children of microfinance: irene in kenya
by Kelli Ross
Irene is one of the top students in her 4th grade class, and her mother is very proud of her achievements.
Irene and Family
Without the help of the Thika Community Development Trust, Irene may not have been able to attend – or have had such success – in school. Jane, Irene’s mom, has been part of the Trust in Kenya since 2004. She’s invested her loans from the Trust in her vegetable garden and rabbit business. She has used the profits to pay for her children’s school fees and clothing and to buy nutritious food.
“I also really hope that with the next loan she gets she will build us a nice home,” Irene said. The family is currently living in a two-room house with iron sheets for a roof and mud walls.
Irene attends Giachuki Primary School in the Thika District in the Central Province of Kenya. Her favorite subjects are Christian Religious Education (CRE) and social studies.
“I particularly love CRE for the very reason that most of the issues taught in class are also covered in Sunday school,” she said. “I particularly love the fact that Jesus was born on Christmas Day, which is just around the corner! It was the same loving Jesus who also rode on a donkey!”
Irene dreams of one day becoming an environment professor, where she can teach others what she knows about trees, animals, flowers and food crops.
“For example, last term we learned about maize and tea and also about rabbits, and we have rabbits at home too!” she said.
Established in 1999, Five Talents International has provided funding for business training and thousands of loans, ranging from $50 to $300, in 15 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Each loan finances a microbusiness that, in turn, supports up to six other people. A majority of the loan recipients are women.
Five Talents’ ongoing work is supported by a staff based in Vienna, Va., an office in London, England, and a program office in Kampala, Uganda. Hundreds of volunteers across the United States and United Kingdom participate in the ministry. For more information and to donate, visit www.fivetalents.org.