Meet Alpha, a staff member at one of the sugar-producing companies in Sierra Leone. Staff members from various institutions normally come to SMT for loans. With the help of these loans, they can meet certain financial constraints that they could not meet, left with their salaries alone. And at the end of each month, their finance officer will deduct their repayments and repay SMT on their behalf.
Alpha is a native of Bankia, a village in northern Sierra Leone. He is age 40, married to a businesswoman, and they have eight children – four in primary school and four in secondary.
Alpha has been on staff at this sugar company for ten years now. In addition to his work at the company, Alpha is also a businessman. He sells gara cloth (locally dyed cloth). He has been doing business for six years now. With this loan, Alpha is going to produce a large quantity of gara cloth to add to his current stock.
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.