Pictured above are teachers from one of the primary schools in Affia, a village near Kabala town, in northern Sierra Leone. This group of teachers has come to SMT, a partner of Kiva.org based in Makeni, northern Sierra Leone, to request a loan of 4,300,000 Leones for the entire group. With the help of this loan, this group of teachers will be empowered to meet their immediate financial challenges. And, at the end of each month, they can easily repay the loan using their monthly salaries. Their school’s bursar is directly responsible for doing the deductions and making the repayments on their behalf.
Salifu is the leader of this group. The 41 year old is a native of Affia village. He is married and has four children attending school. Salifu has served in the teaching profession for 12 years now. However, he is pursuing further studies. He has therefore requested for this loan in order to pay his college fees.
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.