But things changed dramatically when the local church began Self Help Groups and got involved with the needs of their community. Why not share this film with your church or group, as a great example of the work you are supporting through EKHC and Connected Church?
A Life Changing Restaurantby Simon Haile19 October 2015If a person is stuck down a hole, what would you give them? Compassion Sewing Self Help Group provides empowerment to young women from the slums, through training them in sewing and tailoring. Started in 2007, Compassion Sewing Self Help Group was one of the first groups to join the Compassion CBO Network. Compassion CBO originally helped the group to secure a loan from the Youth Enterprise Fund, run by the Kenyan Government, which offers loans with interest rates of 8%. The aim of the group is to provide empowerment to young women, through training them at a small fee for six months in sewing and tailoring. They are encouraged to set up their own businesses as soon as they have finished their apprenticeship with the group. The main challenge for the group is space and lack of resources; training women with no previous sewing experience is costly as mistakes will be made and fabric can be quite expensive. With funding, the group would like to buy larger premises that would allow up to 10 girls to be trained at once.

Following an intensive selection process, Compassion CBO has been awarded a grant by AmplifyChange to run Anti-FGM Hotlines in Kenya. Resulting consequences of the policy framework did not contribute to self-sustained growth of the rural credit system and it also did not adequately serve the rural poor.
The erosion in credit discipline has been a fall out of the system of 'targeted credit' where loans were often made in a rush, carried a certain political aura, the lending institutions were identified by borrowers with the Government, and relationships between the lender and borrower rarely developed.
Membership of the co-operative entitles the groups to receive training and support by Compassion CBO. Some choose to do so in villages where there is little competition, others have gone to Nairobi or other local towns. The shops where the girls are trained are often smaller than 10 by 10 fee, semi-permanent structures - which means that only a few girls can be trained at once.
It is well known that a part of the subsidies and concessions involved in rural credit were captured by people who were not poor and substantial number of very poor could not be reached under this dispensation. In such systems, prospective borrowers were often identified by extension workers who assisted in sanction of grants (where applicable) from the state and generally escorted them to the bank who sanctioned the loan.
Compassion CBO helps members of the network to write their constitutions and register with the Kenyan Government, which then enables them to receive small loans and grants. The group has five female members who now all have their own shops in Githogoro and meet once a week to report on their progress.

All the young women come from the slum and are given the skills that will provide them with a income. While being trained, the girls are given a percentage of the sale price of whatever they make, the rest goes to buy materials to allow the project to continue. Further, the rural credit delivery system in most of the developing countries was weakened by poor credit discipline among the borrowers resulting in low recovry of dues.
While the involvement of the extension agents upto this stage was visible and common, their involvement in the recovery of loans so granted was most uncommon. Each member group subscribes to a common ethos of supporting the rights of women in the community and working together to fight poverty.The network includes groups with a wide range of interests from all different parts of society from people working in the same area, such as flower growers, to groups of HIV+ people, Women's Groups, Cancer Survivor Groups and many more. High operating (intermediation) costs, burden of subsidised interest rates, non-viability of operations and heavy dependence on concessionary outside funding or refinance support were some of the other constraints in the development of self-sustaining systems. Many credit programmes started with support from the State or a donor agency operated as per their dictates and were abandoned due to poor results.

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