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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The BOMA Project

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Economic Development, Microfinance, Rural Economic Development

Mission: The BOMA Project implements a unique poverty graduation program that helps ultra-poor women in Northern Kenya overcome extreme poverty. We help provide women with business, financial and life-skills training 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 2009, BOMA has impacted more than 116,892 women and children, and launched 6,030 businesses and 1,030 savings groups. Our goal is to lift 1 million women and children out of extreme poverty by 2022.

Target demographics: Women and families 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 $1.90 per day (the extreme poverty line).

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2017 we enrolled 4,555 women, supporting 22,775 children— nearly twice as many as in 2016.

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.

Community Stories

61 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Donor

Rating: 5

About ten years ago, BOMA developed an experimental poverty graduation program for deeply impoverished women in Kenya. The founder, Kathleen Colson, guided women to develop their own small businesses, starting them off with small cash grants and two years of regular mentoring. Two pioneering features of this program were first, to encourage the women to form groups of three so that when one of the women couldn’t work - perhaps because of a sick child - the other business owners could keep the venture going. A second innovation was to collect sufficient data so that results could be measured with extreme accuracy over time.

The results of this experiment have been astounding. BOMA has helped women from Northern Kenya and beyond start over 10,000 businesses. BOMA’s impact has reached over 182,000 women and children as of 2019.

BOMA continues to experiment, serving as a laboratory and technical assistant for other government and non-governmental organizations. BOMA developed an effective, low cost, solution to ending extreme poverty in the dry lands of Africa. Now, they are bringing it to scale.

If you’re looking for a very high return on philanthropic investment, BOMA is a great, and rewarding, bet.

K. Roome, donor

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined the Board of BOMA a little over two years ago, soon after meeting founder Kathleen Colson. BOMA is a remarkable organization working at the cutting edge of eliminating extreme poverty in the drylands of Africa.

This is not one time humanitarian aid. BOMA begins by identifying the very poorest women in a village based on interviews with village residents. About 90% of these women have no savings and about 2/3 have sent their children to bed hungry in the last week. BOMA gives these women small cash grants to start small businesses and then follows up with two years of hands-on mentoring.

After 2 years, 93% of these women have graduated out of extreme poverty based on a rigorous set of criteria, including the fact that 93% of these graduates report that no child in their household has gone to bed hungry in the past month.

As further evidence of the efficacy of this approach, BOMA was one of four nonprofits worldwide to pass the rigorous “impact audit” conducted in 2015 by ImpactMatters, an organization led by Yale Economist Dean Karlan.

These remarkable results deserve support from anyone who believes in the ability of women to change their lives for the better when given even the smallest of opportunities.

Katherine Roome, BOMA Board Member

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

BOMA Project is an amazing service to the world because their program works, pulling women and therefore whole families out of poverty.

Greg C.3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I worked with the BOMA Project as a Consultant at Spring Impact in 2016-2017. Having seen dozens of nonprofits operate all over the world, BOMA stood out for its strategic clarity, strong team from bottom to top, sound operations, and most importantly, its impact. In 2018, I was invited to join the board which I gladly accepted.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

BOMA has expanded their reach by partnering with local authorities and other impact groups. They are the clear leader in delivering graduation model programs to the base of the pyramid. If you ask for data on lives impacted, they have reliable systems which prove the quality of their programs. Bravo.

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1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

BOMA is focused on helping the highest impact population on the planet. Women in rural Africa need opportunities to learn and support themselves and their children. BOMA's graduation model is the right information delivered to the right people over an extended period of time so it actually sinks in. More please!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The BOMA Project is doing amazing, vitally important work in Africa, empowering women not with mere words but with funds and training that enable impoverished women to become self-sufficient. I have some experience in Africa and I have seen the need; many of my friends in the non-profit world have lived and worked in Africa, struggling to help rural Africans rise out of dire poverty. The BOMA Project may be the most sensible and effective of these efforts. Where some micro-financing programs require that the micro-loans be paid back, with interest, the BOMA Project gives women an outright grant, then trains the women in basic business and finance and gives another grant to get the business off the ground. What's unique about the BOMA Project approach, in my experience, is that once trained and financed, the women form groups of three, each with equal say in how the funds are used, each with equal access to the common fund, and each with an equal share of the profits. This system also safeguards the women's funds from their family members; it's like having three persons holding keys to the safe deposit box and all three keys are required to open it. And unlike some NGOs I have known, the BOMA Project is not top-heavy with administrative superstructure; the funds raised are used well and wisely, in the field. I believe in their mission, and I believe they are carrying out their mission professionally and with great compassion.

