By Njoki Githinji
The idea of starting a self-help system to economically empower the faithful at the parish level began 37 years ago when the late Maurice Cardinal Otunga, then Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi, saw the need to promote self-sustainability among Christians in the Archdiocese.
In 1983 parishioners at Keriko Catholic parish in Gatundu decided to come together andput together their small savings and thus formed the first parish self-help group. This concept of self-help awakened the formation of more groups in other parishes within the Archdiocese of Nairobi.
The self-help groups grew rapidly and there arose a need for guidelines and policies on savings and lending. They realized they needed more advanced and sophisticated financial products that the self-help group system could not provide, thus Caritas Microfinance Bank was born as an extension of Caritas Nairobi which is the socio-economic arm of the Archdiocese….<<readmore>>