A loan helped to pay for a degree course.

Erick's story

Hello world! Meet Erick, a resilient, big, 28-year-old, Kenyan, Business Development Officer at Juhudi Kilimo, a microfinance organisation serving Kenyan rural smallholder farmers. He has spent all his life in Nasianda which is a very small village in the foothills of Mt. Elgon in Trans-zoia County. For a year now, he has been training and helping small-scale rural farmers find loans to acquire income-generating assets such as dairy animals, poultry and farm equipment.

Eric is soliciting a loan to take a Strategic Management Degree Course at Mount Kenya University.

The reason Erick is seeking an education loan is because the high cost of going to a quality university is quite prohibitive. Besides, Erick and his family are going through a series of misfortunes. His family lost the land they grew up on and in which they had invested 20 years of blood, sweat and tears, following the post-election feuds in 2007. His father lost all his retirement savings trying to seek justice. This incident deprived Erick off his opportunity to go to college. Moreover, Erick’s mother has been diagnosed with Arthritis, a condition which had paralyzed her for 12 years. She underwent a 10-hour operation at the start of the year which led the hospital bill to go through the roof. To date, the family is struggling to take care of the KES 900,000 hospital bill.

After high school, Erick was forced to get a paying job to support his family and worked as an untrained teacher. The meagre salary only afford him a Business Administration diploma course from an institution that had long lost government funding. He later moved to a private college where he completed the diploma course in 2010.

His first official job was with a suitcase manufacturing company in Mombasa. He later joined National Bank as an intern. After six months, he started working with Trans Kenya Sacco. It was here that he made up his mind never to be a corporate sellout by only working for social enterprises. Erick later learned about Juhudi Kilimo’s impact on his community and decided to apply for a job.

“I believe so much in investing time and other resources in lives of people. When I saw an advert for Juhudi Kilimo Company, I couldn't resist jumping on the opportunity. After going through their website, learning about their core values, mission and vision, I decided this is the company I want to work with. Acquiring the knowledge from degree course in strategic management, will help me adapt to the changes in internal and external environment of my company. Building my capacity and fully exploiting my talents, skills, expertise and passion will not only help me have more impact on smallholder farmers but also take bigger challenges in my career.”

Hopeful and undeterred, Erick is focused on a better tomorrow filled with dreams, accomplishments and opportunities. Holding it together when everyone else would understand if he falls apart is Erick’s sign of true strength.

Erick's favourite quote is from Nelson Mandela: "Education is the engine of personal development, it is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that the child of a farm worker can become the president of a great nation".

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