After our many adventures yesterday, we visited our third community. Keringet Primary School has been a project site of A Better World Canada for several years now and our friend and local dignitary Beatrice Limo recommended it as our third sample community for evaluation.
Keringet is slightly further from where we are staying near the town of Kericho, but we arrived on schedule in the morning, and ready to head out right away. Now that we’ve been at it for two days, our team have gotten into a productive rhythm. Well prepared, we were in the field minutes after our arrival in Keringet, eager to meet the community.
The children at Keringet Primary came to greet us in the morning, but we did not see them much afterward. We later learned that they were writing exams today.
Sean (left) and Samuelle (center) have each been leading their own data collection teams in the communities over the last several days while Dr Kiš (right) has been staying at the school sites to hold focus groups with teachers and board members.
During the course of her interviews, Samuelle met a woman in the community with her own borehole for water which she shares with her neighbors and the school.
Keringet has the advantage of the generosity of both its neighbors and its supporters through A Better World, but there are still challenges which the community there faces. One of these challenges is that many families cannot afford to pay the fees involved with sending their children to the school. While education in Kenya is free, many communities need to pay some of their own teachers (the government pays for some, but not enough) and this requires a contribution from the parents.
Since we were able to finish our data collection early, Mrs. Limo brought us to visit an organization which is actively trying to address this challenge in the region. The Kipkelion Empowerment Sacco is an initiative which aims to help impoverished families manage their finances and increase their savings. The strategy requires a great deal of fieldwork on the part of the office’s employees as they actually travel to the homes of their members to engage in what Mrs. Limo called “table-top banking” – essentially, to provide all of the services of a bank teller in the family’s home.
The main office of Kipkelion Empowerment Sacco
We were really impressed to hear about the success the Sacco has had in growing its members’ income and savings since it was opened in 2013. Employees of the Sacco – Gilbert, Robert, Hilda, and Robert – have been taking time this week to assist us as translators. We are very grateful to them for the assistance they have provided us, as well as for the dedication they are showing to seeing their community grow and improve.
The staff of the Kipkelion Empowerment Sacco and Mrs. Limo (second from right).
Tomorrow will be our last day of data collection in Kericho. As we returned to our hotel tonight, we were happy to hear that Eric had returned safely from Rwanda and that he will be rejoining our group tomorrow.