This month, I have the privilege of introducing Andrew Chacha, the CED Program Leader. Andrew has been with the CED program for 2 ½ years now and has risen quickly from Field Officer to Program Leader because of his talent and passion for changing his community. It is an honor to be able to work with Andrew every day to refine the CED model and make sure we are making a lasting impact. We recently decided to consolidate our model and officially transition clients participating in our KAPESA program to MwaK. KAPESA was the original model for CED and after conducting needs and barrier analysis in the field in early 2011, the CED team designed the MwaK model. Areas that participated in the KAPESA program were grandfathered into the fold, but as we strive to measure everything we do and prove impact, the team has decided that CED needs one effective model in all the areas we have scaled to and will scale to. I will let Andrew tell you more. 

In CED, we began in Nyametaburo, Nyangiti, Nyamaharaga and Taragwiti locations with KAPESA savings club meetings once every week. In these locations we have 1500 Nuru farmers but we only had 150 clients, showing that we were not impacting a large part of the community. In KAPESA, loans were given without checking or comparing savings of the loan applicant and their guarantors, resulting in members not having money for emergencies, as they were not saving well while they were repaying their loans. The structure of KAPESA made farmers value loans more than savings. The program goal is to help farmers to develop the habit of saving, even when they graduate from group saving to individual, and so through KAPESA we were not meeting our goal.

MwaK was developed in March 2011 and started in new locations; Ngochoni , Moheto, and Ihore. The MwaK model seemed to be working better than KAPESA, as farmers are taught to value savings more than loans through intensive trainings, money management counseling from Field Officers, and stricter regulations on loans that enforce having the habit of savings as a foundation. Loans are given comparing savings as a group and the individual (loan applicant) has to have a quarter of what she/he is applying for in savings. Clients must keep on saving while repaying loans if they wish to qualify for the next round of loans. This helps our program to meet its goal, as farmers are learning how to manage their money and are starting to be able to withstand economic shocks as they arise so that they are not falling back below the extreme poverty line again. Over the past year we have grown to 1300 clients out of 2045 Nuru farmers, which means we are impacting a larger part of the community and Nuru farmers feel they can more easily participate in the CED interventions.

But we were still operating KAPESA in the older areas which means we had a program with two sub-programs, KAPESA and MwaK. Because of the differences between the two models, when doing metric assessment, it required us to have a different set of metrics for each and this brought confusion. Also, only a few CED staff understood how KAPESA operated, while the rest did not and would never know it, as it was not a program we were scaling and therefore not training on. This meant that if a KAPESA Field Manager or Field Officer decided to leave Nuru we would not have the ability to easily train a new staff member on that model. So we have decided to change KAPESA to MwaK.

In order to transition to MwaK, we will first explain the model and all the changes to all CED Field Officers so they can explain it to their group representatives and farmers. This will help to avoid confusion and misrepresentations. Then we will explain the changes to the group representatives so that they will know how to explain it well to their groups. Next we will have meetings with all farmers in the 4 KAPESA locations to explain why we are changing it and how we will change it. To start the transition, we will have 6 trainings in the first 3 months to make sure all members have received the first series of money management training. This will help program train farmers on all requirements needed to be in MwaK savings groups, how to save, how to compare shares during loans, to be responsible as a group, and explain the roles and responsibilities of guarantors for loans taken in their group. This change will help have many farmers save, ensure all members have received foundational money management trainings, have one set of program metrics to measure program impact, and all CED staff will have same information to support each other and help uplift the community.

CED has scaled to Mabera and Kehancha divisions. Currently in Mabera we are in two locations; Ngochoni and Moheto. Come July 2012, we are scaling to two new locations Ngisiru and Komosoko. In Kehancha we are in two locations; Nguku and Tisinye and in July 2012 we will scale to two more locations; Nyamotambe and Nyamaranya. We are excited to continue implementing the CED model in Kenya and see communities come out of extreme poverty.