BIC’s Mama Ni Mwangaza Initiative – The Rise and Impact of Chamas on the Community

The rise of women groups (popularly known as ‘Chamas’) has been recognized as one of the most effective means of transforming society through women by the international community.

These groups are very important in reducing poverty levels amongst women.

Here’s how chamas are impacting communities:

  • People in chamas gain control over economic resources, make economic decisions at the household and community level as well as have access to credit and business facilities.
  • Chamas also act as unifying factors, bringing women together with an aim of empowering them.
  • Most women groups meet for self-help and communal collaboration in short-term projects and offer members; financial, emotional, and moral support.
  • Through chamas women have been able to buy large fixed assets, buy food in bulk, pay school fees and start businesses.

BIC’s Mama Ni Mwangaza Initiative

Following in the same spirit, more than 170 Chama groups have taken up a revolutionary idea that allows them to save a few coins on some household expenses and divert the money to their business projects.

Over the course of 1 month, 170 chamas in and around Nairobi were engaged in a program entitled ‘Mama ni Mwangaza’ aimed at proving the cost-effectiveness, safety, and efficiency in using a BIC lighter vs using matches.

After this, a competition was held in which each Chama had to spread the word and explain what they had learned to friends and acquaintances who would contact a USSD code, respond to questions, and award that chama points.

Chamas earn points for every Bic Lighter they sample and those they sell to their communities with the aim of earning enough points to redeem a reward that can impact them and their communities.

Why Substitute Match Sticks With Lighters

Match sticks are one of the most used commodities in many Kenyan kitchens but did you know that it costs Ksh. 140 less to use a lighter instead of matchsticks?

If each woman saves Ksh. 140 by using lighters, the 8,274 women converted will save a total of Ksh. 309,000 to boost their communal/individual projects.

For the Mama ni Mwangaza initiative, BIC EA awarded women groups that are positively impacting their communities by financially supporting 3 women groups that had made the most impact. The women groups received a token of Ksh 155,000 to boost their Chama projects.

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