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News and Resources

Rooftops Canada Supports NACHU to Provide Small Business Loans to Youth and Women

News and Resources

Rooftops Canada and its long-time partner, the National Cooperative Housing Union (NACHU), are working on a unique project to help homeless youth and women in Kenya to earn steady incomes, paving the way for them to acquire loans for basic home ownership and build new lives.


Housing cooperatives in Kenya generally comprise 20 to 35 households who work together to achieve economies of scale and build resilient communities. Houses are built incrementally, through a series of loans administered by NACHU. But the key to this is ensuring that youth and women -- those often left out of development processes – have the capacity to repay. In Kenya, as in many sub-Saharan countries, this means creating some sort of self-employment.


Muakazi belongs to Voi Youth Housing Co-operative, a NACHU co-op located 140 km northwest of Mombasa. Muakazi’s dream is to help create jobs and improve living conditions in his community, where families are dealing with poverty, malnutrition, HIV and AIDS and lack of clean drinking water. He says: “We love where we live and we realize that if we, the youth, don't do something to help Voi grow, then no one will. That is why we work on projects that provide employment to the youth and are also environmentally friendly.”


Rooftops Canada and NACHU are confident that a loan of $600 is enough to start a small income-generating project that will be the first step on the way to owning a home. Rooftops Canada has launched the Kenya: Building Homes, Building Lives campaign to bring new hope to homeless youth and women and the organizations that help them. Donations of $50, $100 or $250 can quickly add up to help a family make an income and then get access to their first home. Find out how you can help create jobs and build new homes in Kenya by visiting our campaign site.