Financial Capability Conference in Athi River, Kenya

Participants are showing off their team scarves during the financial capability bootcamp organised by the Maryosa Foundation in Kenya, 2018.

Maryosa aims to help motivated young adults to develop their talents. Among other things, Maryosa does this by offering financial education. In Kenya, it is common to share everything with each other—including the money you earn. Without discouraging this admirable sense of community, Maryosa wants to show that is also worthwhile to invest in yourself, and that in the end, this may actually help the community even more.

Such investments in oneself require a basic level of financial insight.  To achieve this, we have developed educational material concerning financial capability. This is a three-month programme that a coach can use to teach a student the basics of financial management. The coach is important: having daily face-to-face contact with someone who understands you and your background greatly increases the chances of success, as compared to having a long-distance coach from the Netherlands. The goal of the May 2018 conference was to train 30 such coaches to work with our material, allowing them to coach the next generation.

In the words of our volunteer, Chiara:

The conference was such a success! The days began early with an organized breakfast at 7:30—or, if you preferred, an hour earlier, with a morning stroll through the beautiful Kenyan nature. During the day, the intensive programme provided plenty of food for thought—and after that, three huge pots were carried into the conference hall that provided a different kind of food for all participants: ugali, for example, or beans and chicken. This gave us all the energy we needed to continue with the evening schedule, where the participants were challenged to creatively present the lessons they had learned that day.

None of this would have been possible without our very own Lincoln. He is an inspiration for us all, a top-notch organiser, and a true leader. He represented the spirit of Maryosa with great passion throughout the conference. He found people of excellent talents for each of the organisational positions, allowing the conference to run smoothly, thanks to this unique team.

I was touched by the positive spirit, both of this organisational team and of the participants. Each and every one had their own suggestions of how they could help support and improve their community. I hope that we, as Maryosa, can continue to support them to realise their dreams. I am happy to have the beautiful photos taken from this conference by Mirthe as a lasting memory of these wonderful days.

See also our more recent post about the follow-up meeting!