Irene lives in the town of Rongo in western Kenya. Her business supplies vegetables to local schools which they use to prepare meals for the children. She started selling to schools only at the beginning of this year, and has already experienced tremendous growth. She wants to take her loan so that she is equipped to meet the demands of the schools.
During the dry season, Irene’s own farm produces less, and she is forced to buy more from wholesalers. Rather than let her business suffer during this time, she wants to be able to continue being the supplier of choice for the schools.
Irene is raising her three children and is also taking care of three orphaned children. She says that the most important lesson to teach the young ones is to be skilled in different areas since versatility is so valuable in today’s changing world.
Please note that this Field Partner started working with Kiva before certain core risk and due diligence policies were put into place and therefore does not meet our current minimum risk criteria (K-Met has less than 1,000 borrowers and has not submitted recent audited financial statements to Kiva). K-Met is a unique microfinance organization that targets private health care providers and community health workers as a means to fulfill its mission of promoting development in underserved communities through innovative health and education programs. Private providers are given loans to upgrade their facilities and community health workers, who volunteer through K-Met, are given access to loan funds to grow their businesses and as a means of incentivizing them to remain involved in community health work with K-Met. Kiva was K-Met’s first external lender and the organization is rated a Kiva Star Rating of 1, which is the riskiest level. As a result of K-Met’s strong social mission and unique approach to microfinance and health, Kiva believes that loans to borrowers with K-Met may still be of interest to Kiva lenders, despite the increased risk, and has allowed the organization to continue fundraising on Kiva.