The BOMA Project

Rating: 4.94 stars   36 reviews

Issues: Food, International, Economic Development, Microfinance

Location: PO Box 1865 7272 Main Street, Suite A Manchester Center VT 05255 USA

Mission: The BOMA Project is an innovative microfinance organization that helps ultra-poor women in Northern Kenya to graduate from extreme poverty. We help women start small businesses, so they can earn a sustainable income, survive drought, pay for food and medical care, send their children to school, and accumulate savings for long-term family stability.
Results: Since 2008, BOMA has launched 1,380 businesses across Northern Kenya, changing the lives of 4,668 women who support more than 23,400 children. Our goal is to lift 100,000 women and children out of extreme poverty within five years.
Target demographics: Women living in extreme poverty in Northern Kenya. When we begin working with them, 99 percent of BOMA entrepreneurs live on less than $2.50 per day (the poverty line), while 88 percent live on less than $1.25 per day (the extreme poverty line).
Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,200 women (400 businesses per year, three women per business)
Geographic areas served: Laisamis, Loiyangalani, Marsabit and Samburu Districts of Northern Kenya.
Programs: Our cornerstone program, the Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP), provides a seed capital grant, business skills and savings training, and two years of hands-on mentoring by local BOMA Village Mentors to business groups of three women. Once businesses are established and earning profits, we help them to assemble committed savings associations for business expansion and individual interest-bearing loans.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

My wife and I just returned from two weeks in the field with Kathleen and Kura to visit BOMA's important work in the drylands of Northern Kenya - one of the poorest regions of the world, and one of the most vulnerable to climate change. BOMA provides a combination of small monetary grants and basic business training and mentorship to help women establish new sources of income. As these new businesses take hold - small shops, butcheries, fish and livestock traders - BOMA also helps support the establishment of savings associations among participants to create a hedge against the perils of drought.

The impact we witnessed was astounding. We heard story after story of economic empowerment, of self-reliance, of successful savings strategies. The savings groups established by BOMA's women have helped to strengthen communities and save lives by providing small loans to pay for emergency transport to hospital, for school fees, or for helping the neediest. We were overwhelmed by the gratitude expressed by the women we met for the tools, the support, and the awareness that BOMA has provided them. These women deserve all the credit for the success of the program. Thank you BOMA for giving them that opportunity!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been discouraged by our past history of "aiding those poor people" and then I had the opportunity to travel with a group of women on a trip to Kenya that was led by Kathleen Colson, founder of BOMA. This was such a different approach - one that took time to establish because it rested on the solid foundation of building relationships and honoring and respecting the skills and desires of those who live in northern Kenya by incorporating them in the process. It also succeeded because BOMA provides support through training, follow up and mentors. The mentors are citizens in their villages who are chosen for their skills and leadership qualities.
I witnessed such compassion and passion in the BOMA leadership and such hope from the women who are now able to get better food, provide medicine and education and even participate in a savings program. Now I am more encouraged that this model exists and succeeds.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have seen BOMA in action. Hearing women in this program in one of the poorest, most resource starved regions of Africa talk about how their participation in BOMA has made the difference between needing regular food aid, and being able to earn enough money to feed their families and pay school fees for their children was an inspiring and heart-warming experience. BOMA is a model for ngo's in the developing world. It works directly with women who most need help by giving them know-how and a start in their small businesses.

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Rating: 5 stars  

My wife and I visited Kenya several years ago. We became acquainted with Kathleen Colson and the work that BOMA was doing in Kenya. We saw first-hand the need for assistance by many people living in small villages and in rural communities. As BOMA developed its program of helping women through loans and training in developing their on businesses so that they might feed their families we were hopeful. We decided to become a regular donor. With each passing year we are impressed by the stories--but particularly by the statistics that show that the program is working and that nearly 100% of the women assisted through BOMA are still reaping the success of their hard work and of BOMA's training and support year after year. Thank you, BOMA, for the impact that you are having upon thousands of people--particularly, kids--in Kenya.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I think the Boma Fund is the most impressive non-profit out there. It is the essence of what an aid organization should be: teaching woman how to fish instead of giving them a fish (metaphorically speaking). The results are not only compelling they are exciting! My only wish is that I had more money to give to this organization.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I love this organization! Keep up the good work.



No more needs to be said.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

BOMA has had such an impact on so many women, not only in Africa, but the donating countries. It is a heartwarming story of the positive effect of caring and a bit of cash.

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Rating: 5 stars  

BOMA is a model for all non-profits working in Africa focused on economic development. The organization's deep and nuanced understanding of local dynamics on the ground, its commitment to its beneficiaries, and its insistence on conducting all of its operations with the highest standards of transparency and integrity combine to make BOMA a truly first-rate organization. The demonstrated positive impact that BOMA has in the areas that it works in is a reflection of all of the years of hard work that the organization's staff in Kenya and the US have put in to bring the organization to where it is today.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I interned with The BOMA Project during Summer 2014 after studying in Kenya during the Fall of 2013. I've learned so much about international development, economics, people, nonprofits, and so much more. What has struck me the most has been the careful attention to detail, data, and studies. BOMA does not dive into development with "expert" bias, but does hold itself accountable to the standards and monitoring of an "expert." The amount of passion and willingness to grow at BOMA is infectious and encourages me to delve deeper into development, but of course with the meticulous, conscious eye of the BOMA family.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am currently working as a research intern for the BOMA project. I studied abroad in Kenya from January-May of 2014. Though I returned to the United States, my time abroad fostered a life-long love for Kenya. Although my semester had to come to an end, I knew that I had to remain involved, thus I began working for BOMA.
As a political science major, I have done my fair share of research about what makes an effective nonprofit, and have seen many examples of unsuccessful organizations. BOMA on the other hand, is undeniably effective. Whether looking at the statistics of how we have impacted women in Northern Kenya, or reading quotes from the women themselves, it is clear that BOMA is changing lives.
I am so proud to be a part of this organization, and am excited to watch its influence grow.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful?