Case Study

Tap and Reposition Youth (TRY) Program: Providing Social Support, Savings, and Microcredit Opportunities to Adolescent Girls at Risk for HIV/AIDS in Kenya

How can microfinance reach out to adolescent girls at risk for HIV/AIDS?
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This brief reviews the microfinance aspect of the ‘Tap and Reposition Youth (TRY) project that aimed to:

  • Provide social support, savings and microcredit opportunities to adolescent girls at risk for HIV/AIDS in Kenya,
  • Reduce adolescent girls vulnerability to adverse social and reproductive health outcomes by improving their livelihood options.

The TRY project:

  • Targeted young out-of-school women aged 16-22, residing in low income and slum areas of Nairobi, Kenya,
  • Used a group-based microfinance model to provide credit, savings, business support and mentoring to program participants.

The brief describes the problems that arose during various phases of the program:

  • Girls lacked access to their savings,
  • They disliked the pressure to take out and repay loans,
  • Some girls were unable to meet the business plan requirement of the program,
  • There were delays in loan disbursement.

The brief recommends the following actions to reduce the number of program drop-outs:

  • Make savings flexible,
  • Reduce social pressure,
  • Eliminate the business plan requirement,
  • Lower loan amounts and shorten terms.

The brief concludes with recommendations for microfinance organizations that wish to provide financial services to adolescent girls:

  • Provide training in savings and money management,
  • Tailor products and services specially for this group,
  • Encourage research and new product development.

About this Publication

By Hall, J., Dondo, A. , Sebstad, J.