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 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

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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

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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

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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

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The BOMA Project is a innovation leader in rural economic development internationally. By providing grants to women to start businesses in Northern Kenya through their Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP), BOMA is helping to shake the ground of poverty. BOMA provides the resources for women to start businesses, provides training, and feedback through their mentor relationships. The success stories are incredible, and their impact earth shattering -- they're helping to alleviate poverty one woman, one family at a time. More than 3,700 have graduated from or are participating in their two-year program!

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer with the BOMA Project since August. When I first learned about BOMA, I was really captivated by their grants based micro enterprise program (REAP ), a tool for fighting poverty in the drought prone region of Northern Kenyan. I am a Kenyan, but I have never been to the North. Everything I know of this region derives from the media - which almost always is something negative: drought, hunger, cattle raids... That someone was taking the chance to make a difference in a region that even my own government ignores was commendable if not inspiring. Over the last two months I have spent numerous hours working with the data this organization diligently collects from all its beneficiaries. My favorite moment in the whole process was moving from working with baseline data to working with endline data. There is nothing more touching than seeing women who only several months back sent their children to bed hungry, women who could not afford to send their children to school and had not a single penny in savings, not only report that they can now feed their children and send them to school, but also that they now for the first time feel they have a purpose in life. BOMA is a small organization but the magnitude of their impact definitely struck me. A deep passion for making a difference drives this organization and it is certainly infectious. I could not be prouder to be associated with this organization.

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?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I had the pleasure of volunteering for BOMA this summer. I was excited to help out at an organization that has such a cool mission. As I spent time there, I began to learn that BOMA is really making a positive impact on women’s lives in the most marginalized part of Kenya. As a young person trying to find my way in life, I am grateful to have volunteered at BOMA, and hope to achieve even a fraction of what BOMA has achieved and will achieve in the future.
If you are interested in helping out development work, this is a great organization to give your support to! I’ve seen what a difference it makes in peoples lives!

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?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?