Family Preservation Initiative: A Group Integrated Savings for Empowerment (GISE) success story

Meet Pamella Nyakerario Owino. An orphan as well as a widow. Her husband was employed as a mechanic when she began operating a hair salon, before he passed away in 2006.

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“I plait hair and sell cosmetics in Eldoret. I have braided since childhood and have never gone for a salon course. My husband died in 2006 and my in-laws took everything from me and I had to start from scratch. This made me work hard up to where I am,” Pamella said. “This business has enabled me to educate and provide for my children. I also take care of an orphan (my sister’s child). My dream for the future is to build rental houses in order to get more income.”

Pamela is a hardworking woman who takes advantage of every opportunity, and makes sure she does not disappoint her customers. She is an AMPATH client who has received treatment and medication from AMPATH since 2006 and her health is good. In 2008 she participated in AMPATH’s Family Preservation Initiative Microfinance. She later joined a GISE group where she has always been punctual to attend meetings and has a good repayment history. The loans from GISE enabled her sustain inventory for her business. Due to this good report, Family Preservation Initiative recommended her to KIVA where she received an interest-free loan of KES 10,000 ($125) which she utilized to increase inventory for her saloon.

She paid the first KIVA zip loan punctually and was given the second loan of KES 20,000 ($250) which she is still repaying. The biggest challenges that she has faced is access to finance and competition from other saloons that have expensive machines and use expensive chemicals that she can’t afford.

Pamella says, “As a result of the loan, my stock will increase, making me get more customers enabling me to sell more and get more profit. My style is unique, that is what gives me a competitive edge. My goals for the business are to open a bigger, spacious salon, employ more manpower and open a school of hair dressing and beauty in future.”