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Purpose Driven mechanics

By - Sophie Oyugi | December 2nd 2012
Galo Chunje Self Help Group

What is the name of your group?

Galo Chunje Self Help Group. Galo is an acronym of the names of the four founders — George, Amolo, Leonard and Outa. Chunje means hearts in Dholuo. Our aim is to bring our hearts and ideas together.

When did you start the chama?

In October 2008. All of us are mechanics working in different garages in Kisumu city. Since we are all in the same profession, we thought it would be good to come together to empower and motivate each other.

How many are you and how often do you meet?

We are 22 members. When we started, we would meet twice a month on a Sunday in our homes. Sometimes we

would meet at Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground. Now we have a general meeting twice a month on a Tuesday at one of our garages. Our meetings start from 4pm to 5pm.

How much money do you contribute?

When we started, we used to contribute Sh300 per member, which  would be given to the host. But now, each member contributes Sh240 per meeting, which goes into our bank account.

What do you intend to do with this money?

We plan to invest it. So, far, we have bought tents and chairs for hire. Recently, we held a harambee, which boosted our kitty and enabled us to buy more tents and chairs. Most of us are married and would

like to lead comfortable lives with our families. Our objective is to empower each other economically.

Are you a registered group?

Yes we are registered with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development.

How does your group operate?

We have officials whom we elect as stipulated in our constitution. Before every general meeting, there is a committee that meets to discuss the agenda of the main meeting.

Our constitution guides the operations of the group. We have a rule, for example, that dictates that a member should not come to the meeting drunk.

If they do, they are fined Sh100. If they do it again, they are suspended from the meetings for a specified period agreed upon by the group.

Do you give loans?

Yes. A member can borrow up to a maximum of Sh15,000 and pay back within five months.

We charge an interest of ten per cent. When one of us dies, each member contributes Sh1,500; if it’s the spouse we give Sh1,000 and for a child we give Sh500.

In cases of sickness, we contribute Sh300 each. We also encourage members to get the NHIF card to ease the burden of hospital bills.

Future plans?

We hope to hold another harambee next year and boost our funds. We want to invest in a public address system and catering equipment for hire. Since we are all mechanics, we also hope to buy a matatu.

Any challenges?

We have great plans but no finances.

Parting shot?

Our wish is that somebody canorganise a big meeting for chamas where we can all meet and share ideas and compare notes.



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