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Posted on September 6, 2022

Power of Walking Together

She hugged me the moment I walked into the living room. It was half past ten on a chilly night in March 2020. Normally she would be upset if I got home this late but, on this day, she knew something was not right. A couple of my colleagues and I had been spending time together at our favorite café in town trying to comprehend things unfolding around in the office. She sat me down and served me dinner in silence while weighing the situation. “How was your day” She spoke unconvincingly, “Fine!” I mumbled as I dug in a few spoons in the food and left for bed. My head clouded with worry.

I had been in employment for close to 5 years at the NGO during which, I had started a family. Now, everything was in limbo. The administration officer had just dropped the bomb sealed in white envelopes. Everyone’s face turned pale once they read the content of the envelope. The project we were working on had been discontinued due to lack of funding and our contracts would not be renewed. This was a fortnight to the end of my contract. I could hardly bring myself together to break this news to her. had to tell her. Somehow, I had to tell her we were in this together. She had a job in the public sector, but it was not paying well enough to sustain a family of three in this ever-expensive Nairobi.

The next day, a Saturday, we went out, to think things through. We had to, otherwise we would soon have nowhere to stay, and our son would be kicked out of school. We had to re-evaluate our lifestyle. We started by looking at our finances. “I had some savings with UN SACCO” I started off the conversation, “I have some savings at the UN SACCO too!!” she interjected. That is when I remembered I had introduced her to the SACCO way back. I never thought she could save since she had a meagre salary. I saw a glimmer of hope in her eye. We both smiled while sipping the cappuccino that had just been delivered.

We immediately started weighing our options. The obvious one was for me to keep on applying for jobs. In the meantime, however, I had to find an alternative way to get income. We had tried a few side hustles, but they all failed. The quick option for us was to withdraw the savings from SACCO and use it to sustain the family while we sought another source of income.

Early in the morning the next Monday, we visited the UN SACCO office at the UN Complex in Gigiri. While filling out the withdrawal forms, one staff member who had been my advisor at the SACCO over the years saw me and came over. He seemed surprised to see me withdrawing the savings because he had believed that I was on an impressive financial trajectory.

On informing him of my financial predicament, an impromptu financial meeting was ensured between the 3 of us. From the deliberations, we gathered that we were better off using the SACCO as financing for a business rather than withdrawing the savings.

In no time afterwards my spouse took a Loan from the SACCO which we used to buy a car that we enrolled in the digital taxi platforms. The business is now able to meet our basic financial needs and we are -through with repaying the loan.

I can testify to the proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.” The simple step of introducing my spouse to the UN SACCO ended up being the solution to financing our Taxi business. We still save with UN SACCO who have committed to partner us in our financial needs.

Kandy Kiptanui3 months ago

Good read

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