Zeinab Miday, a mother of ten, lives in Wajir, in northern Kenya. She is the chairlady of a women cooperative.
“Most of us came here in the nineties when we lost all our animals to drought and we were literally blind of the possibility of doing business. Then Oxfam and partners came.”
Oxfam’s partners supported us in forming women’s groups. Each member then received a loan of Ksh 10,000. “We started businesses but incurred losses because each member started the same business in the same area. After realizing our failure, we were trained on bookkeeping and market research. The next time we received loans, each member started different business among them selling meat, clothes and milk.”
Everyone has triumph moment in life. Zeinab says they were delighted when they were introduced to banking. She confesses their naivety: “Previously, we feared even to get close to the banks, let alone make a transaction due to the presence of police men and the fact that we didn’t know Swahili well. Oxfam taught us how to write our names, signatures and fill out bank slips and it reached a point when we were depositing and withdrawing money on our own. This was a big relief.”
As the chairlady of her cooperative, Zeinab is a key player in bringing the women together. “When one of our member encounters a challenge, we do not leave it on them; we solved it as a group. I think we can continue thriving if we stay focused individually and as a group.”
Photo: Benson Guantai/Oxfam
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