Thursday, 26 July 2012

Success story of a Kenyan youth savings and credit co-operative society

Gatundu young traders Mpesa
Gatundu young traders’ savings and credit co-operative society is an organization founded by the youth for the youth. Their guiding slogan is ‘’Youth have all it takes to succeed as long as they unite’’. Gatundu young traders’ savings and credit co-operative society registered with the Kenya  ministry of cooperative Development and Marketing Reg Number C/S 12020 in February 2009 and the membership was 20 by then. To date Gatundu Young traders Savings and credit co-operative society has 200 members and a capital base of 2.5 million. The members get loans which they pay at a youth friendly interest rate.  45% of the loans are used in agriculture investment contributing to national food security. The Savings and credit co-operative society headquarters are located in Gatundu Town of Kiambu County in central Kenya region.

Members in a training session
This savings and credit co-operative society was started as a solution to the discrimination of the youth in kenya by the established financial institutions. The founder member Jonn Njoroge Munyua is the current chairman of Gatundu Young Traders savings and credit co-operative society and the vision bearer.  Njoroge is also the Managing Director of smart works Traders Company dealing with detergents chemicals in Gatundu town,in addition to being the secretary to original youth pioneers group based at kimunyu location Gatundu District. His leadership dates back ten years when he was elected the chairman of Vision Youth Group at the age of 30 years. Having grown up on the farm, he was introduced to farming by his parents who were good farmers. He developed interest in farming, worked on the family farm while young and latter on inherited piece of land.
Executive committee

He learnt about many profitable enterprises and technologies during agricultural trainings by agriculture extension officers, among which he started implementing installation of energy saving stoves services, manufacture of liquid detergents and making of fireless cookers for sale. Full of passion John Njoroge Munyua visited a bank seeking a loan for the projects implementation .He got a rude shock on realizing the bank required security/collateral which he didn’t have. The youth never got discouraged but conceived the idea of forming a revolving fund group consisting of young people, shared a few friends who supported the idea. The revolving fund group held its first meeting in June 2008 and latter registered as Gatundu young traders saving and credit co-operative society.  John Njoroge got his first loan from the revolving fund group which he used boost energy stoves installation services and detergents chemicals projects. The projects continue to flourish to this date greatly contributing to environmental conservation and community livelihood improvement.

Gatundu Young traders savings and credit co-operative society has grown tremendously and in the year 2010 and 2011 it was honored as the best organization in capacity building to the members, and best sustained and improved savings and credit co-operative society in Gatundu District respectively.In 2012 Gatundu young traders savings and credit organization has managed to roll their first M-pesa project which will generate income for the organization. Gatundu young traders’ savings and credit co-operative society is solely working with the members’ contribution and the funds are insufficient to meet all the requirements. The young traders are making efforts to pursue the Youth Development Enterprise Fund, a Kenya Government fund for assistance in overcoming inadequacy in a the working capital. The youth savings and credit co-operative society is a role model to many young traders and is therefore calling for any relevant support from like minded organizations and individuals, who have the objective of improving the livelihoods of the youth in Kenya. Glory to God on High and long live GYTS organization.