Brook bank is a type of financial system aiming to improve the lives of widows by economically empowering them through access to capital. Brook bank project was established by Heather Ibrahim- Leathers, Founder of Global Funds for Widows (GFW). Brook bank was launched by Global Funds for Widows in partnership with CTWOO and since then widows have been empowered economically.
On Monday 28th February, we, a team of four staffs from Come Together Widows and Orphans Organization (CTWOO)visited Congrats Widow’s Group in Njiru Ward to train on Brook bank. The group consists of fourteen active members but attended by 8 members.
We arrived at the venue and the members were settled for the meeting. We were welcomed by one the members who invited Ms. Ann Maina, CTWOO staff. She began by introducing the other staffs present. She enlightened the members of the group about the programs undertaken by CTWOO. She then welcomed Mr. Fredrick, to train members of the group about Brook bank.
Mr. Fredrick invited the Congrats widow’s group secretary, Ms. Sentuna Awuor to give a brief introduction about the group. Ms. Awuor went ahead to explain that Congrats Widow’s group begun in September 2021 and have been engaging mainly in activities like table banking, savings and merry go round. The group members meet on every Monday of the week and save at least 200 Shs, for merry go round they contribute 350 Shs each. The total sum of their last’s week savings was over 47,000 from savings at bank that is Shs. 35,000 and 12,120 for savings at hand.
Mr. Fredrick continued by informing the members that we were there to train them on Brook bank in partnership with Global Funds for Widows and enlightened the members that GFW match investment in ratio 2:1 and at the end of the year it takes 10% for every investment.
He demonstrated how Brook bank works as the members participated where each one of them saved some amount. Afterwards one of them requested a loan of Shs. 1000 to expand her business and the other one 3000 for expanding her own business too which was more than the savings of the group and Mr. Fredrick told them that Brook bank helps by adding above group savings and ensuring that there are enough funds revolving round the group to be used for loans and table banking.
It also helps widows to uplift their small-scale businesses and standards of livings and that it benefits widow groups that engage in table banking and savings. He then explained that CTWOO has reached out to 86 groups on Brook bank training and have benefited from it. The meeting was dissolved by two members who appreciated CTWOO and Global Funds for Widows especially Congrats Widow’s group for empowering them economically.
It is evidently clear how Come Together Widows and Orphans Organization in partnership with Global Funds for Widows have impacted the livelihoods of the widows in the society through empowering them economically via Brook bank. This act was depicted on the visit to Congrats Widow’s group. The group we visited was well organized and they expressed their gratitude to CTWOO and Global Funds for Widows through empowering them economically.