Category Archives: Uncategorized

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Ubunifu Sacco posts significant growth

Category : Uncategorized

From left Board of Directors Ubinifu Sacco LTD Secretary Chris Kariuki, Chairman Frank Odindo, Sharon Nasimiyu and Edwin Mochere during the release of annual financial performance report.

From left Board of Directors Ubunifu Sacco LTD Secretary Chris Kariuki, Chairman Frank Odindo, Sharon Nasimiyu and Edwin Mochere during the release of annual financial performance report.

Ubunifu Credit and Saving Co-operative Society, which majority of shareholders are the youth has realized a landmark growth financially after two years since inception.
This may serve as a game changer as majority of Kenyan youth perceive Saccos as a reserve for older people as majority of them shun from any form of savings and investments.
But with Ubunifu Sacco the tale is different as all of its members are the youth below 35 years who have been saving and borrowing from the Sacco.
According to statistics available in Kenya over 99.9 percent of Saccos’ membership comprise of older people where youth are being represented by 0.1 percent.
Releasing the financial annual report in a Nairobi Hotel, Ubunifu Sacco Chairman Frank Odindo lauded the members for their great contributions which have seen the Society’s growth.
The youthful Chair at the same time noted that the Sacco will launch more products to its members so as to ensure all of their financial needs are fully catered for.
In year under review the Sacco total asset grew from Ksh3.7 million in 2016 to Ksh7 million in 2017.
The loan disbursed to members rose to Ksh5.3 million in 2017 down from Ksh2.3 million in the previous financial year.
Ubunifu Sacco registered an increment in deposits to Ksh5.6 million in 2017 as compared to that of Ksh3.7 million recorded in 2016.
The Sacco recorded growth in Share Capital by Ksh200, 000 where it posted Ksh715,000 in 2017 down from Ksh515,000 achieved in the previous fiscal year.
Ubunifu Sacco reserves increased from Ksh61, 000 in 2016 to Ksh174, 000 in the year ended 31st December 2017.
Dividends paid out to members grew to Ksh491, 000 in 2017 as compared to that of Ksh44, 000 paid in 2016.
Net surplus for the year increased from Ksh105, 000 in 2016 to Ksh614, 000 in the current financial year.
Ubunifu Sacco posted an increment turnover of Ksh1.4 million in 2017 as compared to that of Ksh640, 000 realized in 2016.
Speaking at the same venue Ubunifu Secretary Chris Mugendi attributed the Sacco’s success as concerted efforts engineered by the Society’s management who have been working diligently to ensure it runs effectively, efficiently and smoothly.
According to Credit Control Officer Ms Sharon Namuye said Teke Teke Loan one of the Sacco’s Loan products that has seen the remarkable growth of their society and urged members to pay loan on time to boost their credit worthiness and at the same time increase their loan limits.

Ubinifu Supervisory Committee Board Members Felister Wanjiru, Dennis Kebaso and Ronny Kamanda

Ubunifu Supervisory Committee Board Members Felister Wanjiru, Dennis Kebaso and Ronny Kamanda

Supervisory Committee Chairman Mr Ronny Kamanda said the Sacco is on the right track adding that he and his fellow directors will continue playing the watchdog role in the society to safeguard and protect the interests of the shareholders.

Ubinifu Sacco LTD members attending 2nd AGM

Ubunifu Sacco LTD members attending 2nd AGM

The Thika Road based Sacco who majority of its members are freelance academic writers from creative writers company aims at recruiting new members who are not in formal employment to empower and uplift their living standards.


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Reflecting on UBUNIFU SACCO First AGM

Category : Uncategorized

As Ubunifu SACCO, we finally held our first ever Annual General Meeting (AGM) on April 27 2017. The month of May also marks two years since Ubunifu SACCO received certificate of incorporation thereby becoming a fully registered SACCO under the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Cooperatives. Therefore it is a double celebration for these important milestones. HAPPY BIRTHDAY UBUNIFU SACCO. The idea behind forming Ubunifu SACCO was a result of members need for an entity that would enable us able to save and access affordable financial services. Majority of the current members are freelancers undertaking online work as well as other related businesses. Offering services that meet the needs of this target group continues to be the major focus of Ubunifu SACCO. Leading up to Ubunifu first AGM, Ubunifu SACCO has made progress in various areas outlined below.

Sacco website

At the start of the year, 2016 the board of management took steps to ensure members enjoyed efficient services from the SACCO. The first major step was of putting the SACCO on the road to making it paperless. The board envisioned that in this age of technology innovation, online operations would ultimately reduce operational costs in the medium and long term while ensuring faster and efficient service delivery. The SACCO set up a website www.ubunifusacco.com. This was first step. Members are now able to easily apply for a loan online without filling any paperwork. The next step that is now on focus is to form a member portal which would enable members to view online statements and track their own contributions, loans and other aspects.

Credit facilities: introduction of Teke Teke

The backbone of any SACCO is the credit products it offers. In 2016, we saw tremendous growth in this area. The upatke of normal loans has continued to grow. The introduction of TEKE TEKE LOAN was received well by members since it enabled them to access instant loans processed within a few hours of a working day. Furthermore, TEKE TEKE LOAN is issued without the need for guarantors as long as one is a fully paid up member and has contributed monthly savings. Members can apply for the loan online and get it via mobile money transfer services. The initial loan limit was up to ksh 20,000 but due to increased requests from members, the loan was limit was moved upwards to ksh 30,000. We continue to make progress towards ensuring the SACCO is responsive to member needs and the focus in 2017 is to introduce more savings and credit options that directly address member needs.

