A loan of $2,000 helped to pay for solar lanterns.


Knox's story

Knox is a 50-year-old clergy member. He is married and has two kids. In 2003, Knox established a social welfare group out of the need to offer financial literacy and solutions to his congregation, which is composed of rural disadvantaged families. Through this social welfare group, Knox would arrange for seminars and field days through which his congregation would be trained on how to save and on good farming practices. The same members would also pool their savings together and offer some short-term loans to some of their members to repay with a small amount of interest. In 2005, Knox registered his group as a microfinance and consulting institution named Rural Economic Empowerment Programme (REEP). He hoped to mobilise savings from the church members and advance loans to the less fortunate in the church by facilitating them to pay school fees, buy farm inputs, buy water harvesting tanks and improve their general living standards. REEP grew within a few years and Knox recruited members from other denominations and also expanded to other towns because of the good advocacy the institution was getting through its members. Today, REEP has enrolled over 400 groups and has a network presence in central, eastern, and coastal Kenya. In response to the high cost of kerosene for lighting the members' households, REEP introduced solar lanterns from BrazAfric to its members by financing the members to buy these solar lamps. The demand for the solar lamps soon became too high, so REEP, due to limited cash flow, could not buy an adequate supply of solar lamps to meet the high demand. Knox has been enjoying some credit terms to pay for the lamps in 30 days. He is now seeking to purchase solar lamps worth $2,000 for his members through Kiva financing. On the uploaded photo is Knox with Sera- a member of one of his group called St Anne's Self help group in Voi, who purchased a solar lantern on loan from REEP. She has since finished repaying for the solar lamp and no longer has to spend so much money on buying Kerosene but rather she is happy that she can save now some extra money for food and school fees.



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