Rose Achieng welcomes us into Rosie’s Tender Care also known as Great Achievers Center, a primary school in Kibera. A school she not only founded but also serves as the director. Her jovial and outgoing personality hides the trauma and heartache she has experienced in the hands of her loved one.
“My struggle started when I got married. While my wedding was joyful, my marriage did not experience the joy. My husband was abusive and the trauma broke me making me feel helpless,” Rose admits.
It is through this traumatic experience that Rose was introduced to CREAW for counselling sessions. Her children were also counselled which made it easier to get out of the abusive home.
Meanwhile the Montessori trained teacher had always felt a nagging need to bring high quality of education back to her community. This led to her opening Rosie’s Tender Care Center at the Kijiji in the heart of Kibera, where she educated children at little to no cost. Unfortunately, the building Rose had rented for the school premises was demolished as it was built on railway land. Teachers and children were forced to go home.
While struggling to process this the COVID-19 Pandemic hit, complicating matters. Through her counselling sessions with CREAW, she was introduced to the Jasiri Fund which prepared her by training sessions on financial literacy, business management and marketing.
With the first loan of Ksh300,000, Rose used it to renovate the new premise that houses her Rosie’s tender care center, now called Great Achievers.
“When the loan came through, I used it to renovate the leaking roof, bad floor, added 2 additional classes and built 3 more toilets which were needed, “ Rose explains.
This led to increased enrolment, hiring of more teachers as well as a cook and cleaner. The community has benefitted from having such a center in the area as more families are relying on it for their livelihood.
“Jasiri Fund has taught me lessons that have helped me set up and grow this center. I am now able to manage and monitor the cash flow in this school as well as in my personal finances. I have also learnt the importance of having a credit history which will come in handy when I need credit facilitation in the future,” She proudly states.
While she still struggles with slow payment from struggling parents, Rose is optimistic that things will pick up. She plans to own property where she can set up her school without worrying about rental costs.
To fellow GBV survivors Rose encourages them not to give up. “Get counselling, take pride in the little you can earn to gain independence. Take advantage of these loans to grow yourself. Use whatever skills and resources however small to pick yourself up.”
With support from Mastercard Foundation, through the Response, Recovery and Resilience Project in partnership with GROOTS and The Collaborative Centre for Gender and Development has been providing women like Rose with affordable financial services through Jasiri Fund. The fund is available in ten counties, that has enabled 1000 entrepreneurial women to access start-up capital to invest and expand their businesses.