SACCO Accounts Assistant 

Towards the end of 2016, the board deemed it fit to hire a accounts assistant to assist in accounting as well as marketing efforts. This was due to overwhelming amount of work involved especially in managing member monthly contributions, loan applications and processing and marketing efforts. The board put out an advertisement notice in October 2016. After a rigorous recruitment process, Fednarnd Chikira emerged as the best qualified candidate and became the first intern for the SACCO. Fednarnd served well in the first three months and the contract was renewed for another three months in February 2017. Overall, Fednarnd helped us streamline our operations mainly related to ensuring SACCO books of accounts are up to date. He has also contributed in marketing efforts mainly related to social media. We look forward to a longer term engagement with Fednarnd in 2017.

In summation, 2016 has been a year that has mainly focused on laying the ground work for future growth. As the board of management, we believe that in these foundations will put the SACCO on a growth trajectory. For 2017, our major focus is on member growth, improving efficiency in SACCO operations and new products. We believe that if we keep focusing on improving our services to serve the needs of members we will ultimately attract new members from our target market.  Furthermore, we are keen on research and marketing and in order to seek ways to make our products even better for our existing members as well as to attract more members. Together with the support of members, we can make Ubunifu SACCO to grow even further as we DREAM CREATE and ACHIEVE.

HAPPY 2NDBIRTHDAY UBUNIFU (3)

Chris Mugendi Kariuki

Secretary, Ubunifu SACCO.


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THINK ABOUT TOMORROW

THINK ABOUT TOMORROW

Category : Uncategorized

In my earlier posts, I have been handling on the issue of savings and it’s important. Today, I want you to think on the below statement that is so common to many of us today:

“I can’t save!” “There’s nothing left to save at the end of the month!”

How many times have you heard this? Have you said it yourself? Not being able to save is one of the biggest reasons why some people don’t become wealthy.

https://ubunifusacco.com/setting-and-reaching-your-saving-goals/

Almost anyone who earns a regular or irregular salary is able to save something each month, even if it is only a small amount. Our powerlessness to save is usually because we lack discipline and commitment and are attracted byTHINK ABOUT TOMORROW things we see in shops, on TV or magazines. Advertising makes us think we need to spend. It always leads to impulsive buying. In reality, we probably don’t need expensive new shoes or a hi-fi and even if we did, cheaper ones are often just as good. Some of our spending habits are influenced by our peers; seems like we are in a competition of outclassing each other.

https://ubunifusacco.com/charting-your-expensesleads-to-savings/

However, how much you earn whether regularly or irregularly; Think about tomorrow. Even if you cannot afford much, get into the lifelong habit of saving. You are never too young to start saving neither are you too late to save. The earlier you start the better. I will mention it again that there is always not enough to save. Nobody earns enough to put aside a certain amount for his future. So, develop a savings plan NOW. This is the first step towards taking control of your future.

 

Today, I will share on a secret of lion that I believe will help you and to develop a good saving plan. Lions live in families called pride. In a pride would consist of up to 11 lionesses and several cubs and at least 3 adult male lions. After a hunt, the leader of the pack would eat first, all the others will back off so that he can eat first and alone. This might seem to be avaricious, but the leader will always ensure that there is food for others and also providing security to others as they eat.

 

By this habit of the leader eating first, in savings we say “save first”, ahead of all other expenses, and not last, or out of any orts. Like the lion, which eats first ahead of the pride, you should pay yourself first and save a fixed amount each month. Make this saving a reflex payment taken from your pay, before you start shelling out. By looking after your savings needs first, you are making safe the future of your own pride – your family’s future.

Holding to this principle of saving will help you to transform your spending patterns. Even if you start with a small savings amount, should you be disciplined and committed to this, you will build up a savings habit. This habit will make it easier to increase your savings over time. Make sure you put your savings in accounts that will give you returns after a period of time.

 

How much can I save?

This is a question that I have encountered a number of times in my working place. And I would say, depending on how much you earn, save as much as you can. Remember the lion always eats as much as it can since it is not sure of its next meal. Also, your needs at hand can help you determine how much to save. After my long struggle of savings, I have set my thumb rule to save between 10% and 15% of my monthly salary. What do you think about this? It can be good to you too. However, if you think that is too much, get going with what you can afford at the moment and be realistic i.e it is not realistic to save Sh. 500 monthly from an income of Sh. 20,000.

 

It is better to start saving now rather than later and with a smaller amount rather than not at all. You can always increase the amount later, when you can afford more.

 

 

 

 

Authored by:

Fednarnd Chikira

Accounts & Marketing

Ubunifu Sacco Society Ltd.

 

 

 


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images

Setting And Reaching Your Saving Goals

Category : Uncategorized

Setting And Reaching Your Saving Goals

Most of young men have dreams and have set goals, and determining even the specific objectives to be achieved after a period of time. Setting the specific savings goals is one thing and implementing them is another thing. Most of us we have been caught debating whether to save or spend everything from the meager salary we get. However, it imagesrequires commitment, consistency and discipline to achieve your Savings Goals. Also, it is important to note that, savings never starts tomorrow, it starts now. There is no enough to save always, but you have to set a shilling aside to save for tomorrow.

So, how can you set and achieve saving goals?

