Mentor Sacco members registering for the information day at Kiambu Township Primary School.

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.

Mr. Anthony Kamau, Chairman, Mentor Sacco interacting with a member during the Information Day at Kiambu Township Primary School.

Financial freedom

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.

The Members’ Information Day facilitator, Mr. Nelson Nyoro, a co-operative practitioner, Director of Co-operatives, Mombasa County and part time lecturer,The Co-operative University of Kenya.

Fine things

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. 



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