Jill Kneerim

Document Type

Case Study

Publication Date



The Mraru Women's Group in rural Kenya, like many community women's organizations around the world, is an example of a deeply rooted tradition of association and self-help among women. In 1971 the group began to gather its resources to solve a common problem—transportation. They raised money, bought a bus, and began a public transport service that made money; they now face other difficult questions such as reinvesting profits, serving members' broader needs, and maintaining a strong economic base. The Mraru Women's Group has shown unusual creativity and persistence in identifying common needs and organizing to meet them. They have also demonstrated that a small, private organization with few resources can effectively call on the skills and resources of other agencies, both public and private, to help them achieve their goals, while remaining independent and self-reliant.





Issue no. 1 of SEEDS, a pamphlet series developed to provide information about innovative and practical program ideas to address the economic roles and needs of low-income women.