodology as an entry point. We build on the network of GS&L to bring on board a broad range of interventions that include: Financial Education/Literacy, Rural Sales Agents, Micro enterprise development, Linkages to formal financial institutions, Market engagement and Poverty Graduation Models. Our work is driven by innovative approaches to reach our target group while leveraging on technology.
Link Up Kenya
Funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Link Up project builds on the GS&L platform throug CARE’s strategy for financial inclusion. The Savings and Loans groups are a platform to elevate excluded individuals into the financial system. Through partnership with Equity Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank the project has designed demand driven Savings and credit products, processes and delivery channels including mobile technology. The project is expected to link over 6,000 Savings and Loans groups with 125,000 individual members to formal financial institutions for the access of the savings product.
Lighting up Kenya
This project is focused on engaging youth entrepreneurs in solar lantern markets by linking them with manufacturers. The entrepreneurs cascade the bulky purchase through a network of youth sales agents who train, sell and offer solar lantern after sales services to GS&L members.The project has engaged over 4,000 youth who have promoted adoption of over 90,000 lanterns, making for themselves over 45 Million Kenya Shillings within one year.
The Program for Rural Outreach of Financial Innovations and Technologies (PROFIT) Graduation project is a pilot funded by Government of Kenya (GOK) in partnership with the International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD). It's aim is to address the endemic poverty levels in targeted zones of Kitui County, working with 1,000 beneficiary households. The beneficiaries are drawn from the zones characterized by extreme poverty, vulnerability, marginalization and exclusion from both the state-sanctioned social safety nets and the market system benefiting both the urban and rural populations.
Kenya Rural Sales
Over 24,000 women reached in this project promote various health products amongst other women in GS&L groups, making income for themselves and passing a cost saving share to their counterpart women end users. Rural sales will strengthen women access to resources by providing rare economic opportunities and dignified self-employment at the bottom populations.
Creating a Digital Credit Profile for Informal Savings Groups (VISA) Project
This project's target is to address the challenges faced by banks and savings groups, and develop credit models for banks to provide credit to savings groups with greater understanding of the risks and opportunities in that market. CARE Kenya is leveraging on data obtained from its own over 100 Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) groups to create a digital credit profile then taken through e-recording for adoption. The groups are linked KCB Bank. The project has further forged partnership with FSDK, Mine Tech and MDI Africa to ensure the e-recording data and behavioral survey are synchronized to create the model successfully.
This pilot project adapts the graduation model steps of ultra-poor targeting, provision of consumption support, skills training and asset transfer in terms of credit. Supported by Financial Sector Deepening Trust Kenya (FSD-K), the project targets 1,200 participants, about 92% of them being women to test market based approaches aimed at building the livelihoods of very poor households. In partnership with Equity Bank, the project is developing a credit product for this category of people who are traditionally left out of the lending regime due to high risk.