Dear esteemed members of EMU Sacco,
To quote an American physician and poet, Oliver Wendell, “To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor”.
God has given us grace and we are sailing with the wind. Dear members, I believe that we need to acknowledge these achievements in order to summon the confidence to carry this progress forward and to make sure that we do not abandon those very things that have delivered this progress.
The year that has just ended has been marred by a share of its challenges largely drawn from the Covid-19 pandemic. The outbreak has had a momentous impact on consumers’ behavior not only in Kenya, but across the world at large. The economic productive activities witnessed a downward trend as the population of people living in various regions and cities were quarantined. The government measures to contain the virus by enforcing lock-down, curfews and social distancing although saved lives, economically they ruined some livelihoods. These measures compelled people to adjust their individual daily behavior, thus prompting them to become more proactive in managing the sudden situational change. Daily routines were, hence, shifted from offline to online; forcing many, for example, to work from home. Lives have been lost, jobs/businesses have been lost, thus loss of income.
Indeed the SACCO was not spared as she witnessed cumulative effect of the lack of liquidity in the midst of an unprecedented financial crisis that affected the broader SACCO operations. Membership recruitment and savings have dropped this year due to the difficult economic times. However, we still thank God for His mercies thus far
I suggest to you that the most urgent task facing EMU SACCO today and for decades ahead is to create an opportunity for her members to economically be self-sufficient. And this will be an enormous undertaking. EMU SACCO will need to generate more income than it’s doing right now. And time is of the essence. The choices made today will shape the trajectory for decades to come. We know what it will take for EMU SACCO to win the future. We need to out-innovate, we need to out-educate, we need to out-recruit, and we need to out-build our competitors. We need to make EMU SACCO great.
But as we work with you to make EMU SACCO a better place to invest, I’m hoping that all of you are thinking what you can do for EMU SACCO. Ask yourselves what you can do to recruit more members, what you can do to support EMU SACCO to grow. The responsibilities we all have -the mutual responsibilities we have -to secure the future that we all share. But ultimately, winning the future is not just about what the Sacco can do for you to succeed. It’s also about what you can do to help the Sacco succeed. It’s my firm believe that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we purpose to solve them together, unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move our SACCO in the same direction — to better it for the future of our children and our grandchildren, a generation we cannot fail. Your imagination, your intuition and your initiative will determine whether we build a SACCO where progress is the servant of our needs, or a SACCO where good values and new visions are buried under unbridled growth.
The Board of management which I have the privilege to lead is dedicated to steer our Sacco in a successful path. We constantly reevaluate our approach, subject our decisions to a review from time to time, because you see…the engine that drives our SACCO is slowly beginning to turn, and the upward trajectory is beginning to take shape. We’re working towards historic reforms and members lead management of our SACCO. Let me take a moment to highlight these moves, which have taken concerted effort to achieve, but have implications for the future success of our Sacco.
- STRATEGIC PLAN– All our members have an expectation that their funds will always be safeguarded. For us, effective utilization of member funds is built upon robust governance structures supported by defined and documented systems and controls. The Board retains the primary responsibility for these matters, and has developed a planned way of delivery contained in a deliberate plan, with clear set metrics to measure progress and hold ourselves accountable.
- TECHNOLOGY– Secondly the board understands the need of investing in safe and convenient technology for safety of members’ funds and convenience in transactions. The board has already vetted a number of system developers and is working to secure a technology system for the Sacco in the 1st quarter of the year 2022. This system will enable our members to do:-
- Online Loan Application: All our loan products will be applied online and fully guaranteed online.
- Online Account Statement: members will be able to access all that pertains to their account through the members web-portal including available on any computer of android phone e.g. account statements, guarantor ship, internal transfer of funds, funds withdrawal etc.
- Mobile Cash access: Members will be able to deposit cash after registering.
- NEW PRODUCTS- The key to our success has never been just developing new ideas; it is also developing new member-centric products. The board has introduced new products and services to benefit our members such as linkages to suppliers of water tanks- through Silverspread Hardware; free technical assistance in terms of design, cost estimate calculations, technical advice and installation of dam liners and drip irrigation systems for our members.
- SACCO MEMBERSHIP 30% of the Sacco’s membership is currently composed of members who only registered as members but have not paid the minimum share capital of Kes 2000. I urge these members to complete paying the minimum share contribution by 31st of December 2021. Failure to this they will be considered non-members as of January 2022. The SACCO in the year 2021 has lost 2 members. We encourage all of us to assist in recruiting new members. Actually, the SACCO pays Ksh 300.00 to your account for every member who recruits a new member. I also appeal to all our members to be faithful in making monthly savings of at least Kes 500. This is the only way the Sacco will get liquidity to afford loans to members.
To the Board members, I thank them for their dedication to the success of the Sacco and for their tremendous input to the proper governance of our organization. They commit endless hours of volunteer time and resources.
Lastly, to you the members, my sincere appreciation for your support to Emu SACCO and the pride you demonstrate at being members of an elite credit community. You are the source of the strength of the Sacco. We also offer our appreciation to MKEWP and the Laikipia Forum for their support.
We wish you a safe and very happy Christmas and a New Year filled with peace, joy, productivity and prosperity.
May God bless and keep you all. See you next year!