Family Preservation Initiative: Group Integrated Savings for Empowerment (GISE) and KIVA

Meet Joseph Maina.

Autumn 2013_Joseph - GISE.jpg

A guardian to orphaned children whose parents were AMPATH clients.

Joseph Maina is a cobbler who decided to start his own business because, while he was employed, the wage was too little to enable him to take care of his family.

“I am 66-years-old and married with 7 children. I went to primary school up to Standard 8. I lacked school fees to continue beyond that. My parents were farmers. I am also taking care of five orphans who are also my grandchildren,” said Maina.

Maina is a member of the Jiinue Guardians’ GISE program. He borrowed GISE loans which enabled him to purchase supplies for his cobbler business. He repaid the loans comfortably with proceeds from his business. Within 12 months (one GISE cycle), he was able to save a total of 12,500 Kenyan Shillings (KES) or $147 (US Dollars) which earned him an interest of 8,500 KES ($100) during the group share at the end of the cycle. 

Due to his remarkable loan repayment history in the GISE program and commitment to expand his business, the AMPATH Family Preservation Initiative linked Maina to KIVA ( where he was able to get a non-interest loan of KES 10,000 ($118) and later KES 20,000 ($235). He has managed to repay these loans in less than three months.

As a result of the loans, Maina was able to increase stock supplies and in turn gain more customers, which enabled him to sell more and reap profits. The main challenges he faces now are delayed payments from customers, customers giving short deadlines to make shoes and lack of finances for additional stock increases.

Maina said, “My stock has improved and I was able to make shoes in bulk, which I sold to school-going children. My life has changed tremendously as I have been able to repair my house and support my family. My goal is to grow my business so that I can open a shop for selling shoes.”