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Why has the Pamoja Foundation selected Kenya as the first country in which to direct their microfinancing efforts? Two reasons. First, people in Kenya display an abundance of entrepreneurial energy but, with a 60% unemployment rate, face a chronic shortage of capital with which to respond to economic opportunity. This situation creates a frustrating cycle of poverty and stagnation.

Second, while it is true that there exist many countries with extremely high unemployment in spite of a hard-working, energetic population, Kenya is unique in it’s approach to working toward self-sufficiency. Kenyans have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to embrace the notion of a concept initiated by their late leader, President Jomo Kenyatta, known as the HARAMBEE movement. HARAMBEE has become a national symbol around which individuals and communities rally to help raise money for the construction of schools or hospitals or to help individuals acquire essential education or medical treatment. This makes Kenyans very receptive to the communally supportive methods used in microfinancing.

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