U.S. and Minister for Cooperative Development Join Youth at Launch of SACCOS
The U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Robert F. Godec and the Hon. Joseph W.N. Nyagah, Minister for Cooperative Development and Marketing, joined leaders of the National Youth Bunge Association in Kisumu on October 15 to launch six youth-led Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCO). The SACCOs were developed with assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Controlled, managed and driven by youth, the SACCOs will provide a safe place for savings and a source of loans for youth bunge members.
Godec praised the youth for using the National Youth Bunge Association (NYBA) network to give voice to youth issues and increase their economic opportunities. “I believe the youth have established a network that is a powerful platform for peace and positive change. The network is yours and yours alone, and I believe that you are committed to a better Kenya and will use your network to increase youth economic opportunities and to be a voice for free, fair, and peaceful elections,” he said.
The Minister urged youth to put their energies toward fuelling what he described as an “economic animal,” which will ensure economic growth both individually and at county level. “I am proud of what the NYBA has achieved so far, but the obligation is now on the Association to ensure continuity. The United States Government through USAID has done its part and it is now your time to run with the process,” he added.
Three hundred democratically elected youth leaders from the western counties of Siaya, Nyamira, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, and Homa Bay were present for the ceremony. National Youth Bunge Association President, Mwanasha Gaserego spoke on behalf of her fellow bunge members when she said, “It is time for Kenyan youth to cultivate a culture of saving and investing in projects that will ensure long term benefits instead of engaging in petty offenses and violence.”
Since 2010, USAID has supported the formation of the National Youth Bunge Association, county-level bunge forums, and village-level bunges as part of the three-year Yes Youth Can program. The SACCOs were established by the USAID-supported National Youth Bunge Association to motivate youth to form economic-oriented self-help groups. USAID anticipates the youth-led SACCOs to further the Government of Kenya’s progress towards Vision 2030.
Story by Joan Lewa