Eunice Atieno, aged 37 years, is a single mother of 8 who lives with 4 other children. She lives with these 12 children in Kosovo, Kiambiu, an informal settlement in Nairobi City County. She used to do casual laundry jobs in a neighboring estate, earning an average of about 8.6 USD a week, which was barely enough to sustain her family.
In 2021, Eunice joined Achievers Village Savings and Loaning Association (VSLA), a group founded by Undugu Society of Kenya (USK), where she nurtured a culture of saving, making contributions of 0.43 USD on a weekly basis despite her meager earnings. Eunice developed chest problems, which she relates to her laundry business and could no longer fend for her family and stopped making contributions, reducing her ability to borrow from the association. With the support from VSLA members welfare contributions, she was able to access medical care and regained her health. Later, through the VSLA group she got a loan to start a food kiosk. Through this business she is now able to service loans, she comfortably provides for her children and saves at least 0.86 USD a week.
Quotable quote: ‘Nafurahia kujiunga na kikundi cha VSLA kwa sababu niliweza kufungua biashara ya kuuza chakula ambayo imeboresha maisha yangu.’
Translation: ‘I am happy to be associated with the VSLA group since it has enabled me to start my own food kiosk business that has improved my life’