The Toto Saving Club Programme -TSCP- based in Mombasa, Kenya - 2
06 / 1994
The Tototo Savings Club Programme(TSCP)is based in Mombasa, Kenya and covers several districts in the Coast Province, Kenya.
The primary aim of the TSCP is to introduce women and men to banking through group, rather than individual, savings efforts.Secondly it aims to assist groups to accumulate savings which can be used as collateral to get credit from banks.
The TSCP concentrates on women loanees as its target group. The programme is a success but the patriarchal, male dominated society Kenyan women live in poses many obstacles to the operation of the TSCP despite its success.
In kenya, many rural husbands in the target areas do not approve of women discussing financial matters with male bankers in distant urban financial institutes. They also refuse to allow thweir wives to obtain loans as they consider financial matters to be a male prerogative.
Husbands dislike their wives’ financial independence fearing they will no longer to able to keep women under their authority. Men are also scared of women taking on income generating enterprises as they fear their economic independence will make them assertive and they will no longer be subservient.
To some husbands the women’s financial progress is synonymous with broken homes.
Women are also unfairly treated by banking institutions which consider disbursing loans to women, especially married women because if the marriages are dissolved, the bank would have problems recovering the loans. Some banks lend credit to married women only upon the approval and signature of the husband.
Financial institutions also insist on collateral in the form of land certificates which can be seized if the borrower fails to repay. However, in the target areas laws and custom favour inheritance by male heirs and therefore women generally do not have the required collateral which makes it impossible for them to borrow from formal credit institutions.
In addition, women run small businesses which require little capital that formal banks are not generally interested in and as women’s groups often lack social status, banks find it difficult to grant them loans. Also rural women are often unaware of how financial institutions can help them. The main reason for this being illiteracy. Kenya has a low literacy rate of 54% and the majority of the illiterate is women.
It is in this social background that the TSCP launched its credit programme in selected target areas with the aim of helping women break into a system which discriminated against them and also to find ways to participate more fully in the country’s economic development.
The TSCP is a credit and savings scheme which has seen many social, economic and legal obstacles in its operation in Kenya. This records the social setting in which the programme was first launched and shows barriers it has broken - broken TSCP really has, because the programme is a success.
THIS ARTICLE IS ONE OF A COLLECTION PUBLISHED IN THE BOOK ’BANKING THE UNBANKABLE - BRINGING CREDIT TO THE POOR’
OGANA, Winnie, PANOS INSTITUTE, THE PANOS INSTITUTE, 1989
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