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  

1 person found this review helpful

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  

1 person found this review helpful

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  

1 person found this review helpful

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  

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.

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2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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.

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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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.

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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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.

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2013

 
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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.

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I can't speak highly enough of The BOMA project! They are an exceptionally dedicated long-serving group of individuals, both in the US and in Kenya, that strive for a 100% success rate in businesses that they assist. They are extremely thoughtful in how they achieve their successes, manage with impeccable honesty and design programs that foster their desire for "prosperity with dignity". There is not a BOMA beneficiary out there who is not grateful for their efforts.

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?

2012

 
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