kcjames

Advisor

Rating: 5

I first joined BOMA as a part-time grantwriter in 2009 and stayed with the organization, in various communications roles, until 2017. I was honored — and often amazed — to watch the organization grow from a small nonprofit that served a few hundred women, with a small group of donors, to the remarkable multi-national poverty graduation powerhouse that it has become. BOMA uses very simple tools to lift ultra-poor women and families out of extreme poverty in one of the most challenging, remote regions of the planet. The simple tools? A small grant, hands-on training and support from professional mentors, and HOPE. The program is powered by an unswerving commitment to rigorous data collection to constantly monitor outcomes and make adjustments when needed. It's also powered by passionate people. BOMA is changing lives every day in rural Africa, and every donor dollar invested in BOMA has exponential impacts in villages across Northern Kenya and beyond.

Previous Stories

Advisor

Rating: 5

I've been a freelance grant and communications writer for BOMA since 2010. It has been remarkable to watch BOMA's poverty graduation program evolve. At every level, BOMA's staff and leadership are committed to delivering a high-quality program that transforms the life of every participant -- lifting them and their families out of extreme poverty and giving them the tools they need to build a brighter future. In one of the most remote, rural regions on the planet, BOMA is notable for its use of data and technology to analyze outcomes, improve the program and drive innovation. Mentors visit each business and savings group monthly -- often walking many kilometers or riding motorbikes across the scrubland to reach women who are operating successful BOMA-funded kiosks in far-flung settlements. Using tablets with a BOMA -developed application called Performance Insights, they gather extensive data on how each participant, business and savings group is faring --then upload this information in real-time to our cloud-based Salesforce database, where it's read and analyzed by our monitoring and evaluation team. This allows a rapid and targeted response for groups that need support -- and provides the data we need to continually refine the program. While this all sounds wonky, it's this devotion to the nuts-and-bolts that makes BOMA remarkable ... and the stories and gratitude that we constantly hear in the field, from women whose lives have been forever changed by BOMA, are the proof.

Donor

Rating: 5

Having spend time in rural Africa, I am aware of the challenges and obstacles that confront women and girls in their daily life. What BOMA does is to create not a system of handouts, but one of accountability, responsibility and tangible progress. They create real results and that is accomplished through BOMA's incredible passion for the area and the people and the staff's sheer tenacity in the face of constant adversity.

Donor

Rating: 5

I remeber the evening the founder of Boma, Kathleen Colson told me about her idea to help women in North Africa. This was a call to action. She saw a need and thought of a way to make their lives better for them - not a band-aide but a better life and future.
That was the summer of 1999.
I am still in awe of all Boma has become. The focus the intent the drive to make lives better has never changed never wavered.
This is an organization I am proud to support because I trust the people who work at Boma and I know where every penny goes. The stories of women living better safer lives, the statistics presented - everything they do is clear and concise. This model is brilliant. This organization does it right !

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have known Kathleen Colson, the founder of the BOMA Project, since the early 1990’s when our children went to school together here in Vermont. In 2001 we travelled with her to Kenya to photograph the Maasai people for Getty Images. Since then Kathleen has developed and expanded the BOMA Project making a reality of her dream.
Kathleen has been an inspiration to my husband and I, and we have supported BOMA from its home base here in Manchester, VT. This spring we had the opportunity to visit Maralal in Samburu County, in northern Kenya. It was deeply moving to see first-hand the profound positive transformations this project made in the lives of these women and their families. We have been believers in The BOMA Project for years, but meeting these proud BOMA business owners really brought the power of this program home to us.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I interned with BOMA last winter and thoroughly enjoyed my nonprofit experience there. The staff is so passionate about the work they do, and their collaboration is key to making a positive impact. BOMA's mission (to help end extreme poverty in Africa through a poverty graduation program) and process sets it apart from other nonprofits in a similar field. My experience with BOMA was very fulfilling and makes me want to work for more nonprofits in the future.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

