The BOMA Project
Prosperity with Dignity
PO Box 456, 115 Pauls Way Barn
VT 05251 Dorset
Ansprechpartner: Kathleen Colson
The BOMA Project, formerly Boma Fund, is led by founder and CEO Kathleen Colson and Ahmed "Kura" Omar, our operations director in Kenya. The word "boma" is Swahili for a livestock enclosure, stockade or fortified village. The word has deep roots in the languages of Eastern Africa, often connoting a safe or protected place. It also means "to fortify".
In 2005, Kathleen Colson founded The BOMA Project with the goal of creating an efficient and responsive nonprofit organization that relies on small-scale, grassroots economic-empowerment initiatives. We support local participants, local leaders and locally led solutions to modern challenges.
The BOMA Project works to improve the lives of the marginalized residents of Northern Kenya through economic empowerment, education, advocacy and the training of a new generation of entrepreneurial, ethical leaders.
BOMA´s programs are driven by our mission to improve the ability of women to earn their own income. We give the "poorest of the poor" access to the resources they need to improve their own lives and conditions in their communities, within the context of their own rich traditions and heritage.
The Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP) is an economic-empowerment program that offers business-skills training, a start-up grant and two years of mentoring to small business groups of three women. REAP is an innovative micro-finance program developed by The BOMA Project that focuses on job creation and sustainable income development in the arid and semi-arid lands of Northern Kenya. Since December 2008, REAP has established 720 income-generating businesses of three to five people each, impacting the lives of 2,688 adults and an estimated 14,000 dependent children.
• Economic Empowerment: BOMA uses innovative microfinance and job-skills training programs to help the pastoral nomads of Northern Kenya to establish sustainable small businesses in their communities. In a region devastated by drought and poverty, women are using the tools of economic self-empowerment to feed their families, educate their children and pay for medical care.
• Local Leadership: BOMA´s economic empowerment program is led by trained Village Mentors. They are respected local residents with professional experience, such as school teachers and shop. REAP participants work closely with BOMA Village Mentors to write a business plan and to learn key skills like record keeping, marketing, savings and group dynamics. Upon approval of their business plan, each business group receives a start-up grant of 11,500 Kenyan shillings (approximately 0). The Village Mentors work with each group for two years to ensure success.
• BOMA Enterprises: In 2012, BOMA will continue to research and begin to launch a portfolio of small- to medium-sized enterprises in sustainable industries that are relevant to the rural, arid lands of Africa. These industries are expected to provide jobs and income for local residents, and generate revenues to support the expansion of the REAP micro-enterprise program in Kenya and beyond. Options include: Frankincense Incense Sticks; Gums and Resins; Capers.
• In order to improve the capacity of local residents to earn an income, especially as it relates to future BOMA enterprises, BOMA also offers technical and vocational scholarships to promising young students through our Agents of Change program.
Kathleen Colson is the Founder and CEO of the BOMA Project.
For other net participants we can offer an expert guidance through trained staff, give an expert opinion, procure expert information and establish new contacts in the field of our work.