Stories & Impact

Visits to East African Partners – The Boma Project

Three days in barren rocky Northern Kenya left us in no doubt the project helps some of the worlds’ poorest. Two $50 grants (not loans) to women accompanied by two years of business mentoring seemed an effective way to get them on ‘the first rung’ of the climb out of poverty. Technology is increasingly a feature of so many projects we now visit. A BOMA mentor visits a women’s business in a distant dry village, then feeds the latest results from their businesses into their smartphone and it aggregates real time into Salesforce – providing a wealth of information for management.

The visit gave us insight into how basic many of the businesses are – often nothing more than food supplies displayed in a small hut with $40 of sales a month yielding $15 of profit. However, do the maths and you quickly find that a $180 a year surplus has been generated. That may be enough to send three children to a private school in the nearest town.

We first met the BOMA people two years ago. We kept in touch with them but needed to visit the project on the ground first before we could really feel comfortable with a funding decision. The visit met our expectations and PFE is now a proud funding partner.

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