Just Small Change

Growing livelihoods, overcoming poverty, one small business at a time.

   

Our mission:

To enable the very poor in developing countries to build a pathway out of poverty through small business development.

Our work:

Working through partner organisations in developing countries, we facilitate local microfinance schemes which respond directly to the needs of vulnerable rural and urban communities.

Just Small Change is a Registered Charity.

 

Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

 Elizabeth Achieng at her fruit stall, Kibos Road, Kisumu

 

As at 6th July 2020, Kenya has 8250 confirmed  cases of COVID 19. The majority of cases have been in the capital Nairobi (360km from Kisumu County, where our project is based ) and also in the coastal areas of  Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi (all about 800 kilometres from Kisumu). So far Kisumu County has to date recorded only 25 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 5 of which have been caused by local transmission.

Nationwide lockdown measures (including overnight curfew, closure of schools, universities and of many businesses) have thrown many Kenyans out of work, reducing spending power. The impact on our clients has been varied. As in the UK, those selling groceries and food have been least affected, as families, short of money, focus on ‘putting food on the table’.  Clients selling secondhand clothes have struggled, imports of these from Europe being temporarily stopped. Those who had contracts to supply schools or businesses have had to search for new outlets. Overall, clients report much lower sales. Thankfully, the recent easing of the curfew (which now starts at 9pm rather than 7pm) has restored some of the evening trade on which many clients depend. 

With public gatherings banned, support groups have not been able to meet, and training has been suspended. Meanwhile, Roselyne and Emily have worked hard to keep in touch with all clients through one to one visits, while observing WHO recommended health guidance. Here are photos recently sent by Emily. Masks are obligatory at all times when out of home.

Recruitment and training will restart once public meetings are permitted; extra help will also be offered to any clients who need to re-establish their livelihoods. Thank you for your support and interest during these challenging times. 

 

December 2019: a training course for 26 new clients was held in late October and another of similar size took place from 2-6 December. All these received their first loans shortly after completing training.

   
 New clients trained October 2019  New clients trained December 2019

October 2019: a short trip to Kisumu. In over 30 meetings with individual clients, we saw and heard how the project has strengthened their incomes and households. We also saw the great impact of the group leader training has had, in making groups more effective. Here are some members of the newly trained Molem group at their weekly meeting, where they track their loan repayments and run a group savings club, as well as discussing their businesses and enjoying social time together. (P.s. this trip was funded by the trustees, not from charity funds:-))

May/August 2019: 27 new clients received training in May, and a further 26 in August. A two day leadership training course was also held in August for 50 group leaders, so that they are better equipped to support their group members.

Group leaders training August 2019 
   
 New clients trained in May 2019  New clients trained in August 2019

June 2019: We published our second Impact Report. It's available to read or download from our Reports page.

May 2019: A 5 day training course was delivered to 34 new clients. They received their first loans in July. 

January 2019: Our new Project Coordinator, Ms Roselyne Okanda, joined the project.

Training courses in May and July 2018: the participants with their completion certificates.

 

Training courses June and July 2017: the participants, with their training certificates.