Lydia is a prospective student applying for a loan to start her undergraduate work on a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Strathmore University. This is her story:
I am Lydia, the second born in a family of three. I have one parent, my mother, and two siblings. My father died nine years ago. My mother is a housewife and also takes care of a few goats and sheep. None of my siblings got a chance to go to school.
I am from Lodwar in Turkana County. Turkana, in the northern part of Kenya, is a famine-ravaged region and most girls never get to see the inside of a classroom. Most parents prefer to send a boy to school over a girl, because they believe the female will be married off. Some girls are married off by their relatives even at the age of 12 years. I am one of the few lucky girls who went to school.
I completed my primary school education in the year 2007 and proceeded to high school in Turkana. My school fees for high school were paid by my local Catholic parish in Lodwar. I managed to attain a mean grade of B+ in my final high school examination. In my family and village, I am the only one who is educated to secondary school level and this motivates me to put more effort into my studies in order to uplift my family and community at large.
I am happy to apply for this loan to study for a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Strathmore University. Strathmore is my top choice because of its high quality education and facilities. Given this chance by Kiva, my higher education will be easily achieved. Thanks to God for this opportunity.
There are a lot of challenges that I have faced, but normally I encourage myself by saying, "What matters in life is not really where I am now, but rather the direction I am heading." I will never allow my past experiences to compromise the quality of my future. It is my dream to be a role model to many girls in Turkana County.
This Kiva loan will be used to provide borrowers with needed goods or services, as opposed to cash or financial credit.
Strathmore University is one of the leading private chartered universities in Kenya, and is a privately owned, not for profit institution. Originally established in 1961 as an Advanced-level Sixth Form College with inspiration and encouragement from Saint Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, Strathmore University started offering degrees in 2002 before becoming fully chartered in 2008.
Strathmore University is a non-traditional Field Partner, in that they are an educational institution, not a microfinance institution. Lenders to these loans should be aware of the following:
1 - You might not begin to receive repayments on this loan for many years, and this loan may have terms as long as 11 years. The full-tuition loans administered by Strathmore University can have loan terms of up to 11 years, which includes a grace period of up to 5 years. The grace period includes the time during which the student is enrolled at the university, and the first year after graduation. During the grace period, the borrower is not required to make any repayments, and you would not receive any repayments. Please be sure the loan terms and repayment schedule of this loan suit you.
2 - Administering loans is a new activity for Strathmore University, which can increase the risk on this loan. While most Kiva Field Partners are microfinance institutions and therefore experienced at administering loans, Strathmore University's core business is providing education, and they are inexperienced at administering loans. This partner has passed Kiva's due diligence requirements for a non-traditional Field Partner, however lenders to this loan should be aware that this loan carries some additional risk as Strathmore University becomes more experienced with administering loans to students.
For more information on Strathmore University, and the Kiva loans they are administering, please visit the Field Partner page.