Pictured here are primary school teachers from the town of Waterloo, near Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital city. This group of teachers has come to SMT, a partner of Kiva.org base in Makeni, to apply for a loan of SLL 10,500,000.00 for the entire team in order to meet their most immediate and most pressing financial needs. At the end of each month, they can easily repay the loan using their monthly salaries. It is their school’s bursar who is directly responsible for taking the deductions and making the repayments on their behalf.
Abu Bakarr is the name of the featured leader of this team. A native of Freetown, the 45-year-old is married to a teacher and the couple has 4 school aged kids. Abu Bakarr has been a school teacher for many years now. He has requested this loan in order to buy house building materials like iron corrugated sheets for the construction of a dwelling house.
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.