In blog

Alleviation of poverty through Islamic microfinance

By Caroline SANG

Barey, who is now 45 years old, is a resident of Bulla Jamuhuria location in Mandera East County in Kenya. She lives with and supports her six children, her aging mother and three cousins. Her husband who was the sole bread winner was killed in the neighboring war torn Somalia after taking his little precious livestock for grazing  due to cyclic drought in Northern Kenya. The livestock too were never recovered. Having lost her sole breadwinner and the livestock that was the family sole livelihood, Barey had no option but to struggle through thin and thick to make for another day but life was not easy.

The loss of these animals was a great set back putting in mind that the family was already vulnerable. Barey resorted to casual labor by carrying goods on her back from neighboring Ethiopia and Somalia to Mandera to provide for her family, the work seemed to be very dangerous but she had no option, what she got from her hard labour was not sufficient for her extended family. She also lived on hand outs from friends.

Despite all these Barey was a well respected lady who had good reputation in her neighborhood; she was very social, honest and a hardworking lady. Barey’s dreams were answered when she was referred to Islamic Relief 1-2-1 sponsorship programme where one of her child was recruited to the Orphan programme.  Islamic-Relief Kenya came to her assistance, she was identified, appraised and given a Micro-credit loan of 400 euros to start her enterprise.Fortunately for her, she was familiar with most of the traders who sell goods at whole prices since she was working for them by ferrying goods on her back.  She opened her own kiosk to try her luck a business for the first time in her life with micro-credit loan, fortunately things worked well for her. Her formers employers having seen her hard work and have supported her by providing goods on credit to be repaid after sales;this increased her stock from the loan. She paid back the principal money that was borrowed from the Orphan Micro-Credit Enteprise Project (OMEP).

Barey has now rehabilitated her house, she has repaid the IRK loan, she can now afford to pay her children’s school fees, provides three meal a day to her family and has become the  role model for poor and vulnerable families in her locality.Her life is totally different  from what she used to live.Barey with a  smiling face said, “I am a very happy woman, alhamdulilah!, I can  now provide for my family three meals a day, educate all my children even those that are not sponsored by IRK’s 1-2-1 programme, clothe and provide health care for all my family members” narrates Barey full of happiness. “I can now comfortably feed my family of eleven people. It is amazing! My eyes are now opened and I feel rejuvenated and woman enough” says Barey.

She is very thankful to IR-Switzerland and the entire IRK fraternity and prays may Allah exceed for them in reward in this word and hereafter, Amen.

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