On 21st July, 2021, Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia, launched the Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) Strategic Plan 2021-2024 and Thamini – a loan product for widows.
Thamini is loan facility that provides widows access to interest free group loans with no administration costs. The loan product is expected to improve the lives of widows and their families. It is targeted at widows in Kenya aged 18 years and above within certified widow led groups.
Prof. Kobia lauded the initiative as a premise on conviction, that if you lift women from poverty they will improve the quality of life for both men and women in the society.
“Although many gains have been made, negative culture and women’s socialization on their roles, inhibits and restricts them from realizing their full potential more so the vulnerable segments of PWDs and widows, hence the need for the new initiative that we are launching today,” she said.
The Cabinet Secretary thanked the development partners for their role in making the product a reality. “I wish to thank the many organisations who have provided resources and technical support towards this launch as we could not have achieved this alone,” she said.
The features of the loan are:
- Must be a registered Self Help Group of 10 members and above comprising 100% women of which at least 70% should be widows, and must have been in existence for at least three months.
- All leadership positions must be held by widows.
- Must have an account in a Bank/SACCO FOSA/Post Bank/Deposit Taking Micro-finance (DTM).
- Groups must be trained on specialized and holistic business management skills by the WEF officers as a prerequisite for the loan application.
- One month grace period applies to the Thamini Loan cycles.
Also present at the launch was Principal Secretary State Department for Correctional Services, Ms. Zeinab Hussein; Principal Secretary State Department for Gender, Prof. Collette A. Suda; Chief Administrative Secretary, Hon. Jebii Kilimo; WEF Chairperson, Commissioner Njoki Kahiga; Kenya National Assembly Chairperson, Hon. Josphat Kabinga; and Come Together Widows and orphans Organisation founder, Ms. Dianah Kamande.
By Naomi Moraa