For five years, I have been the Customer Service Representative at the Kilifi Huduma Centre, Higher Education Loans Board desk. To borrow a popular Kenyanese phrase, I have been “on the ground.” Customers had to previously go to Nairobi to seek our services, but I am here now and through 27 similar desks across Huduma centres in the country, the HELB Customer Experience team is bringing services closer to students, parents and partners who support our cause of empowering the dreams of the under privileged students.
My job entails assisting students to apply for loans, receiving loan application forms, answering customer queries, and where need be, following up with Head Office to expedite and ensure resolution. I also maintain customer records by regularly updating the information as well as support loan repayment and recovery.
When I first started doing mashinani sensitisation campaigns in schools, colleges and universities, it was evident that many students were not aware of HELB partner fund products such as Afya Elimu Fund. With this awareness, more students were able to benefit. Whenever we can support these students to go through their higher education, we have bridged a gap in a family that would otherwise have been confined in poverty. This and the simple joys of a customer who comes back, just to let her know that an application went through makes me love my job.