There is nothing we can do that is better for the world than to empower a woman. Education, health care, climate change, poverty...you name it and the solution starts with a woman. So proud to be part of BOMA, helping women and children in some of the toughest regions of Africa to improve their resiliency. And we have the numbers to prove it. 100,000 down, 900,000 to go, to hit our target of lifting 1 million women and children from extreme poverty.

1 SuzanneSkees

Donor

Rating: 5

We at Skees Family Foundation have known The BOMA Project since they dared to launch a job-creation program for some of the poorest women in the world, in a drought-stricken land, so far from resources that no one believed they could do it. Unstoppable Kathleen Colson and her relentless team support women entrepreneurs in a community-based model, providing training and capital and staying with them for two years until their businesses--and families--can stand on their own. BOMA proves that every life matters, even those who live far from our homes and screens. They've reached 100,000 and now aim for 1 million by 2022. This is true compassion in action!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I saw first hand the work of BOMA in 2010 when I traveled to Kenya and again in 2013.
After seeing the work they are doing and meeting the women and villagers where BOMA works and following the scope of their work, I highly recommend them.
They are working with those who are forgotten, bringing education, training and hope to villages where many of the men have to leave for long periods of time to find food for their livestock, leaving the women behind to find a way to support their families and educate their children in their absence. Small groups of women are given training and a small amount of money to jump start small businesses to help support their families and save money for emergencies.
The women are given the education and mentoring to be successful in their endeavors.
Those that work with them are Kenyans like them from the same tribes....rather than someone from "outside" telling them what and how to do it.
This is a recipe for success and it has been!
Our family Foundation has funded their work since 2010 and are proud to support BOMA's work.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of working with The BOMA Project throughout the Summer of 2017. As a St. Lawrence University Student, I traveled to Kenya previously and witness firsthand the work other nonprofit organizations are doing in East Africa. The BOMA Project stands out from these organizations because of their prioritization of a culturally relevant and locally-led poverty graduation model. Their gender-based approach to poverty graduation acknowledges the ability women have within these communities to reinvest in their families and catalyze change. In addition, their approach is rooted in knowledge of the area and the people with whom they work. Overall, The BOMA Project is a transparent organization that produces real, effective results, and I feel confident in BOMA's ability to continue positively impacting the lives of women and children in Northern Kenya.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with this organization over the Summer of 2017 in their U.S. based office in Manchester, Vermont and found that this nonprofit far exceeded my expectations. I came to the BOMA Project to see the inner workings of an international nonprofit and found dedicated and hardworking professionals, an acceptance and kindness to a student just trying and learn, and an honest openness to my opinion on social media projects and research for actual use in the field, as well as other projects. I know that I made a great decision in volunteering with BOMA for my summer and I would recommend the same position to any college age student looking to make a bit of difference in the world. Being on the U.S. side of things I was able to see the compassion and dedication from every staff member. Every move they make, they have their participants in mind. They are truly working toward building a better future for women in Kenya and spreading this wealth to as many places as possible. Women in extreme poverty in areas most affected by climate change are some of the most vulnerable people in the world. By giving them the tools they need to create a sustainable livelihood, BOMA is having lasting impact on these women, years after they have left the region. Girls are being sent to school, mothers are business owners, and no one goes to bed hungry - these are real and lasting results and these outcomes are motivation to every staff member in the U.S. office.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was so lucky to get the opportunity to volunteer for the BOMA Project in Kenya this past summer, and I cannot say enough wonderful things about the work this organization does. In traveling to the field and meeting participants of BOMA's poverty graduation program, it is so clear how instrumental the work that BOMA does is and how greatly appreciated BOMA and its employees are in the communities wherein they work. I was especially impressed by how well BOMA is able to respect and work within the pastoralist cultural tradition to bring social and economic change to empower women. BOMA employs mentors and field officers from within the communities in which the organization works and joins women into business and savings groups. Through this strategic model, the relationship that the organization builds with (and among) its beneficiaries is truly unique and sets BOMA apart from any other nonprofit in the economic development and women's empowerment space.

