Why saccos invest big on Education Days for members

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By Azael Masese

Majority of the Sacco actors will turn to Co-operative Education Days to refocus on their growth prospects in the face of hard economic times due to a lingering pro election mood.
Globally, this is considered a critical principle in the cooperative movement, as it cultivates a people participation approach in the management of societies.
By training members, leaders and staff to foster understanding of the concept, it subsequently enhances good governance and accountability in their operations.
“If you sever it from our operations, we lose the overall meaning and thus can operate as any commercial entity,” noted Wanandege Chief Executive Officer Boniface Muthama.

Tom Onyona, KITE Sacco Chairman
Tom Onyona,KITE Sacco Chairman
Boniface Muthama, Wanandege Sacco CEO
Boniface Muthama, Wanandege Sacco CEO

Muthama added that besides having a standing day for their delegates, this is a capacity building event with a range of topics on personal finance.
Setting higher financial goals for example will subsequently encourage them to increase monthly savings and improve their deposits.
Out of these efforts, they have registered a notable increase in deposits and reduction of withdraws.
Kisumu Teachers Sacco Society Ltd Sacco Board Chairman Tom Onyona termed Cooperative Education Day as a critical platform to refocus on their main objectives.

Alexander Langat, CEO, Thenos Sacco
Alexander Langat,CEO, Thenos Sacco
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Daniel Masha, Imarika Sacco CEO

KITE will hold this event this month  by going to each ward in their area of operation to enlighten the members on some of the new products they have.
However, there is a feeling that there is misuse of funds during the exercise, an exercise which can erode a society’s books of accounts.
Migori County acting Cooperative Commissioner Abraham Amugune agrees that there is a wasteful spending during the event. “Over expenditure is rampant during this event and called out for prudential fiscal behavior to improve the dividend payout.”
Amugune noted that the rational where one society will spend about Sh100, 000 to cater for food another will spend about Sh300, 000 on the same event.
With an accountant and internal auditor, he said these loose ends should be sealed and ensure there is financial prudence to improve the dividend payout for the members,” he said.
Daniel Masha, Imarika Sacco CEO said though budgeting is a challenging issue during this event, they are bound to reimburse whatever members have spend for transport.
“This is a change of tact in the manner we conduct business and have to reimburse the transport expenditure incurred to attend the training. Meeting members and talking to them is central to building confidence towards the Sacco, its products and services,” Masha said.
“Members take their time off to attend our training and pay to access our venues hence need to be compensated,” Masha said.
Tenhos Sacco Chief Executive Officer Alexander Langat agreed with Mutai that during this day, they use to encourage members to patronize the sacco products.
“We will allocate funds towards this event as seek to conduct education for different sections of the sacco,” he said.
Highlands Sacco Society CEO Alice Koskei noted that they have lined up education for its members this year to enable them improve the uptake of their Boresha Loan.
“We feel that our current and prospective members did not understand the concept of this product after we opened the common bond and want to conduct further education,” she said.

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