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Umoja Group
In this Group: Florence , Harriet , Evelyn, Esther, Lucy
Umoja group is a group of woman from Eastern Kenya Meru region near Mount Kenya. It was started in 2012 to empower women with renewable energy and especially biogas since their region has a big problem with fuel for cooking. The plight of many women when it comes to firewood and charcoal can be likened to that of Lucy.

Lucy, second from right, is a middle aged woman. She is a mother of six and lives with her husband and her extended family. Lucy is a small scale farmer practicing dairy farming and owns a small piece of land where she grows food crops. With 4 cows, Lucy is able to sell at least 26 liters of milk daily and this forms her main source of income. Her husband works seasonally as a casual laborer to add to the family income.

Her main source of fuel is kerosene for lighting, as well as firewood and charcoal which are illegally acquired from the forest. This comes with a lot of challenges like women being sexually harassed by the forest guards, sometimes being arrested for trespassing forest reserves, sometimes being attacked by wild animals, and many other challenges. With the heavy load they have to carry they also develop back and joint problems.

With the campaign against deforestation in Mount Kenya forest, Lucy and her friends decided to have a biogas plant installed for them and they approached VEP for advice. Due to their many financial commitments, especially school fees for the kids and feeding the family, they opted for a biogas loan. With biogas Lucy and the others will save on fuel cost for cooking and lighting. They will also promote afforestation and a clean environment.

Lucy’s immediate and extended family will also benefit from the bio slurry which will be used as fertilizer on the farm. In the end, she will save more money for her basic needs and will be in a better position to repay the loan.

Additional Information

More information about this loan

About Visionary Empowerment Programme

Visionary Empowerment Programme (VEP) is a nonprofit organization that empowers people to build their own enterprises through microfinance, training and other development services. In addition to providing loans to groups of borrowers, it works with established organizations to encourage installation of biogas digesters, solar energy products, clean cooking stoves and other technologies that reduce costs, poverty and greenhouse gas emissions.

This is a Group Loan

In a group loan, each member of the group receives an individual loan but is part of a larger group of individuals. The group is there to provide support to the members and to provide a system of peer pressure, but groups may or may not be formally bound by a group guarantee. In cases where there is a group guarantee, members of the group are responsible for paying back the loans of their fellow group members in the case of delinquency or default.

Kiva's Field Partners typically feature one borrower from a group. The loan description, sector, and other attributes for a group loan profile are determined by the featured borrower's loan. The other members of the group are not required to use their loans for the same purpose.

About Kenya

  • $1,800
    Average annual income
  • 369
    View loans »
    Kenya Loans Fundraising
  • $50,299,450
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 87.6
    Kenya Shillings (KES) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A portion of Umoja Group's $5,725 loan helped a member to construct a Bio-Digester for home energy.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
26 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Sep 2, 2013
Sep 8, 2013
Currency Exchange Loss:
Dec 11, 2015