Mentor Sacco organizes a highly successful members’ information day in Kiambu as it seeks to grow its footprint in the populous county
By George Gichuki
Globally, the co-operative movement is governed by seven principles. One of them is the principle of education, training and information. It is against this background that Mentor Sacco has organized its 2023 members’ information days in the areas where it has a presence. This important exercise kicked off in May and ends in June. It is focusing on : membership rights and obligations, co-operative principles and values, Mentor Sacco products and services offering , general operational issues and procedures.
Since rebranding in 2011 and opening its common bond, Mentor Sacco has been expanding into new regions. Before then, it was serving Murang’a county where it established way back in 1977. One of the regions that it has made an entry is Kiambu county. As it embarks on an aggressive marketing campaign to win more members from the said county, the leading tier one sacco organized an education, training and information day for them this month. Its venue was Kiambu Township Primary School. Addressing members during the well-attended function, the Chairman, Mr. Anthony Kamau, assured them that with an asset base of over Kshs. 11.76 billion , Mentor Sacco is a stable business.
Mr. Kamau took the members through the Sacco’s wide array of savings and credit products. Additionally, he encouraged them to use their loans wisely in order to uplift their standards of living. He also urged members to embrace digitization. “ Members should take advantage of the existing modes of paperless transactions – mobile banking, automated teller machines ( ATMs) and agency banking – that are being offered by the Sacco,” he said adding that this will greatly help them to save on transport incurred while visiting branches, besides helping to ease congestion in the banking halls.
The inaugural members’ education, training and information day in Kiambu was facilitated by Mr. Nelson Nyoro, a co-operative practitioner, Director of Co-operatives, Mombasa County and part time lecturer, The Co-operative University of Kenya. He delivered a very compelling, educative and informative talk on how to achieve financial freedom. In that respect, Mr. Nyoro observed that it is important to form the right financial habits while one is still young. “ I belong to the school of thought that emphasizes that habits are predictors of outcome – how you organize your finances and the behaviour related to the same is a key determinant of whether you will achieve financial freedom in future,” he said. “ A chick that will grow to a cock shows when it hatches, so goes a Nigerian adage,” he added. In that breath, Mr. Nyoro observed that it is possible to notice people who will be financially independent at a very early stage of their life , because they pick habits that drive them towards that direction. Additionally, he advised members to start saving habitually at an early age.
Mr. Nyoro further said that identifying the right mentors is another important consideration for those yearning to achieve financial freedom. “ Avoid the company of big spenders who chase the fine things in life with no regard for tomorrow,” he cautioned. “ If you want to be financially independent, keep the company of those who are thrifty and financially disciplined,” he added. He was emphatic that an individual’s relationship with money is more important than the amount he possesses or earns.
Mr. Nyoro also advised the members to avoid procrastination on their journey to financial freedom since that might delay their progress. For those who are married, he cautioned them to avoid financial infidelity by disclosing their bank accounts to one another, as well as debts and all the assets that they have purchased. “ Couples should also avoid being addicted to gambling since it consumes a lot of their hard earned money,” he said. Being the heads of their families, Mr. Nyoro advised men to provide financial leadership by setting goals with their wives. “ If a husband sets a goal of putting up a house together with his wife, he is bound to enjoy her support in actualizing it,” he observed. In this regard, he gave an example of couples who buy plots independently while in active employment, only to retire before they have developed any of them. “ Such couples end up being rich in assets, but poor in their income streams,” he warned.
At the household level, Mr. Nyoro advised parents to train their children on the importance of delaying gratification. “ Let your children learn that in life, not everything is available on demand,” he said. In the same breath, he said that children tend to pick financial habits from their parents. “ If you don’t inculcate the savings habit in your children by setting the right example, they will only get utility from spending,” he cautioned. Further, he advised parents to train their children to earn by giving them chores as well as how to set financial priorities by for instance developing shopping lists. Finally, Mr. Nyoro observed that it is important for parents to inspire their children to believe in themselves instead of reprimanding them unnecessarily. “ Always let your children appreciate that they are capable of achieving higher levels of financial success than you,” he ended.