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OPINION: Mrs Rachel Ruto is Exploiting Women Through Her Joyful Women Organisation (JOYWO)

Rachel Ruto

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Joyful Women Organisation (JOYWO), whose head and founder is Mrs. Racheal Ruto is suppressing women in the Rift Valley region. Someone is actually running a lucrative business here, which is good but she’s misusing the loyalty these poor, uneducated women gat on her husband. As he is grabbing the world, the wife back here is running an organisation which looks like it’s meant to help raise the living standards of the village women but in actual sense, it is suppressing them more.

JOYWO is a micro-financial institution (but not micro anymore) whose purpose is to give loans to women and do other business establishment in the society. Where the problem sets in, in this organisation, is how it runs it’s operations. During it’s launch in the year 2009, Mrs Rachael Ruto took advantage of her husband’s influence in the region to organise a very big harambee which was attended by a good number of politicians, Hon. Ruto being the guest of honour.

Back then, JoyWo had a group of women in at least every village in the entire then Eldoret North Constituency. Every group was required to bring Kshs. 10,000 to that harambee irrespective of the number of women in the group. And that day, women alone were able to raise more than Ksh. 16M, Kshs. 18M being the total amount raised. When it was time for Hon Ruto to speak at the end of the harambee, he said and i quote… “Kaaiwey chepyosok, ngagaa tindoi chepyosochu rabisiek chetya? Kamoche amwoiwok chepyosok ale chekwok rabishe chu, moiwei osom loan, kaikai kobarin loan kosir kobarin sinet” … “I am amazed by these women, so you had this kind of money? What i want to urge women is, don’t fear to take loan, this money belongs to you. You better die repaying the loan than die of poverty.” …

And I thought it was a great idea, until when the organisation picked up. I tried to calculate my mom’s interest on loan and was amazed to get that, JoyWo actually charges an interest of between 18% – 31% depending on the period and mode of repayment. Is that really logic? The money belongs to you, you raised it, you continue raising it every week, and you are being charged that kind of interest on loan…? Total bullshit!!

JoyWo got ‘teachers’ who go round every set day of the week, assembling the members in every chama, and he/she must leave with 5K from every group, every week. I told my mom that is nonsense and she must quit being a member. From Kshs. 18M, JoyWo is now worth close to Kshs. 1Billion in its bank account.

Another paining thing is that, members are being forced to buy stuff, whether they are in need of it or not. At the beginning I said its a lucrative business, for instance the scheme of water purifiers and the 2 weeks old chicks that every member was required to buy. Mrs. Ruto got hatching machines, which hatches the chicks in large numbers and I bet you saw it in the news recently. So, these women, my mother included were forced to buy the 2 weeks old chicks. Every member was a must to buy 4 chicks for Kshs. 1,000 ‘only’ Rachael citing that, the chicks were imported and they are the best breed ever that is why 1 cost Kshs. 250. Failure to buy, you are dismissed from being a member. It was the same case on the water purifiers. Lastly, 80% of the staff working for JoyWo are the relatives and close friends of the family.

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Written by Cyrus

Respected Kenyan blogger, tech evangelist, and social justice activist. Cyrus is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle @Kahawatungu or Facebook page (


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