  • Identify your objective; what you are saving for. You could be saving to buy something, to invest, go back to school, for a holiday treat, retirement, to start a business…. Have a specific thing you want to achieve with your savings. Saccos nowadays have created saving plan for almost every target you can think of and also loan products for such. For example; Jienjoy loan, Development loan, Gadget loan, Elimu loan etc. Let your objectives be SMART i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
  • Establish the amount you need to save to reach your goal. For example; I want to have saved Ksh. 365,000.00 in the next 12 months towards my post graduate education fund. Having the end goal in mind, break it to smaller and specific action points. e.g. daily, weekly, monthly. For me to save 365,000.00 in 12 months, I need to save at least Sh. 1,000 daily or 7,020 on a weekly basis.
  • Having the goal and action plan, the next thing is to determine evaluation times, e.g. after every 3 months, 6 months etc. This will help you analyze the progress and take corrective measures where and when necessary before it is too late. This will show whether you are in the right track or you have veered away and if on the track, how you can do to improve best or if out of track what shall you do to be back on the track.
  • Find the right type of savings Account for your goal which shall give you the benefit of what you are looking for. At UBUNIFU SACCO we have unique products for unique needs you have. Our saving plan is such flexible that upon registration, you can deposit regular and irregular savings. Visit: https://ubunifusacco.com/ for more information about the Sacco and its product and services.

You can issue a standing order from your operational account or from your employer to your savings account. This ensures that you do not have to make the direct deposit to the savings account yourself which you may forget while you saving with less effort.

Authored by:
Fednarnd Chikira
Accounting & Marketing
Ubunifu Sacco Society Ltd.
https://ubunifusacco.com/


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Why savings in a SACCO gives you long term leverage

Category : Uncategorized

Savings through a SACCO is a gift that will keep on giving. Savings with a strategic motive is one of the ways to get the most out of your savings. Let me explain how. Life mainly takes place in three major phases: the starting up age, the middle life age and the old age. In early stages of our working life, we have time and energy but probably not enough money. In later years of life after we have worked for a while, we now have the money as well as energy but time is starting to get limited. When we are old, we finally have money and time but no energy.  I think we can uniquely harness the opportunities brought by these phases of life in order to reduce the uncertainties that come with life. When we are young and starting out, we have energy, willpower and time to work and make some money. A good strategy would be probably to understand that in some later stages in life, we will not have the energy and dynamism like we have now. This is where strategic savings come in place. Savings that you make now should be able to earn you money in later years of life therefore add to your income pool.

When you join a SACCO, make sure you do with a group of friends. These friends act as encouragement in order to make sure you make monthly contributions. Since we can be able to make money with our hustles here and there, we direct some of this income to a SACCO saving pool. After months of savings, you qualify to get a loan. Together with the amount of savings, your friends act as guarantors and therefore you get a loan. You can use this loan to expand your side hustle or any other pressing issue. Anybody within your group can do the same. Fast forward a few years later; the SACCO should be making a reasonable return and give dividends at the end of the year. When you earn these dividends, channel them back to the SACCO to act as minimum monthly contributions.  At some point in future, your contributions will be enough to get you a loan without much hustle. The value of your savings in SACCO continues to grow even without you doing anything to it. At this juncture you can even think of other investments outside the SACCO. Since you have a buffer in the SACCO savings, you can undertake other investments and use savings in the SACCO to finance other operations.  The savings in the SACCO can even be used as to solidify your pension plan. Therefore using this strategy, when you enter the second phase of life: energy, money but no time, you are assured of a pool that can help you diversify your investments.

Another advantage is that you have the probability of getting investment partners within the SACCO that can be built upon to other investments. Since you will have taken a few loans and friends as guarantors and also guaranteed them, you can be able to extend the financial relationship to other investments outside the SACCO. This is because at least you have insights on dependable financial comrades with a track record.

At Ubunifu SACCO, this is our main goal, not just offering savings and credit services but also to be platform to build future sustainable wealth. Be sure to introduce your friends and take up this savings challenge. Don’t just save, save with a long term plan and your savings will be a gift that will keep on giving and come to your aid in times of need. The future depends on the actions we take today.

#IamUbunifu

#UbunifuNaMarafiki

 

By Chris Mugendi Kariuki

Secretary, Ubunifu Sacco


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obama-2

Obama’s Farewell Speech to the Nation that has Made the Audience Cry Again

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Hello Skybrook!

It’s good to be home!

Thank you, everybody!

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you so much, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

It’s good to be home.

Thank you.

We’re on live TV here, I’ve got to move.

You can tell that I’m a lame duck, because nobody is following instructions.

Everybody have a seat.

My fellow Americans, Michelle and I have been so touched by all the well-wishes that we’ve received over the past few weeks. But tonight it’s my turn to say thanks.

Whether we have seen eye-to-eye or rarely agreed at all, my conversations with you, the American people — in living rooms and in schools; at farms and on factory floors; at diners and on distant military outposts — those conversations are what have kept me honest, and kept me inspired, and kept me going. And every day, I have learned from you. You made me a better president, and you made me a better man.

So I first came to Chicago when I was in my early twenties, and I was still trying to figure out who I was; still searching for a purpose to my life. And it was a neighborhood not far from here where I began working with church groups in the shadows of closed steel mills.

It was on these streets where I witnessed the power of faith, and the quiet dignity of working people in the face of struggle and loss.

(CROWD CHANTING “FOUR MORE YEARS”)

I can’t do that.

Now this is where I learned that change only happens when ordinary people get involved, and they get engaged, and they come together to demand it.

