Women’s financial self-reliance

The ladies of the Alara Women’s Group now have a reliable income from the tree nursery project. Some of the income is used for basic needs: medical fees, pots & pans, food, fuel, clothes etc.

But they have used some of their new income to set up a ‘Table-Top Bank’.

Every month, the ladies pool the money they have, then decide the priorities of who needs money to meet their social needs. Any lady who borrows money pays a mutually agreed interest rate which is then put back into the ‘pot’ for next month.

This project has helped the ladies to develop a greater sense of cooperation, community spirit and the benefits of long term planning.

Tree planting at Alara

Over the last two years the women’s group in Alara have set up their tree nursery at the Kinda Biye community centre. They plant tree seeds in plastic tubes and look after them until they are big enough to be planted out. For each tree seedling they get paid 10 Kenyan shillings (about 7p) raised from our carbon-offset project.

The seedlings are planted out in a variety of places. Some are planted on CEPARD land to provide a future income for the charity. Others are given to local schools so they can buy educational resources in the future. Some schools have large plots of land and could be financially independent if they had a regular cycle of tree planting and harvesting. Trees are also given to community members to provide an income, fuel and construction materials.

The carbon stored in the growing trees helps to offset the carbon emissions of supporters in the UK.

It costs £6 to plant enough trees to offset 1 tonne of carbon emissions. The average person in the UK causes the release of 8 tonnes of carbon, so to be carbon-neutral would cost £48 – if you round it up that’s £1 per week.

If you are interested in carbon offsetting, please contact us.

Alara Mixed Secondary School (AMSS) prepares for end of year exams

Form 4 is the final year of secondary school in Kenya and the academic year ends in December. Most rural secondary schools have few text books for exam preparation so few students can produce good revision notes and don’t do as well as they could have done.
With your support, we have just provided textbook for form 4 students at AMSS. They will share one between two for all eight academic subjects they study. During previous visits to Alara we have become aware of how academically driven many of the students are. Questions we have been asked include:

  • What is the evidence that Pluto is not a planet?
  • How does your legal system differ from the French legal system?
  • What is the best global map projection for circumnavigation?

These are not questions from students of low ability. They just need support to achieve their potential.
Thank you for your help in making this possible.
We look forward to seeing their exam results in January.