Donor

Rating: 5

Out of Segal Family Foundation's portfolio of over 200 grantee partners, The BOMA Project is unique for the population they target; infrastructure and employment opportunities are lacking in the African drylands. BOMA has great leadership, a cost-effective model, and has demonstrated impressive scale in a short period of time. We appreciate their strong partnerships and collaborations with stakeholders, local leaders, and government. BOMA also benefits from strong M&E systems and depth of data, which is fantastic.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

BOMA is one of Smarter Good’s long term clients and we've had the privilege to witness how they have been able to help increasing numbers of women and children in the ASALs of Africa. Because of their emphasis on rigorously tracking impact, making data driven decisions, creating long-term change, and designing a program uniquely tailored to the context of women of the African drylands, I consider BOMA one of the most promising leaders in the poverty graduation space and a role model for other organizations in the sector. I recently had the chance to work with BOMA’s board members and senior management team to develop their next strategic plan. I was amazed and inspired by the commitment that each person brought to the table. BOMA has a highly experienced, talented and dedicated board and staff and that gives me the confidence that BOMA will achieve its ambitious goal of changing the lives of 1 million women and children by end of 2022. I would really recommend BOMA as a vision-first organization that will continue to grow and succeed in the coming years.

Donor

Rating: 5

The poverty graduation success rate of this organization is unmatched in my experience. This is particularly noteworthy given that they purposely target the most difficult and dire environments and situations. Further, staffing locally and sourcing mentors from past graduates provides credibility and builds self-reliance versus dependence. Finally, it's use of technology as a staff multiplier and to fuel data driven analysis and decision-making really sets this relatively small non-profit apart from the pack. This is a model that has legs...and it has heart. I am proud to be a donor/supporter of this exceptional work.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I serve on Boma’s board because I know that Boma’s innovative approach to alleviating extreme poverty, building economic resilience and empowering women works. I first traveled to Kenya as a young teenager in 1972 and vowed to return. When I joined Boma’s board in 2007, I had not been able to return to Kenya, but through Boma, I knew I was helping to transform the lives of women and their families in the remote arid lands of Africa. At last, in 2015, 43 years later, I traveled to northern Kenya and was able to witness the power of Boma’s work firsthand. Through Boma’s proven, data-driven poverty graduation model, these previously marginalized women are forming successful businesses, building economic safety nets and better providing for their families. Boma’s remarkable work truly does provide the path toward Prosperity with Dignity.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been to Kenya twice to see BOMA at work and have supported their work for several years as has our family Foundation. BOMA gets to the heart of what it means to lift people out of poverty---they work with women who are marginalized by giving them training in starting their own businesses, give them initial funding and then stay involved with them to assure the businesses are successful. Then they help them save from their profits so they have a measure of financial security.
They don't just give a bit and then leave---they stay involved and the women's businesses flourish.

1 Nancy.Stroupe.Kannappan

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had the good fortune of working for BOMA in their Kenya location and am now on their Board. I can tell you firsthand, they value and promote everything I would want to see in a non for profit organization: participant empowerment, data driven results, and validated/sustainable impact. I'm extremely proud to be a part of BOMA.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

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!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

2 Jerry37

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love this organization! Keep up the good work.



No more needs to be said.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I am proud to donate to BOMA annualy to help support all of their wonderful initiatives!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

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?

Stanzi M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

David174

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Lisa201

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Chris102

Donor

Rating: 5

Our world has a plethora of needs and the challenge for contributors is to identify those organizations that provide real solutions that produce sustainable positive outcomes. BOMA's quest to "Help Women Graduate From Poverty" in Northern Kenya is so compelling it inspires action. BOMA serves the neediest of the needy and they do it with passion and drive. They produce measurable results by providing grants, tools and actionable strategies to empower women as entrepreneurs creating an economy that serves the community. This is not an aids based organization - this organization is all about action and producing sustainable success!

