In order to foster the empowerment of the communities we serve, Elimu started a Savings & Internal Lending Community (SILC) program that incorporates staff and other community members as well as Elimu beneficiaries. In 2018, we introduced parents from our Stay in School Project to SILC. The goal is to empower them to meet their household financial obligations and emergencies while Elimu helps cater for the school expenses of one or two of their children.

Financial Freedom Can Only Be Achieved By A Conscious Choice.

Essentially, parents pool their money into a fund from which members can borrow at a very low interest. At the end of the year, funds are distributed in proportion to individual’s total savings. The parents initially met once a month and saved a minimum of two hundred shillings ($USD 2). Over the years, they have taken greater ownership of the program as they saw its benefits. This year, they have challenged themselves to save on a weekly basis, each targeting to save a minimum of 1,000 Kenyan shillings ($USD 10).

One of the parents says of her SILC experience, “This was my first time saving in an organized group. Previously, I used to keep my savings in a container which I’d hide away. But when I was in need, I’d take out the money. At the end of it all, I was not really growing. Since I joined the SSP SILC group, I am saving more and I have taken a loan to boost my business. Also, when I have an emergency, I can quickly get the money from the emergency fund.”

Many parents have no access to formal banking or financial services. They thus cannot get loans and their savings opportunities are limited. SILC both encourages better savings habits and offers them the chance to easily access loans and monitor the growth of their funds.

Through this microcredit program, parents have been able to put their other children through school, cater for medical bills, and provide for regular household needs. The level of dependency and desperation has great decreased for parents who have embraced the savings and loan solution for their finances. It has also boosted their social security in a big way. Our ultimate goal is to see the parents independent of Elimu in future.

Elimu’s social welfare officer, Tabitha Wambui, oversees the implementation of the program as well as keeping records of members’ saving and lending. Through her guidance, parents have come to embrace the idea of planning for their financial needs and as a result the SILC program continues to grow. Over time, through their efforts of continuously saving, we have watched these parents strengthen their livelihoods as they transform the narrative of their family’s life.


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Elimu empowers learners to increase academic and digital literacy, improve school retention and encourage self-sustainability through employment planning and entrepreneurship. 

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