After eight years as your president, I still believe that. And it’s not just my belief. It’s the beating heart of our American idea — our bold experiment in self-government.

It’s the conviction that we are all created equal, endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It’s the insistence that these rights, while self-evident, have never been self-executing; that We, the People, through the instrument of our democracy, can form a more perfect union.

What a radical idea, the great gift that our Founders gave to us. The freedom to chase our individual dreams through our sweat, and toil, and imagination — and the imperative to strive together as well, to achieve a common good, a greater good.

For 240 years, our nation’s call to citizenship has given work and purpose to each new generation. It’s what led patriots to choose republic over tyranny, pioneers to trek west, slaves to brave that makeshift railroad to freedom.

It’s what pulled immigrants and refugees across oceans and the Rio Grande. It’s what pushed women to reach for the ballot. It’s what powered workers to organize. It’s why GIs gave their lives at Omaha Beach and Iwo Jima; Iraq and Afghanistan — and why men and women from Selma to Stonewall were prepared to give theirs as well.

So that’s what we mean when we say America is exceptional. Not that our nation has been flawless from the start, but that we have shown the capacity to change, and make life better for those who follow.

Yes, our progress has been uneven. The work of democracy has always been hard. It has been contentious. Sometimes it has been bloody. For every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back. But the long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all, and not just some.

If I had told you eight years ago that America would reverse a great recession, reboot our auto industry, and unleash the longest stretch of job creation in our history — if I had told you that we would open up a new chapter with the Cuban people, shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program without firing a shot, take out the mastermind of 9-11 — if I had told you that we would win marriage equality and secure the right to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens — if I had told you all that, you might have said our sights were set a little too high.

But that’s what we did. That’s what you did. You were the change. The answer to people’s hopes and, because of you, by almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place than it was when we started.

In 10 days the world will witness a hallmark of our democracy. No, no, no, no, no. The peaceful transfer of power from one freely-elected President to the next. I committed to President-Elect Trump that my administration would ensure the smoothest possible transition, just as President Bush did for me.

Because it’s up to all of us to make sure our government can help us meet the many challenges we still face. We have what we need to do so. We have everything we need to meet those challenges. After all, we remain the wealthiest, most powerful, and most respected nation on earth.

Our youth, our drive, our diversity and openness, our boundless capacity for risk and reinvention means that the future should be ours. But that potential will only be realized if our democracy works. Only if our politics better reflects the decency of our people. Only if all of us, regardless of party affiliation or particular interests help restore the sense of common purpose that we so badly need right now.

And that’s what I want to focus on tonight, the state of our democracy. Understand democracy does not require uniformity. Our founders argued, they quarreled, and eventually they compromised. They expected us to do the same. But they knew that democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity. The idea that, for all our outward differences, we’re all in this together, that we rise or fall as one.

There have been moments throughout our history that threatened that solidarity. And the beginning of this century has been one of those times. A shrinking world, growing inequality, demographic change, and the specter of terrorism. These forces haven’t just tested our security and our prosperity, but are testing our democracy as well. And how we meet these challenges to our democracy will determine our ability to educate our kids and create good jobs and protect our homeland.

In other words, it will determine our future. To begin with, our democracy won’t work without a sense that everyone has economic opportunity.

And the good news is that today the economy is growing again. Wages, incomes, home values and retirement accounts are all rising again. Poverty is falling again.

The wealthy are paying a fair share of taxes. Even as the stock market shatters records, the unemployment rate is near a 10-year low. The uninsured rate has never, ever been lower.

Health care costs are rising at the slowest rate in 50 years. And I’ve said, and I mean it, anyone can put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we’ve made to our health care system, that covers as many people at less cost, I will publicly support it.

Because that, after all, is why we serve. Not to score points or take credit. But to make people’s lives better.

But, for all the real progress that we’ve made, we know it’s not enough. Our economy doesn’t work as well or grow as fast when a few prosper at the expense of a growing middle class, and ladders for folks who want to get into the middle class.

That’s the economic argument. But stark inequality is also corrosive to our democratic idea. While the top 1 percent has amassed a bigger share of wealth and income, too many of our families in inner cities and in rural counties have been left behind.

The laid off factory worker, the waitress or health care worker who’s just barely getting by and struggling to pay the bills. Convinced that the game is fixed against them. That their government only serves the interest of the powerful. That’s a recipe for more cynicism and polarization in our politics.

Now there’re no quick fixes to this long-term trend. I agree, our trade should be fair and not just free. But the next wave of economic dislocations won’t come from overseas. It will come from the relentless pace of automation that makes a lot of good middle class jobs obsolete.

And so we’re going to have to forge a new social compact to guarantee all our kids the education they need.

To give workers the power…

… to unionize for better wages.

To update the social safety net to reflect the way we live now.

And make more reforms to the tax code so corporations and the individuals who reap the most from this new economy don’t avoid their obligations to the country that’s made their very success possible.

 

We can argue about how to best achieve these goals. But we can’t be complacent about the goals themselves. For if we don’t create opportunity for all people, the disaffection and division that has stalled our progress will only sharpen in years to come.

There’s a second threat to our democracy. And this one is as old as our nation itself.

After my election there was talk of a post-racial America. And such a vision, however well intended, was never realistic. Race remains a potent…

… and often divisive force in our society.

Now I’ve lived long enough to know that race relations are better than they were 10 or 20 or 30 years ago, no matter what some folks say.

You can see it not just in statistics. You see it in the attitudes of young Americans across the political spectrum. But we’re not where we need to be. And all of us have more work to do.

