By: Treeza Auma
More than 67 youths have benefitted from a Youth organisation which was founded by jobless youths to reduce unemployment rates and excessive drug abuse in the Coastal region of Kenya.
Many youths reportedly miss chances of self-employment owing to lack of financial capital to start businesses.
Speaking during an annual general meeting of Jobeis Youth Organisation held at a Kilifi hotel Monday, the beneficiaries attributed their business success journeys to the amateur group recalling the challenges they previously underwent in getting capital from other financial organisations
Doris Alang’o from Kwale said her life has never been better before she secured Ksh 40,000 from the group, the money she used to start her business of supplying Omena from Homabay to the Coast region.
She said her efforts to start any business before bore no fruit due to lack of capital since no financial lenders were willing to offer her loan without guarantors.
“Life was difficult for me in the past trying to make ends meet with no success. Every business proved to be difficult with no capital to start with. Six months after joining this youth group, I managed to get a loan just a day after applying and immediately started my business which has sustained me and my family to date,” Alang’o said.
Barely one year into joining the group, Fred Okoth who previously was a boda boda rider told the media after the meeting that he has been able to buy two motorcycles and built a house after getting a loan which he has since completed repaying.
Okoth said he has spent years of his youth dealing with cons in the financial market that did nothing but take away the little money he had in the name of saving.
He has created employment to other youths through his investments and other than just ripping from his businesses, he is apparently a re-known fumigator in the coast region, an idea he obtained from the group’s financial advisors.
“I took a Loan from Jobeis and used it to buy a motorcycle. After paying back the money, I took another loan to buy another motorcycle and later on built myself a house. Right now, I am not only getting money from the motorcycles but also paying the youths whom I have employed to run my investments,” Okoth said.
He said poverty is now a thing of the past as he is focused on expanding his business ventures urging the youth who are still jobless to join the group in order to attain self-employment just like he did.
“My first ever Loan was Ksh 20,000 from Jobeis 6 months after joining. I paid back the loan in two weeks and secured another one immediately. I recently got a loan of Ksh 50,000 of which I have used to expand my businesses. Before then, I could not secure any loan because I did not meet the required protocols besides losing trust with most cons who disguise themselves as financial institutions,” added Kennedy Ochieng, a business beneficiary from Jobeis Youth Group.
Addressing the media during the AGM, one of Jobeis Youth Organisation founders Joseph Aseka said the group’s main motivation is to eradicate poverty by creating employment opportunities among youths and fighting drug abuse which has escalated among youths due to peer pressure and joblessness.
He said he started the youth financial organisation with a friend who was equally jobless and despite the situation the group has attained heights of lending more than Ksh 1.6- million.
“We are running door to door programs at the grassroots to educate the youths to quit drug abuse and venture into business. Upon their acceptance, we empower them by offering them loans to start their own businesses and those who have some skills, we ask them to join the group after which we tap into the skills that are useful to the group as a way of creating employment to them,” Aseka said.
He said the group has experienced a number of challenges ranging from critics and getting serious members who are business minded.
He said he personally experienced difficulties in accessing financial capital from various financial organisations that refuse offering loans to jobless individuals without any significant assets.
“I would not like anyone to go through what I experienced in approaching financial institutions to ask for a loan in order to start a business. I am glad that Jobeis has been able to offer loans amounting to Ksh. 1.6 -million most of which were used for school fees and business ventures,” Aseka added.
The group’s treasurer who is also one of the founders Bernard Avuzi said their priority project is to ensure that all the group members have businesses through which they can invest money in the Organization.
He said the group also plans to help orphans and the vulnerable groups in the society through charitable activities among the members.
“We have battled poverty by ensuring that every member has a source of livelihood and some savings for the future. We intend to make Kenya a better nation by expanding our projects to real estate ventures and extend to charity for the most vulnerable persons in the community,” Avuzi said.
He said that out of the 67 youths who have benefited from the Organisation, 30 of them have outstanding businesses that have in turn created employment opportunities to other youths who are non-members.