Suubilyamukama Lending Group
Once I understood what she was saying, I still had a problem with the word, since in my culture it is often deemed a business that has illegal connotations. But I did not want to change the word, since this is what she said, so let me clarify. A hawker is someone who sells there goods without the benefit of a fixed location. They therefore walk around busy markets and taxi parks carrying and selling their wares. Aisha sells used clothing. This is not an easy job and most would like to be able to afford to rent a store front. There are many hawkers on the streets and they are seen as just as respectable as storefront owners, though not as well off.
Aisha has been a hawker for two years and a member of her lending group for nine years, hence her position as chairperson. I got the feeling she has had a downturn in her life, but is determined to be able to rent a storefront. She is married and has three children. With her portion of the group loan, which is approximately $275 US, she plans to buy more used clothing to sell. The clothing is bought in Kampala and is bought in bags or bales. She is not allowed to see what is in the bags until after she purchases it, though she can determine if she wants t-shirts or shirts or skirts. There can be several hundred items in each bale.
This is a Group Loan
In a group loan, each member of the group receives an individual loan but is part of a larger group of individuals. The group is there to provide support to the members and to provide a system of peer pressure, but groups may or may not be formally bound by a group guarantee. In cases where there is a group guarantee, members of the group are responsible for paying back the loans of their fellow group members in the case of delinquency or default.
Kiva's Field Partners typically feature one borrower from a group. The loan description, sector, and other attributes for a group loan profile are determined by the featured borrower's loan. The other members of the group are not required to use their loans for the same purpose.
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