If every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hardworking white middle class and an undeserving minority, then workers of all shades are going to be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves.

If we’re unwilling to invest in the children of immigrants, just because they don’t look like us, we will diminish the prospects of our own children — because those brown kids will represent a larger and larger share of America’s workforce.

And we have shown that our economy doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. Last year, incomes rose for all races, all age groups, for men and for women.

So if we’re going to be serious about race going forward, we need to uphold laws against discrimination — in hiring, and in housing, and in education, and in the criminal justice system.

That is what our Constitution and highest ideals require.

But laws alone won’t be enough. Hearts must change. It won’t change overnight. Social attitudes oftentimes take generations to change. But if our democracy is to work the way it should in this increasingly diverse nation, then each one of us need to try to heed the advice of a great character in American fiction, Atticus Finch, who said “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

For blacks and other minority groups, that means tying our own very real struggles for justice to the challenges that a lot of people in this country face. Not only the refugee or the immigrant or the rural poor or the transgender American, but also the middle-aged white guy who from the outside may seem like he’s got all the advantages, but has seen his world upended by economic, and cultural, and technological change.

We have to pay attention and listen.

For white Americans, it means acknowledging that the effects of slavery and Jim Crow didn’t suddenly vanish in the ’60s; that when minority groups voice discontent, they’re not just engaging in reverse racism or practicing political correctness; when they wage peaceful protest, they’re not demanding special treatment, but the equal treatment that our founders promised.

For native-born Americans, it means reminding ourselves that the stereotypes about immigrants today were said, almost word for word, about the Irish, and Italians, and Poles, who it was said were going to destroy the fundamental character of America. And as it turned out, America wasn’t weakened by the presence of these newcomers; these newcomers embraced this nation’s creed, and this nation was strengthened.

So regardless of the station we occupy; we all have to try harder; we all have to start with the premise that each of our fellow citizens loves this country just as much as we do; that they value hard work and family just like we do; that their children are just as curious and hopeful and worthy of love as our own.

And that’s not easy to do. For too many of us it’s become safer to retreat into our own bubbles, whether in our neighborhoods, or on college campuses, or places of worship, or especially our social media feeds, surrounded by people who look like us and share the same political outlook and never challenge our assumptions. In the rise of naked partisanship and increasing economic and regional stratification, the splintering of our media into a channel for every taste, all this makes this great sorting seem natural, even inevitable.

And increasingly we become so secure in our bubbles that we start accepting only information, whether it’s true or not, that fits our opinions, instead of basing our opinions on the evidence that is out there.

And this trend represents a third threat to our democracy. Look, politics is a battle of ideas. That’s how our democracy was designed. In the course of a healthy debate, we prioritize different goals, and the different means of reaching them. But without some common baseline of facts, without a willingness to admit new information and concede that your opponent might be making a fair point, and that science and reason matter, then we’re going to keep talking past each other.

And we’ll make common ground and compromise impossible. And isn’t that part of what so often makes politics dispiriting? How can elected officials rage about deficits when we propose to spend money on pre-school for kids, but not when we’re cutting taxes for corporations?

How do we excuse ethical lapses in our own party, but pounce when the other party does the same thing? It’s not just dishonest, it’s selective sorting of the facts. It’s self-defeating because, as my mom used to tell me, reality has a way of catching up with you.

Take the challenge of climate change. In just eight years we’ve halved our dependence on foreign oil, we’ve doubled our renewable energy, we’ve led the world to an agreement that (at) the promise to save this planet.

But without bolder action, our children won’t have time to debate the existence of climate change. They’ll be busy dealing with its effects. More environmental disasters, more economic disruptions, waves of climate refugees seeking sanctuary. Now we can and should argue about the best approach to solve the problem. But to simply deny the problem not only betrays future generations, it betrays the essential spirit of this country, the essential spirit of innovation and practical problem-solving that guided our founders.

It is that spirit — it is that spirit born of the enlightenment that made us an economic powerhouse. The spirit that took flight at Kitty Hawk and Cape Canaveral, the spirit that cures disease and put a computer in every pocket, it’s that spirit. A faith in reason and enterprise, and the primacy of right over might, that allowed us to resist the lure of fascism and tyranny during the Great Depression, that allowed us to build a post-World War II order with other democracies.

An order based not just on military power or national affiliations, but built on principles, the rule of law, human rights, freedom of religion and speech and assembly and an independent press.

That order is now being challenged. First by violent fanatics who claim to speak for Islam. More recently by autocrats in foreign capitals who seek free markets in open democracies and civil society itself as a threat to their power.

The peril each poses to our democracy is more far reaching than a car bomb or a missile. They represent the fear of change. The fear of people who look or speak or pray differently. A contempt for the rule of law that holds leaders accountable. An intolerance of dissent and free thought. A belief that the sword or the gun or the bomb or the propaganda machine is the ultimate arbiter of what’s true and what’s right.

Because of the extraordinary courage of our men and women in uniform. Because of our intelligence officers and law enforcement and diplomats who support our troops…

… no foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland these past eight years.

And although…

… Boston and Orlando and San Bernardino and Fort Hood remind us of how dangerous radicalization can be, our law enforcement agencies are more effective and vigilant than ever. We have taken out tens of thousands of terrorists, including Bin Laden.

The global coalition we’re leading against ISIL has taken out their leaders and taken away about half their territory. ISIL will be destroyed. And no one who threatens America will ever be safe.

