These are teachers of a primary school in Kabala, a town in northern Sierra Leone. These teachers have applied for a loan of 11,600,000 Sierra Leonean Leones (SLL) from SMT/Kiva lenders. This will be the first loan this group of teachers will be accessing from Kiva lenders. School staff from this institution, like many other school staff within SMT’s operational areas, comes to SMT to apply for loans. With the help of these loans, they can accomplish certain tasks that they would otherwise not have been able to accomplish with their mere salaries alone. But with the help of this loan, some can pay school fees for their children; others can use the loan to buy pieces of furniture, a plot of land, house-building materials, or invest in business. At the end of each month, these teachers can repay the loan out of their monthly salaries. The institution’s bursar is directly responsible for deducting the repayment and pays SMT on their behalf.
Francis is the head teacher at the school and leader of this group. The fifty-seven-year-old is married with five children who are attending primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. Francis has been a teacher for thirty-three years. Francis will use his share of this loan to pay school and college fees for his children.
About Salone Microfinance Trust (SMT)
Salone Microfinance Trust (SMT) is Kiva’s oldest field partner in Sierra Leone. SMT began operations in 2002 as a microcredit program of the NGO Child Fund Sierra Leone under a USAID program to assist the reintegration of ex combatants back into their communities. Today, SMT offers group, agricultural, individual and salary loans to micro-entrepreneurs through six branches and one sub-branch in rural, urban, and peri-urban areas. By providing small loans and other financial services, SMT empowers poor clients to generate more income to help their families, improve their wellbeing, and create a more vibrant private small-business sector in Sierra Leone.
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.