Introducing to you, in the photo above, teachers of a primary school, situated in Bo, a city in southern Sierra Leone. Like their colleague teachers in other regions of the country, they have requested a loan of 15,100,000 Sierra Leonean leones from Salone Microfinance Trust (SMT), a partner of Kiva.org based in Makeni, northern Sierra Leone. With this loan, the group members will be able to meet their immediate financial challenges, and at the end of each month, they will repay the loan, using their monthly salaries.
Edwin is the featured leader of this group. Edwin was born in Freetown. He is married to a teacher, and the couple has four children, two of whom are attending college. Edwin has been a school teacher for 22 years now. He has requested this loan in order to pay 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.