And all who serve or have served — it has been the honor of my lifetime to be your commander-in-chief.

And we all owe you a deep debt of gratitude.

But, protecting our way of life, that’s not just the job of our military. Democracy can buckle when it gives into fear. So just as we as citizens must remain vigilant against external aggression, we must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are.

And that’s why for the past eight years I’ve worked to put the fight against terrorism on a firmer legal footing. That’s why we’ve ended torture, worked to close Gitmo, reformed our laws governing surveillance to protect privacy and civil liberties.

That’s why I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans…

… who are just as patriotic as we are.

That’s why…

That’s why we cannot withdraw…

That’s why we cannot withdraw from big global fights to expand democracy and human rights and women’s rights and LGBT rights.

No matter how imperfect our efforts, no matter how expedient ignoring such values may seem, that’s part of defending America. For the fight against extremism and intolerance and sectarianism and chauvinism are of a piece with the fight against authoritarianism and nationalist aggression. If the scope of freedom and respect for the rule of law shrinks around the world, the likelihood of war within and between nations increases, and our own freedoms will eventually be threatened.

So let’s be vigilant, but not afraid. ISIL will try to kill innocent people. But they cannot defeat America unless we betray our Constitution and our principles in the fight.

Rivals like Russia or China cannot match our influence around the world — unless we give up what we stand for, and turn ourselves into just another big country that bullies smaller neighbors.

Which brings me to my final point — our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted.

All of us, regardless of party, should be throwing ourselves into the task of rebuilding our democratic institutions.

When voting rates in America are some of the lowest among advanced democracies, we should be making it easier, not harder, to vote.

When trust in our institutions is low, we should reduce the corrosive influence of money in our politics, and insist on the principles of transparency and ethics in public service. When Congress is dysfunctional, we should draw our districts to encourage politicians to cater to common sense and not rigid extremes.

But remember, none of this happens on its own. All of this depends on our participation; on each of us accepting the responsibility of citizenship, regardless of which way the pendulum of power happens to be swinging.

Our Constitution is a remarkable, beautiful gift. But it’s really just a piece of parchment. It has no power on its own. We, the people, give it power. We, the people, give it meaning — with our participation, and with the choices that we make and the alliances that we forge.

Whether or not we stand up for our freedoms. Whether or not we respect and enforce the rule of law, that’s up to us. America is no fragile thing. But the gains of our long journey to freedom are not assured.

In his own farewell address, George Washington wrote that self-government is the underpinning of our safety, prosperity, and liberty, but “from different causes and from different quarters much pains will be taken… to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth.”

And so we have to preserve this truth with “jealous anxiety;” that we should reject “the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties” that make us one.

America, we weaken those ties when we allow our political dialogue to become so corrosive that people of good character aren’t even willing to enter into public service. So course with rancor that Americans with whom we disagree are seen, not just as misguided, but as malevolent. We weaken those ties when we define some of us as more American than others.

When we write off the whole system as inevitably corrupt. And when we sit back and blame the leaders we elect without examining our own role in electing them.

It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy. Embrace the joyous task we have been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours because, for all our outward differences, we in fact all share the same proud type, the most important office in a democracy, citizen.

Citizen. So, you see, that’s what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there’s an election, not just when you own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the Internet, try talking with one of them in real life.

If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing.

If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clip board, get some signatures, and run for office yourself.

Show up, dive in, stay at it. Sometimes you’ll win, sometimes you’ll lose. Presuming a reservoir in goodness, that can be a risk. And there will be times when the process will disappoint you. But for those of us fortunate enough to have been part of this one and to see it up close, let me tell you, it can energize and inspire. And more often than not, your faith in America and in Americans will be confirmed. Mine sure has been.

Over the course of these eight years, I’ve seen the hopeful faces of young graduates and our newest military officers. I have mourned with grieving families searching for answers, and found grace in a Charleston church. I’ve seen our scientists help a paralyzed man regain his sense of touch. I’ve seen Wounded Warriors who at points were given up for dead walk again.

I’ve seen our doctors and volunteers rebuild after earthquakes and stop pandemics in their tracks. I’ve seen the youngest of children remind us through their actions and through their generosity of our obligations to care for refugees or work for peace and, above all, to look out for each other. So that faith that I placed all those years ago, not far from here, in the power of ordinary Americans to bring about change, that faith has been rewarded in ways I could not have possibly imagined.

And I hope your faith has too. Some of you here tonight or watching at home, you were there with us in 2004 and 2008, 2012.

Maybe you still can’t believe we pulled this whole thing off.

Let me tell you, you’re not the only ones.

Michelle…

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson of the South Side…

… for the past 25 years you have not only been my wife and mother of my children, you have been my best friend.

You took on a role you didn’t ask for. And you made it your own with grace and with grit and with style, and good humor.

You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody.

And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model.

You have made me proud, and you have made the country proud.

Malia and Sasha…

… under the strangest of circumstances you have become two amazing young women.

You are smart and you are beautiful. But more importantly, you are kind and you are thoughtful and you are full of passion.

And…

… you wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I have done in my life, I am most proud to be your dad.

To Joe Biden…

… the scrappy kid from Scranton…

… who became Delaware’s favorite son. You were the first decision I made as a nominee, and it was the best.

Not just because you have been a great vice president, but because in the bargain I gained a brother. And we love you and Jill like family. And your friendship has been one of the great joys of our lives.

