NAME:  Mary Wangeci Kagiri

PROJECT: Kiawara Women and Children in Stress Project

DATE:  April 2014

My name is Mary Wangeci, I am 67 years old and a single mother of three though one of my sons has passed on. I am the sole provider to seven of my grandchildren; three from my late son whose wife ran away and four from my mentally challenged daughter. Before the microfinance project by NCCK begun in 2005, I used to run a small grocery store from which I used to barely provide for our basic needs because of meagre stocks. I had no money to take my children to school and so they could not secure meaningful jobs. We lived in very poor conditions as the house we lived in had no water, toilets or electricity. Life became even harder when my daughter became mentally challenged and so I had to take care of her four children.

Today, after the intervention by NCCK, I expanded my grocery kiosk and this has enabled me make ends meet especially after I took up my late son’s three children. I built a semi-permanent house for my family although it does not have piped water and electricity.  I also make beaded hand bags and rear dairy goats which boost my income. My only surviving son helps at the grocery stall and also hawks plastic containers to local shops and in doing so, he supplements to the daily needs.

I plan to expand the businesses and would appreciate if the amount of loans we are granted is increased. I face several challenges as I have a very difficult task ahead of me; raising and educating seven grandchildren. The other challenges are fluctuating market tendencies and the ever rising cost of living. I am very grateful to NCCK for the project.