Growth is something that we can all relate with. We look at pictures of when we were younger and we are amazed at how far we have come. This could be physique wise behavioural. We look at things we used to do and we can agree that such behaviour was childish or inappropriate. Growth is a process leading to fullness or fulfilment.
Lao Tzu says that growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness. We constantly recognise that something no longer fits our age and make an effort to change.
It’s important and crucial that we all strive to grow. William. S. Burroughs says that when we cease to grow we start to die. And that’s the reality. Staying in the same place often feels very comfortable but after we have moved from that comfy place, we know deep down that we would not want to go back. So we need to push ourselves out of where we feel most secure and venture into a world of the unknown. “It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.”
― Roy T. Bennett
At Village HopeCore, we are committed to the all-round growth and development of our community. The Micro Enterprise department fosters an environment that encourages individuals to grow and develop individually and as a group. Our groups start as a gathering of a few individuals who face or have faced common challenges in life. At that point, they are aware that they are not in a good place in their lives and they probably don’t know how but they know something has to be done to change their situations.
James Cash Penney says that growth is never as a result of mere chance; it’s the result of forces working together. ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much’, Helen Keller. The Micro Enterprise team is dedicated to the social and economic growth of our clients. We help them grow together and we are there all the way to help them mitigate the challenges they may encounter along the way.
The group setting is crucial in helping our clients learn from each other and be accountable to someone other than themselves. They learn that they need each other to grow and hence they foster dedication to helping one another.
Figure 1: Nguruki youth self-help group receiving their soft loan.
At the very beginning, the Micro Enterprise team conducts an income assessment which is meant to evaluate their current economic status. This helps us to understand each group member and their needs so that we are able to know which aspect of their lives that needs our attention and how best we can help them.
We then lead the group to embark on both a merry go round and table banking scheme. The members receive rigorous training on how to practise table banking; they are taught how to keep good financial records through passbooks that are tailored to suit their table banking needs. The table banking practise is meant to help the group develop business acumen. The team attends their meetings on a monthly basis to check on their progress and address any challenges they may be facing. They also receive business advice regarding any ideas they may have in terms of viability and what would be needed to sustain it. This helps to make sure that they have all the information prior to them making a decision.
After a few months, they receive a soft loan which is meant to boost their table banking account. At this point, they are now able to borrow more money and invest in small projects. They also continue to make monthly savings to grow their account and learn the value of saving for the future. It is important to note that like every good thing, their projects start as ideas. As they progress, their ideas are made possible by the little financial boost in form of a soft loan. Due to their commitment to grow and develop, they take time and make effort to see their small ventures grow. Our growth and development efforts are all guided by one goal in mind. This is because “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” ― Edward Abbey, American Author, and Environmental Advocate. The vision that drives our efforts is to see a transformed, enabled, and empowered people of Kenya and the rest of Africa who can respond to their personal, social, and economic challenges effectively.
Growth occurs gradually hence it’s important to exercise patience and not to lose hope at any point.
“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” ― Andy Rooney, American radio/TV writer, and personality. Ultimately, our associate groups graduate to become partner groups and receive individual funding to boost their various business projects. We have watched our clients grow from extreme poverty to economic independence and we are so glad to be part of their growth journey.