Nanyu Phaustine was married at 17, with the hope that her husband would send her back to school. She dreamed of becoming an elementary school teacher but, unfortunately, life had other plans for Nanyu. Shortly after her marriage Nanyu became pregnant, and her husband subsequently abandoned her. With no husband and no means of providing for her unborn child, Nanyu returned to her parents house depressed and struggling to find hope for her future and the future of her child.
Thankfully, Nanyu’s mother stood by her with steadfast dedication. Nanyu gave birth to a beautiful daughter and, soon after, her mother enrolled her in college using the little savings she had. When Nanyu’s mother fell ill, however, she was forced to drop out of college to look after both her mother and her daughter. The family’s scant savings were redirected to medical treatment, and Nanyu worried that her dreams had been deferred once again. In March 2018, fate had other plans for Nanyu Phaustine. She was selected as a BOMA Project participant through BOMA’s community targeting process and given a grant to begin a kiosk business alongside three partners. Nanyu quickly fell into the role of treasurer as the group received trainings in financial and life skills from mentors, joined with other business groups to build savings, and diversified their income.
The trainings Nanyu’s group participated in covered supply and demand, profit and pricing, record keeping, marketing, savings, borrowing lending, planning for long-term expenses, investing, and sustaining the business and savings group after REAP. Life-skills sessions include household decision-making, the importance of educating children (especially girls), family planning, and the rights of women under the Kenyan constitution. After six months with BOMA, Nanyu’s business group qualified for a second grant of $100 and they expanded their enterprise to include a livestock business as the kiosk was thriving. This diversified income is key to helping women like Nanyu build resilience, and her group flourished. Through their savings groups they registered with the Ministry of Social Services and eventually opened a bank account. Now, they can apply for financial opportunties provided by the Kenyan government — in fact, with the help of their mentor and field officer, Nanyu’s group successfully applied for Women Enterprise Funds (WEF) and received their loan soon after.
“I am so happy for this opportunity from BOMA. I will be sitting for my final exams in December 2021 and then I will acheive my dream of becoming a teacher.”
With the support of her business and savings groups Nanyu was able to save enough money for a smart phone, which empowered her to begin taking classes online. There, she studied baking and cake decorating with the help of Google and YouTube. Nanyu begin posting her cakes to social media once her skills sharpened and orders began to flow in. With the proceeds, Nanyu has re-enrolled in school to finally become a school teacher.
‘’When I bought my smart phone two years ago, I started learning new skills through the Google app and YouTube,” she said. “I capitalized on that and worked really hard on perfecting my baking skills. I currently take photos of our livestock and advertise them on several pages in WhatsApp and on Facebook and we’ve been selling our livestock online.”
Nanyu uses her smartphone to access school materials and complete assignments, as well as to record and market her multiple businesses.
“I am so happy for this opportunity from BOMA,” Nanyu said. “I will be sitting for my final exams in December 2021 and then I will achieve my dream of becoming a teacher.”Nanyu is now a known businesswoman within her village, and she helps other women in ensuring they take advantage of the business and financial opportunities around them. She is giving back to her community as much as she has received — exemplifying the spirit of BOMA’s mission to make a positive, lasting impact.