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege of working with founder Kathleen Colson and her team for the past year, helping them refine and execute communications strategy. Our firm has substantial experience with NGOs and developing world issues. We find BOMA to have an extraordinarily disciplined, effective, and original strategy. They are tightly focused on their target area and target clients -- some of the poorest people in some of the most difficult terrain in the Horn of Africa -- and they produce extraordinary results, including a 97 percent success rate for business start-ups after three years. These guys are the real deal, putting everything they can into developing self-sustaining businesses, developed and mentored by locals, with a model that far outperforms typical microfinance. We are honored to be able to help them tell their story -- dig into the statistics on their site and see for yourself how impressive it is.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've worked a bit in the developing world (mostly on the social side of environmental conservation) and it's really difficult to step back from your own agenda and serve those communities with what THEY need. We've worked with BOMA for about a year now -- and learned their programs inside and out -- and not only is their work truly different in the world of rural economic development but their success rate is astounding and measured in terms that unapologetically put the impact in communities they serve ahead of all other measures.

Advisor

Rating: 5

As an advisor to BOMA, I am always impressed with the high level of commitment, efficiency and positive impact demonstrated by the organization. They partner with the communities they serve, basing programs on actual needs of the people on the ground, and employing and training local Kenyans to implement the projects. They smartly use monitoring and evaluation tools to constantly measure their impact and tweak programs as necessary. With this effective and successful model of international development, BOMA is on a trajectory to expand rapidly in the coming months and years.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I am a native of the BOMA project's areas of intervention and I'm fortunate in that on several ocassions, I have been able to personally interact with employees and beneficiaries of the BOMA Project in the course of implementing their activities. I must say that BOMA's business set-up model in upper-eastern Kenya is continuing to have a stong and lasting impact in the lives of the pastoralist and semi-pastoralist comminuties they target. There are many success stories where families' living standards have been improved as a result of the BOMA project's intervention thereby enabling them afford not only basic needs as food and clothing, but also medical and educational needs for their families. With increased financial resources available to the BOMA Project, I am confident that the lives of more and more pastoralist communities of upper-eastern Kenya will continue to be transformed.

1 hlthomas

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a Board member for three years but supported BOMA even before that. BOMA's work is direct, sustainable and measurable, and the results are life-changing. The poorest of the poor are resourced and empowered with the tools to enable them to change their own lives, gaining dignity and respect in their communities and creating micro and fledgling economies. Perhaps most impressive is the strong commitment of the organization to locally-led and transparent leadership, mentoring and programs.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The BOMA Fund is an organization which is committed to helping people who are in desperate conditions, to extract themselves from poverty, and do that in a sustainable way. Their micro financing model has evolved and improved and the success rates are close to 100%. Permanent solutions to poverty in neglected parts of the world merit our support!

Carly6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Boma is an extremely innovative economic development strategy. It empowers people - particularly women - in one of the harshest environments on earth to become economically self sufficient. The program has had a measurable impact on so many aspects of human well being, from improved health and education, to better nutrition, to increased confidence and a stronger sense of community. There are very few programs that are truly innovative in the way Boma is. It surely deserves your support.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a former professional with ten years in the field, I have seen a great deal of development work. The Boma Project is among the best organizations I have ever seen. It combines high quality professionalism with heartfelt commitment. They conduct thorough assessments and evaluations, they proceed based on their findings. They listen to their constituents, and develop programs accordingly. in this way The Boma Project facilitates commitment, ownership, and leadership at the project level. There is a lot to be learned by looking at the pioneering work of The Boma Project; the organization brings together the best in participatory development,

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization is the finest example of efficient use of donor funds: low overhead, incredible frugal team, great listeners. And the work is guided by the Kenyans on the ground, building capacity to no longer need help. Wonderful!

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Boma Fund is recreating micro-enterprise development. Working in the remote villages of Northern Kenya, The Boma Fund’s ground-breaking grass-roots Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP) is spurring the creation of micro-businesses by providing grants and the necessary ongoing support, training and mentoring to ensure success.