To my remarkable staff, for eight years, and for some of you a whole lot more, I have drawn from your energy. And every day I try to reflect back what you displayed. Heart and character. And idealism. I’ve watched you grow up, get married, have kids, start incredible new journeys of your own.

Even when times got tough and frustrating, you never let Washington get the better of you. You guarded against cynicism. And the only thing that makes me prouder than all the good that we’ve done is the thought of all the amazing things that you are going to achieve from here.

And to all of you out there — every organizer who moved to an unfamiliar town, every kind family who welcomed them in, every volunteer who knocked on doors, every young person who cast a ballot for the first time, every American who lived and breathed the hard work of change — you are the best supporters and organizers anybody could ever hope for, and I will forever be grateful. Because you did change the world.

You did.

And that’s why I leave this stage tonight even more optimistic about this country than when we started. Because I know our work has not only helped so many Americans; it has inspired so many Americans — especially so many young people out there — to believe that you can make a difference; to hitch your wagon to something bigger than yourselves.

Let me tell you, this generation coming up — unselfish, altruistic, creative, patriotic — I’ve seen you in every corner of the country. You believe in a fair, and just, and inclusive America; you know that constant change has been America’s hallmark, that it’s not something to fear but something to embrace, you are willing to carry this hard work of democracy forward. You’ll soon outnumber any of us, and I believe as a result the future is in good hands.

My fellow Americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you. I won’t stop; in fact, I will be right there with you, as a citizen, for all my remaining days. But for now, whether you are young or whether you’re young at heart, I do have one final ask of you as your president — the same thing I asked when you took a chance on me eight years ago.

I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change — but in yours.

I am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents; that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists; that spirit sung by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice; that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to the surface of the moon; a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written:

Yes, we can.

Yes, we did.

Yes, we can.

Thank you. God bless you. And may God continue to bless the United States of America. Thank you.

 


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generosity

The Art of Generosity: How God Wants us to be

Category : Uncategorized

On a TV show, a competition had reached the peak, and $20,000 was up for grabs!! Only 6 constants are remaining: owner of a chain of restaurants (Gilberts), an unemployed woman whose husband had lost job (Mary), and the other 4. Mary had prepared the best meal, but had forgotten to pick the most crucial ingredient from the grocery. As they progressed, Gilberts and 2 contestants won free trips to the grocery.

Realising the trouble Mary was going through, and that possibly she only needed that one ingredient to win, Gilberts gave Mary the trip to the grocery, freely. Of course she won the $20,000 because of the trip, and her financial difficulties were levelised. The story went viral across that country (not here in Kenya), and such an act of generosity branded Gilberts’ restaurants a home of virtues with a consequent abnormal increase in market share.

Proverbs 11:25 says, “The generous will prosper, those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed”. This is evident in the case of Gilbert. Perhaps he would not have won the cooking competition at last, another contestant might have won. Thus, Mary would have remained with her troubles while his hotels would not have achieved such a widespread popularity.

Isaiah 54:2 reads, “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings. Do not spare, lengthen your cords, and stretch your stakes.”

When we learn to be more generous with the little we have, we see the world changes and open up new opportunities for us. Kindness is one of the fruits of the holy spirit and the same is emphasized in Galatians 6:2 (carry each other’s burdens, and this is the way you will fulfill the law of God).

Proverbs 11:24-25-One gives freely, yet grows richer. Let us relate this to Gilbert’s business performance. Am sure even the other contestants can now secure employment at the restaurants.

However, Paul warns in 2 Cor 8:12 that giving shouldn’t be a burden, but as a matter of fairness from your abundance. But remember for our giving to be a blessing, it must have a sacrificial element, not merely from remains. On Thursday last week, I was ordering shoes worth ksh. 3,999 from an online store. İn the process, i received a call from a close friend here that he has an interview invitation at Eldoret, but has no fare. İ gave him ksh. 2,000 and went to the market where bought black shoes worthy 1100. Luckily, he passed the interview and will start small in a micro-finance come January. My happiness here is that he will now be able to take care of his needs, and that happiness is my payment. Now he has a job, I have shoes. So, let’s not deny ourselves in our acts of generosity, but minimize our luxuriousness to ensure we grow together in both socio-economic and spiritual dimensions.


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File: Wycliffe G. Makworo

RE: I Have a Christmas Gift for You, Dear Christians

Category : Uncategorized

This is the time when the Christian community enters a celebratory mood, where people do all they can, that which makes them happy regardless of impending consequences. Having grown up in the middle of a village in Nyamira, I was socialized to believe that Christmas is all about eating, drinking, dancing, et cetera. I remember those days when my grandmother (may her soul RIP) used to prepare pots of local brew for the whole village. Even those non-drinkers were forced to have at least a sip on the eve of Christmas! The greatest question that lingered in my mind was what exactly Christmas is! Then I went to the Church to seek the real redefinition of Christmas.

Christmas is actually the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Christ, the Messiah came in the flesh and agreed to be born in a humble background. He came to live amongst us, and in our hearts in order to give us life. This is why we are called associates of the God-kind, partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Actually, what humanity needs is the life of Christ.

Now, the problem arises as most of us engage in unnecessary spending and doing all sorts of unnecessary endeavors as a way of celebrating the birth of Jesus. Doing all these is null and void because that is not the will of Jesus. At His birth, Jesus wants the lost sheep to join Him and multiply His kingdom more than seven fold. The processes of doing this include praying for the Holy Spirit to come upon us, giving our lives to Jesus, and confessing our sins so that we continue partaking in His Holy Communion. We then give thanks through feeding the poor and hungry, giving to charity, and doing all works of mercy to the best level we can.

