29 January 2011

Barclays Bank of Kenya ( Barclays Kenya) has reached out to internally displaced families living in Mai Mahiu by building nine decent houses in partnership with a local NGO, Habitat for Humanity Kenya.

Over 120 Barclays Colleagues led by Mr Nick Mbuvi, Director of Corporate Banking descended into the IDP camp and immediately got down to work at the new Barclays Village.

They spent the whole of Saturday, January 29, 2010 in erecting each of the decent and durable three-roomed houses which will be built at a total cost of Ksh1.8 million.

"Barclays Bank is not just about banking. We strive to serving the communities that we operate in and with particular focus on uplifting the lives of those that we interact with both at a professional and personal level," said Mr Mbuvi.

He explained that Barclays decided to step in after a fact -finding mission noted that although the 335 families living at the camp had some land ,there was an urgent need for decent shelter for each of the families.

"It is with this in mind that Barclays Kenya, after consultations with our implementing partners, Habitat for Humanity , came up with an internal campaign where colleagues, under our corporate social responsibility initiative, raised funds to help in the construction of some houses for some of the families."
Barclays matched each shilling raised by colleagues with a view to helping more families' access decent shelter.

Mr Mbuvi disclosed that Barclays intends to adopt the IDP housing project as a long term project since the families needs including water and sanitations, education and mentorship and social wellbeing which all needed to be met. Among the beneficiaries of Barclays generosity is 25-year-old Mary Wanjiru, a mother of two- Gloria Njoki aged 2 and Esther Wairimu aged four. Married to Henry Ngure, she is a member of Vumilia Self Help Group.

The impoverished family, which is eagerly counting down days before moving into the new house is currently staying in a shack it has kept for many years.
"I am delighted for what Barclays has done for me and have no words to describe the joy. It is overwhelming that total strangers can come over , spend the whole day just to build a house for me? Now we will have a proper roof over our heads where we can sleep peacefully without piling up in a shack," said Ms Wanjiru.

Chairman of Habitat for Humanity Kenya, Mr. Koome Kiragu commented: ”We have since July 2009 been working with 335 families displaced by the post election violence of 2007/2008. These families, who in spite of the trauma and displacement had the presence of mind to come together, form a self-help groups, pool together Ksh35,000 each to purchase land to restart their lives in Mai Mahiu.

Mr. Kiragu thanked Barclays for the timely intervention and donation that will permanently transform for the better, the lives of the nine families. He concluded, "These families were displaced from two locations- Narok and Eldoret and close to three years now have been living in tents that now have become old and tattered and which are no longer suitable for human habitation but Barclays has now made all the difference."