Nairobi News

General

Fear not. Take loans to free selves from poverty

The Youths’ and women’s groups in Nairobi have a chance to apply for money from the Uwezo Fund to free themselves from poverty.

While allocations to the 17 constituencies in Nairobi may not be as substantial as those to other parts of the constituencies, it is our hope that the county’s youths and women will move fast to apply for funding.

Mathare, Ruaraka and Kibra constituencies have been allocated Sh16 billion each, the highest in the city, largely because they have some of the poorest slums in Nairobi; Mathare, Korogocho and Kibera.

The loans will be issued on the basis of first come, first served.

Other factors which will determine how much each group will get include how long they have been in existence, the total amount contributed by the group, the current status of contribution and their business plan.

All groups shall be allowed six months before repayment begins but all loans will have to be paid back within two years from the end of the grace period.

All eligible groups must be registered with the Department of Social Services, Cooperatives or the Registrar of Societies and should hold a bank account in the name of the group.

A youth group shall be eligible if its members are aged between 18 and 35 while the minimum age for a member of a women’s group is 18.

Past experience has shown that Nairobi youths are very reluctant to take loans.

Recent figures from the National Youth Fund showed there was a general fear of not only taking loans but also of going into private businesses. Studies undertaken by the Fund show that a vast majority of young people venture into business only after failing to secure white collar jobs.

We urge the youth and women of Nairobi not to be held back by such fears, especially given that they will have that six-month period to stabilise their businesses before starting to repay the loans.

A word of caution though; let them put the funds to good use so they are not only able to free themselves from poverty but to also create jobs for others.