Tuinuane is a project to uplift and empower Kenyan women. The project was started in 2005 following the need from the Literacy project that phased out then. In Tuinuane women are grouped into savings and credit groups (SCGs) with around 10-25 members in each. Tuinuane builds on informal financial traditions like the Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs) referred to in Kenya as “Merry go round”. In the groups the members intermediate their money through pooling savings and distributing loans among each other. No external financial resources are provided. Tuinuane is implemented by the Free Pentecostal Fellowship in Kenya (FPFK) and financed by the Norwegian Pentecostal Mission (PYM). The target population for Tuinuane is female community members living in rural communities across the country where there are FPFK congregations.
During the first phase of Tuinuane (2005-2009) some innovation on the design was done. These changes brought about rolling out the model to most part of the country other than specific regions. During this phase only a handful of paid staff were involved in the implementation of the project. The findings from the end of project evaluation, that was conducted by external evaluator Indicated that Tuinuane was one year ahead of time. This conclusion was derived from the objectives achieved and the overall impact the project had to the target group. By the end of phase one, the project initiated more than 300 groups with around 7000 members.
The Second phase for Tuinuane project had a period of 5yrs, between 2010 – 2014. The main goal was to Improve quality of life of Kenyan poor women. This was achieved according to the evaluation done in March 2015. The findings indicated that most of the groups were running their groups affairs with ease and without supervision. This was attributed to the introduction of FA, who are voluntary community based mobilisers. This is due to group’s autonomy in managing their own affairs. Development objective was realized according to the success stories as narrated by the members during the evaluation.
This project seeks to ensure stable effective and efficient sustainability of Tuinuane groups. This has been facilitated by ensuring that the project has been owned in the 28 regions of FPFK Organization as recommended in evaluation report 2015. So far Tuinuane project enjoys the good will of the majority of Local Pastors where activities go on. This will be used to build the Policies and structures needed to achieve Local Ownership and to incorporate the Tuinuane (MFI) as a program of FPFK. As a result FPFK will retain the brand name and be in-touch with over 1500 Tuinuane groups that are already in existence and about 40,000 members.
In addition to this, Phase 3 project seeks to strengthen and improve the current Tuinuane (ASCA) model as it is in order to remain relevant to the needs of the main target group. The evaluation report indicates that Tuinuane has grown from being a project to program. Which gives a new focus, into the future of the project as stated below;
”What the evaluation points to is that Tuinuane has grown into something larger than the project’s initial intentions and has the potential to continue growing and transforming the lives of women and the communities in which they live. These achievements need to be consolidated and sustained, which means that Tuinuane can no longer be seen as just a project in FPFK, it needs to graduate into a program- perhaps an economic empowerment program or a program that is geared towards women empowerment in FPFK (considering that there are other empowerment needs that women may have)
In order to define the nature and scope of this program, FPFK needs to have a strategic thinking process to redefine and manage Tuinuane as a program of FPFK. This process needs to be well facilitated and should involve good representation of the women at all levels, as the key stake holders. Local, and regional consultative processes need to be organized leading to a national strategy making process to define and design the program. It needs to be done expeditiously to give the groups a sense of direction as they look to the future.” (Doreen Kwarimpa 2015, pg 42)
Therefore, FPFK’s main focus in the third phase has been to Institutionalize Tuinuane as a legal entity within FPFK and in accordance with the organization constitution which allow FPFK to have enterprises. In doing so Tuinuane has been now fully Registered; now Known as FPFK TUINUANE SAVINGS AND CREDIT COOPERATIVE SOCIETY LIMITED (FPFK TUINUANE SACCO). The cooperative has a management committee of 7 people who are mandated to ensure the transition from project to cooperative society takes effect in a smooth manner and Ownership and sustainability is maintained. In addition to this the management committee has been mandated to ensure that the operations of the Sacco are done in accordance to the society acts of Kenya and to the Sacco by laws. Also to ensure efficiency Transparent and accountability the Sacco has a 3 member committee who are mandated to supervise the sacco operations , transactions and its credibility.
Currently Tuinuane Project has been keen in ensuring that necessary Sacco systems and structures are developed to anchor Local ownership and sustainability at every level within FPFK framework. Also the project facilitated the development and institutionalization of organizational learning systems and processes that will enhance organization wide learning from projects like Tuinuane. The project is designed to have a local networking and linkage strategy to facilitate formal relationships between FPFK and local authorities and other community based initiatives in order to maximize local initiatives and reap the benefits that come from networking.