It is not rational to attract poverty to our lives every December 25 in the name of celebrating the life of Christ. Transport systems become too expensive, vehicles speed beyond limits to collect as much as they can, and we spend without thinking what lies before us come January. Let this period feature relaxation moods and humility characterized by meditation of our spiritual lives as we strive to welcome Jesus to be born in our hearts. Let’s forget about the hustles of highways, and spend our time at environments featuring widespread serenity in order to receive Jesus with our full attention.


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fig-1

THREE MAIN REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN A SACCO?

Category : Uncategorized

In Kenya today, Savings and Credit Cooperatives have become a spontaneous response to a long history of officious procedures and requirements associated with established commercial banks. Also, the emergence of Sacco’s is part of a larger growth that has led to the burgeoning of credit financial institutions and micro-enterprises, which contribute to the growth of the Kenyan economy.

Today, Sacco’s have become more innovative and friendly to their members so as to make them reap as much benefits as they can. With the rise in technology development, you can access any financial services you need right from your locality without physically visiting the financial institution. Most saccos have automated all their services and products and made them readily available to their customers and members.

The question is, why should you join a Sacco rather than other financial institutions?

Below are three main reasons I came up with to answer this question.

  1. STRENGTH IN UNITY

First, Sacco’s are formed by a group of people who identify with each other and face similar challenges. I mean, they are usually formed and run by members who have a common goal and vision, which is mainly to provide financial fig-1support to its members who cannot get the same from other financial institutions. For instance, Mwalimu Sacco understands better the needs of the teachers, Matatu Sacco also they know the challenges of the matatu owners, Ukulima is for wakulima. Ubunifu is for those who can dream, create and achieve, i.e. for the self-employed people, freelance writers and academic writers because it understands better the needs of this group of people. Therefore, from whichever profession or place you are; you can be assured there is a Sacco for you. Open your eyes, stand up, seize the opportunity.

 

  1. SAVINGS.A Sacco will help you to save with more ease. As a member you will be required to contribute a certain amount of money either on monthly, weekly, or fortnight basis towards your savings. Savings has become difficulty to many especially those who do not have a specific idfig-2ea in mind to venture in after sometime. A Sacco gives you an opportunity to save regularly until that day you will have an idea to start a business, build a house, buy a car, land etc. Needless to say, saving a shilling with Sacco today, will also earn you more shillings tomorrow since it will be invested on your behalf.
  2. LOANS.

In a Sacco, it is much easier to get a loan as opposed other financial institutions. Some of these loans you can just apply online and provide your bank details or MPESA details of accounts to where the loan will be disbursed. As a member of a Sacco, you will be entitled to get a loan that is two, three or four times more than your savings fig-3depending on the policies governing the Sacco. Also these loans usually attract very low interests as compared to banks, usually up to less than 1% per month. In Ubunifu Sacco, for instance, Loans products range from development loans, elimu loans, emergency loans, instant loans, entertainment loans etc. Should you have tried to access loans from other financial institutions and they turn your offer down or you realize that it is too expensive to service it, then try a Sacco.

There are many other reasons to make you join a Sacco, just walk in one or two and get to know what they offer. Also you can get information from some of your friends who are in Sacco. Visit their websites also for more information or contact them.

To sum it up, weighing up all the options, the time for YOU to join a SACCO is now.

fig-4

 

Written By: Fednarnd Chikira


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relatinship

How I Transformed my Breaking Relationship with a Spendthrift Boyfriend to a Happy Marriage

Category : Uncategorized

The conference ended at 4:30 pm. Dr. A.M had just expressed how she underwent painful moments with a fiancé who was committed to solve all problems of people, but didn’t concentrate much on the future of their family. On the point of seeking to break-up, Dr. A.M thought to save the ship from sinking. “I just didn’t like his spending behaviours , but I couldn’t allow it separate us because he had all other qualities I ever wanted.” She expressed.

Having identified that the problem is affecting  most of our generation, I followed her immediately to learn how she handled it.

“On a Saturday morning, I requested him out.” Narrated Dr. A.M. “Of course he didn’t have a penny for the same, but I promised to cater for everything.” At the rendezvous, I told him that he has a problem, and a problem that required urgent attention. The problem of lack of a finance saving culture. “We needed an urgent solution!” She exclaimed.

Although it took courage and breathtaking, Dr. A.M managed to convince her fiancé that things had to change or call an end. “I told him simply that he knows how to find money, but doesn’t know how to use it sparingly. Though at that time I was not earning much, I was keen on savings and investments. I requested him to allow me have more say in family finance. He accepted after a long and troublesome convincing. He gave me the ATMs and all account details. And that was the end of the relationship troubles.”

Dr. A.M opened an account with a SACCO and started saving for a lifetime plan. After 14 months, the family already owned a plot and had started a construction. “We acquired a loan of ksh. 1,200,000 at 1% interest rate from a savings I had made of ksh. 420,000 by depositing ksh. 30,000 from his salary every month. That was long before we even formalized our marriage. By the time we were settling down two years later, we had a magnificent house and a corona car for our convenience.”

They are now happily married with two kids expecting a third angel in six months’ time. That is the power of a woman with a vision.

It is critical for us men to who have the problem to accept and give powers to women, provided they are women with visions. We do not need to be proud in the short-run, and loose in the long-run. 99% of the women have future of families at their hearts. Given opportunity, we minimize chances of running into troubles.


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