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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EIN 84-1671995
802 231 2542
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

BOMA consistently strives to improve the execution of its mission and to expand its reach to those in need. BOMA focuses on providing the tools necessary to teach self sufficiency and to end the cycle of poverty in an underserved area of Kenya. Through its website and mailings, BOMA does an excellent job of explaining its initiatives and of keeping its supporters informed.

BOMA also generously supports student interns (including many Kenyans) who are interested in international development. BOMA thereby provides critical exposure and valuable experience to those who are motivated to work on the many problems that vex the underdeveloped world.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am a Peace Corps Volunteer working with The BOMA Project. I joined the PC because I wanted to make a difference in someone's life. BOMA does exactly that--it changes these women's lives and the lives of their family. I am so lucky to be working with BOMA and a part of something larger than myself. Seeing first hand the impact BOMA has had on these women has been a life changing experience and their smiles will forever be ingrained in my memory.

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?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I worked for BOMA this summer, and the experience I gained there was amazing. I was interested in working there because I studied abroad in Kenya after my Freshman year and wanted to give back to the country I loved. The work that the BOMA Project does is not only great, but it actually works. The micro-financing techniques that they use to start businesses from the ground-up for communities is exceptional, successful and sustainable. The work that they were able to do was very encouraging, and I am very happy to work with such an exceptional group of people. Thanks, BOMA!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

BOMA does an amazing job at giving women the tools they need to change their own lives and "graduate" from extreme poverty. When I give $150, I know that is the amount of the cash grant that starts one business. One business empowers 3 women so they can earn an income and build up savings. Three women can then pay for food, school and medical care for more than 15 children. Where else can you donate $150 and know that you've been able to affect so much change?

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand their work to other places in the world.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I interned with The BOMA Project in 2010. After studying abroad in Kenya during school, I was looking to return to Africa - when I heard about BOMA's internship, I knew it would be a great stepping stone to do so. My experience at BOMA was not only a great learning experience, but opened my eyes to the fundamentals of how a transparent non profit organization should do things. Kathleen and the entire staff are extremely dedicated to the ultimate mission of their organization and it's been a pleasure watching them grow, transform and expand into one of East Africa's leaders in the non profit/NGO world. After leaving BOMA, I entered the Peace Corps for a brief period of time, returning to Africa, and was confident in applying the knowledge and tools that I gained through my experience at BOMA to my new role as a volunteer. BOMA is a wonderful cause and one that I will continue to support in the future.

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?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

This is an organization that gets it. Kathleen C. the founder is full of energy, full of passion and so bright and hard working you can't help but like her and her team. They are fully committed to doing what they do and making a difference. They laugh, they cry, they dream and they tirelessly do things to bring smiles and a better life to forgotten women. They are extraordinary because they truly change lives!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand their outreach so their story would be known by more and more people and their amazing work could scale more quickly.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

I had the privilege of interning at The BOMA Project in early 2013. I evaluated, analyzed, and interpreted the effectiveness of loan-based and grand-based microlending schemes. I specifically looked at how each method is implemented in populations of extreme rural poverty--such as the populations BOMA works with in rural northern Kenya. I felt both supported and challenged during my internship experience. Witnessing the daily operations of this dynamic and ambitious nonprofit solidified my confidence in BOMA's ability to truly effect change. By focusing on an specific population in a particular region, BOMA works tirelessly to change lives and take strides forward. From the director to the interns to the technological assistance, The BOMA Project is well-led, well-staffed and well-funded. BOMA is firmly committed to its cause and this shows throughout the organization. I strongly support the BOMA Project.

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?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

As Foundation Trustees, my husband and I have visited the Boma Project sites in Northern Kenya. We have found Boma to be one of the most effective initiatives we have witnessed in our travels as Funders. The Boma approach to uplifting women and children is a community based, realistic and accountable model. You can be assured that every donation is carefully expended to benefit those who are most in need.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am both a donor and a photographer serving BOMA and have seen in this organization the most extraordinary people making the most beautiful impact among the poorest of the poor. My money and my time are well spent with BOMA.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

see it better funded. BOMA is small, but the area in which they work is large and neglected.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have never worked with an organization that remained truer to the original cause. BOMA is making a difference that will LAST. This organization is truly concerned with the welfare of its clients and their eventual self-sufficiency.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful?