Trustee: Grace Mose
University Faculty & CEO of non profit organization
Nairobi , Kenya
Why are you interested in becoming a Trustee?
I am inspired to make a difference in the lives of poor, vulnerable and marginalized women and girls in Kenya.I am talking of women who would do the majority of the family’s domestic chores: building huts with mud and dung, fetching water from long distances, collecting firewood from the bush and often dangerous areas, cooking and rearing children, finding food. They will be the ones providing for their family but would have very little decision-making power both in the community and the household. They own no property and are generally illiterate; lacking basic financial and health knowledge. They would be enduring female genital mutilation, live in poverty and might be experiencing domestic violence. These women have proved be a powerful agents of sustainable change in their lives. Through The Grace Fund and Later Foundation for African Women(FAW) they have been able to raise cows, keep chickens,grow tomatoes and make bricks. Yet their limited financial resources continue to be a hindrance to these women's expansion of their businesses. They are the most entrepreneur spirited women I have ever seen but who have absolutely no means of accessing funds from traditional banks. In addition these businesses have brought women together to learn more. women have motivated spirit to learn about their rights, the value of eradicating FGM, seeking reproductive healthcare and participating in local politics. That is why all the 27 women have vowed not to circumcise their daughters, are now getting tested for HIV/AIDS, are helping pregnant women in the village seek healthcare. That is why I want to be a trustee and inviting you, you as a citizen of our global world to join me in becoming the agent of change in the lives of these women. The loan you provide will improve the economic welbeing of these women and their families. A Kiva loan will provide continued opportunity to engage these women in the education of women's and men's issues. Change is more than material provision but an embrace of an altered, changed attitude. Change is the power to perceive another world, the motivation to inspire hope, the willingness to support the vulnerable, the endurance to fight poverty, the courage to empower another, the genuine address of marginalization and the idea of stronger communities and the fulfillment of a vision for a better world. Something as simple as a goat or cow or even bricks in addition to a little education and skills can change a Kenyan woman’s life in ways impossible to measure. The impact trickles down for generations to come. The world is changing and these women are becoming increasingly aware that isolation and tradition cannot hold anymore. They are working diligently to address their life circumstances. My hope and theirs is that you can believe in them and invest in them just as I have been able to believe in them. Thank You! Dr. Grace B.Mose Okong'o
Tell us about your profession or other relevant background.
I hold a doctorate in Womens Studies at SUNY Albany, NY. I have over 10 years advocating for marginalized women and 6 years advocating for women's health. I have lived these women's lives and seen how it is possible to change circumstances. I have passion to impact these women's lives and that of our families. I owned simple businesses (a clothing kiosk and reared layers) which helped raise fare to enable me to travel to US to pursue studies.
Do you belong to any professional networks -- nationally, regionally, or locally? If yes, please list.
membership with Allied African National Chamber of Commerce (AANCC) Diversity RX ALLFELLOWS@listserv.albany.edu
How will you decide who to endorse as a borrower? What due diligence will you conduct?
1. I have a fairly long history with these women and so many of them are not strangers to me. I have a grasp of participant characters 2. References in the village. Women are the first and best references of each other because they borrow cash from each other and will know who pays back and who does not. Since they have been told the risk one person will bring to the entire group each person will be careful in endorsing a person who does not pay back 3. Endorsing those who demonstrate that they have understood how the program works and have commitment to its success 4.. Giving a small amount as stipulated by Kiva lenders and give probation period 5. Ensuring that weak participants are endorsed within a group of strong ones to help nurture the weak ones 6. Assessing the proposed business to ensure it will succeed so the borrower does get into risk of not paying
How do you plan to support the borrower, both before and after the loan is disbursed?
1.A training about how kiva works and the benefits. A thorough explanation of how everyone wins if each person pays back and how everyone loses if they do not pay back 2. A training specifically about doing business to ensure each person mitigates against risks 3. Translating information into Kiswahili and Kisii languages since many of the applicants do not understand English 4. Helping fill out application, taking their photos, helping with accessing the internet, and writing their story 5. Motivating repayments on time and encouraging folks in each group to be keepers of each other and especially the weak participants 6. Ensuring that the successful ones share their success stories to the rest of the team to motivate more successes 7. Ensuring that those who complete payments get endorsed for more loans 8. Technical assistance and check ups on each participants each couple of weeks to ensure things don't go bad
How will you help us ensure that the loans you endorse have a significant and positive social impact?
1. providing train-the trainer within the group so people have someone to support them even when I am not on site. These will create more connections and ultimately more impact. If more people are succeeding them more impact is created 2.Ongoing evaluation of how participants are doing and strengthening the weak points 3 I will tap into Kiva experts for help as might be needed 4. Our successful educational forums on social and women's issues will continue to create impact beyond economics
About Grace Mose
- Trustee Type:
- Third Tier trustee
- On Zip Since:
- Nov 24, 2012
- Loans Endorsed:
- Total Value:
- Paying on Time:
- Paying Back Late:
- Repaid in Full:
- Repayment Rate: