Kathleen Colson

BOMA Project

Big Idea: 

Why we chose Kathleen as a Fellow

Kathleen is a safari guide who wants to see a long-term solution to drought and famine in northern Kenya. After a visit to the region during the drought of 2005, Kathleen invested in visits over the course of two years -- listening to the problems of women who were impacted by droughts. Kathleen and her team developed a program that helps women diversify their incomes with small businesses, helping them earn an income and accumulate savings to survive drought periods.

The people who live in the dry parts of Africa get a lot of humanitarian aid, but little development aid. As a result, they end up mired in a cycle of drought and food aid. BOMA brings a proven solution to ultra-poverty to this overlooked population by helping the poorest women in pastoralist communities start small businesses selling staple goods. 93% of women 'graduate' out of extreme poverty, and BOMA has shown that the effects ripple through the community at large.

Rainer Arnhold Fellows