April 9, 2014
NAME: Margaret Nyaguthi
PROJECT: Kiawara Women and Children in Stress Project
DATE: April 2014
I am Margaret Nyaguthi aged 49 years, married and a mother of two children. I live in Kiawara slums in Nyeri town together with my family. Prior to NCCK micro-credit project in 2005, I and my husband used to sell a grocery kiosk whose proceeds could not meet the basic needs of my family. The business made very marginal profits and so we could not cater for our children’s secondary school fees. Though we owned our own house in the slum, it was dilapidated often inhabitable due to poor sanitation and lack of electricity.
Upon intervention of NCCK, I got a loan which we used to purchase, roast and pack groundnuts that has been doing well. We managed to build our own semi permanent house in the slum with all the basic amenities. We constructed 5 semi-permanent rental houses that bring in kshs.8,000/- per month and all are occupied by tenants who each pay a rent of Kshs.1600 per month. 2 houses are still under construction. We have installed electricity and clean piped water. Though we could not afford to take the children to secondary school, we managed to take one of them to Warazo Jet Polytechnic where he pursued a course in electronics and he does small scale contracts from which he earns his living. We supported the other one to put up a small video hall from where he also earns his living.
Our future plans are to complete construction of the two houses and to purchase a modern ground nut roasting machine that will enable us roast more ground nuts and hence a wider market and more returns. We also hope that ultimately, we will upgrade to permanent housing.
The main challenge we experience in our businesses is the fluctuating markets and the high cost of living. I do appreciate the efforts made by NCCK, nonetheless, I wish the amounts loaned to us would be raised to at least Kshs 70,000/- as this will make it easy to expand the business.