Another great update from Taci in Kenya!:
Hello, my name is Traci Yoshiyama, Zidisha’s Kenya Client Relationship Manager. I am currently visiting Zidisha borrowers in and around Nairobi.
A brother in Nakuru has a friend in Nairobi who has a relative in the Maasai Mara. That is how the word of Zidisha has traveled throughout Kenya. The power of the word of mouth has proved its worth, for Zidisha borrowers can be found in the most unlikely places. Veronicah Munga, a lone borrower in the ghost-like town of Rironi, heard about Zidisha through a brother living in Mugaa and then again from a friend living in a neighboring village. With a little skepticism, Veronicah applied for Zidisha and is now a failthful member.
Not long ago, Veronicah ran a hotel in the shopping center of Rironi, but due to a recent renovation project run by the Municipal Council of Limuru, Veronicah had to close her business. But as many know, some downfalls can be blessings in disguise, for Veronicah has now opened Velrojack.
Velrojack, a combination of her and her youngest child’s name, is a small boutique selling clothes and shoes purchased in Nairobi. Through her first loan, Veronicah was able to stock her shop with such items. Boutiques are common in all of Kenya, but what sets her apart from most is Veronicah’s beautifully designed bracelets. Having five years of experience making jewelry, Veronicah creates these beaded bracelets in the evening hours, completing one per night.
In addition to jewelry making, Veronicah has delved head first into a new venture. She quickly closes her shop and takes me to her home where her project awaits. When we arrive, Veronicah proudly shows me a table spread of bags, intricately beaded and in various sizes. These bags will be the newest item in Velrojack. Veronicah also spreads her talent throughout the community, instructing others on the art of beading. Hoping to take out a second loan soon, Veronicah anticipates buying more beads to make her jewelry and bags.
Much like her teachings in jewelry making, Veronicah would like to share the benefits of Zidisha with others in Rironi. She comments on how technology has made the Zidisha process easily accessible and hopes to encourage others to join.