We Effect in Kenya
We Effect in East Africa are currently running four regional programmes; Rural Development, Gender Equality, Financial Services and Right to Adequate Housing.
We Effect is promoting rural development focusing on sustainable agriculture, food security and local business development. By setting up micro companies, farmers can invest in their own farming operations. Savings and credit societies offer the farmers supportwhich enables them to save and borrow money. The lack of good, safe housing is a considerable problem in big cities. Our housing programme helps people in slum areas to set up cooperatives and build homes together.
All our programmes focues on the following pillars:
- Organization Development whose focus is on strengthened organizational and management capacities of members-owned and community-based cooperatives/institutions.
- Agricultural Development and Agribusiness supports improvement is sustainable agricultural productivity, access to gainful market and enhanced access to financial services.
- Financial Education provides poor people with necessary skills to manage their money more effectively.
- Housing Finance supports improvement in availability and access to appropriate housing finance and enhanced financial literacy in managing loans, savings, revolving funds, mortgage repayments among others.
- Lobbying and Advocacy supports partner organizations and networks at national and regional level to engage in policy dialogue and lobbying.
An equal society, in which women and men have an equal say, is fundamental to all our areas of work. Although the majority of both women and men in East Africa live in poverty, the existing inequalities between women and men results in significant differences in livelihood opportunities and outcomes.
The spread of HIV is partly an effect of poverty. At the same time it aggravates poverty – both for the ones that are affected and the the society as a whole. It is for this reason that initiatives to prevent the spread of HIV and reduce the stigma attached to the disease are part of everything we do.
The effects of climate change are already far too visible in East Africa. All our programmes therefore contribute to an environmentally sustainable development as well as to decreased vulnerability to climate change.
The We Effect believes that good leadership is the key driver of progress. In order to create a strong leadership, committed to change, we put an extra effort in supporting the growth of skilled future leaders within our partner organizations.
Our regional office, which covers all activities in East Africa, is based in Nairobi, Kenya. We also have offices in Machakos and Kericho.
Local cooperative benefiting farmers.
”I used to stay in a mud house but now am staying in a brick house thanks to coffee” Anne Nduku Kimeu.
Anne Nduku Kimeu, a farmer and business woman, is a member of Kasinga Cooperative Society which is supported by We Effect. In her small farm she plants diversified crops from coffee, maize, beans, sugar cane among others. ”I used to stay in a mud house but now am staying in a brick house thanks to coffee”. Every year when she harvests, Anne takes her produce to the Kasinga coffee factory, to which she is a member. The factory processes the products, and looks for a better market for the coffee where upon selling the members earn their dividends. With the society the farmers have a better bargaining power. ”Being a member of the society at Kasinga Coffee factory -I have benefited so much because even when I don’t have money – the society provides us with farm inputs.”
Facts about Kenya
Kenya is East Africa’s largest economy and the hub for the financial sector and trade in the region. Despite the introduction of a multi-party system in 1991, there are still major deficiencies in the Kenyan democracy, with politicians attempting to stir up ethnic opposition. During the 2007 election, Kenya suffered its worst political crisis since gaining independence, and violent clashes ensued. Over 1,000 people were killed, and 500,000 were forced to abandon their homes.
The majority of the country’s 40 million inhabitants live in rural areas and work in agriculture, the country’s most important sector. Kenya also has a relatively developed industrial sector. The country has recently been affected alternately by severe drought and serious flooding, which has led to major problems for the agricultural sector. Farmers’ organisations and cooperatives play an extensive role in production and product marketing.
Women bear a heavy load, and often have sole responsibility for the family’s income, home and children. The rights of women were strengthened in the new constitution, which was adopted in 2010. Women now have the right to own and inherit land. Despite this change, it will take a long time before the constitution is fully implemented and accepted.