Members of Burke Presbyterian Church began the microfinance program in Kibwezi, Kenya in 2008 in the belief that the rural poor have the capacity and the will to transform their own lives.
They established the Walking with Africans Foundation (WAF) in the US to finance the
program. WAF established a partnership with a local Kenyan non-profit organization, Efforts of the Poor in Development-Kenya (EPID-Kenya) to operate the program.
We do not discriminate based on age, gender, tribe, HIV/AIDS status, or ethnic group. Moreover, we may make loans to people without any collateral or assets. This microfinance program continues to grow and change many lives in the Kibwezi District.
EPID-Kenya makes loans only after they have trained a group of about twenty in basic business practice, group dynamics, and microfinance procedures. Establishing a stable group is essential for long-term success. The stories of some group members are more successful than others are. Some have had setbacks as victims of robbery or sickness. Nevertheless, all are building
their small businesses.
An example of a very successful enterprise is the Jua Kali Hotel (called a restaurant in the US) in the town of Machinery run by Treresia Kituku. She was among the first to start a business with one of our loans. Her restaurant is thriving and she has needed to employ five other people! In her words, the loan resulted in her being able to eat well, buy clothes, and pay school fees for her three children. She is currently working to buy the hotel property and expand her business. Clearly, she has the capacity and the will to transform her life, and in the process help others.