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The One Hen Campaign and Sky Sacco

The One Hen Campaign and Sky Sacco

At the helm of one of the most robust rural SACCOs in Western Kenya is James Makini, a 26-year-old college graduate and social entrepreneur. Sky Sacco Society Limited is the brainchild of the One Hen Campaign, a project that was founded in 2009 by Makini and three of his college classmates after they successfully completed an assignment for an entrepreneurship class. Drawing inspiration from the assignment, the four decided to implement their innovative model and they registered it in 2010. The model is simple and self-sustaining.
“One Hen Campaign mobilizes youth and women in villages to form and register self-help groups,” explains Makini. “We then give a microloan to each group member in form of a kienyeji (indigenous) hen and a cage and we train them on poultry rearing and financial literacy. After six months, each participant gives back two chicks to the project to ensure that we can sustainably continue lending to new groups,” he adds.
To date the One Hen Campaign has given out over 20,000 hens and cages in Nyamira, Kisii and Narok Counties and it has created full-time employment for 12 Kenyans. The project’s rapid growth and success culminated in the creation of the Sky Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO) that gives members easy access to savings and loan facilities to start and expand small businesses.
Thanks to USAID FIRM’s support in marketing, launching and creating visibility for the inauguration of Sky SACCO last year, its membership has more than doubled from 4,000 members to the current 8,500 in just 6 months. Currently, the SACCO’s loan portfolio stands at 7 million Kenyan shillings ($80,500) with members’ savings amounting to 20 million Kenyan shillings ($230,000).
With its forward-looking leadership, the SACCO has established a chicken and dairy feed factory that manufactures 5 products (layers mash, chick mash, growers mash, kienyeji mash and dairy mash) packaged conveniently in 1 to 100 kilogram packs. In April, total sales of factory products amounted to 800,000 Kenyan Shillings ($9,200) – and with growing numbers of rearedchicken among members, the SACCO plans to open a kienyeji chicken processing plant before the end of the year.
To realize these plans, the SACCO must increase its management capacity, and upgrade internal business processes for enhanced efficiency and profitability. With these targets in mind, Sky SACCO has again approached FIRM for technical assistance but, this time, to develop operations manuals, train staff and management to meet increased demand for products/services, and create an integrated organizational marketing strategy across its growing business segments.
COUNTY PLANS
Sky SACCO also plans to expand to 10 more counties over the next 2 years. They’ve already signed an agreement worth 3 million Kenyans shillings ($34,483) with the Kisii County government to distribute 2,500 hens and cages to women and youth groups across each of the county’s 45 wards. Registration and training of the beneficiary groups is on-going and the partnership has also created jobs for over 70 local youth who are involved in building new cages. Sky SACCO is also currently in talks with neighbouring Nyamira County to launch a similar One Hen Campaign has won two global awards: the 2012 World Bank “Experiences from the Field” award and the 2013 “Youth Win Awards” (Youth With Initiative) as well as a 2nd place finish in the “Young Farmers Idea Contest 2012.” Young James Makini was selected into the prestigious Ealp Journal’s “Top 40 African Youthful Leaders to Watch in the Next Decade” and
he was recently selected as a Washington Fellow 2014 in President Obama’s Young African Leader’s Initiative (YALI).
Despite the recognition and distinguished accolades One Hen Campaign has attracted, Makini and his team remain focused on their mission. “Our mission” says the accomplished CEO, “is to economically empower rural low-income farmers, particularly youth and women, to ensure they contribute in a comprehensive and sustainable way towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and our country’s Vision 2030.“that will contribute toward uplifting the livelihoods of thousands of additional smallholder farmers in the region.

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