Pictured here are teachers from one of the primary schools in Magburaka, a town in northern Sierra Leone. This group of teachers have come to SMT, a partner of Kiva.org, to apply for a loan of SLL 10,800,000 for the entire team. With the the help of this loan, each of them will be able to meet his or her most immediate financial challenges and at the end of the month, he/she can repay the loan using his/her salary. It is their school’s bursar who is directly responsible for doing the deductions and making the repayments on their behalf.
Margerette is the featured leader of this group. Fifty-year-old Margerette is married to a schoolteacher and the couple has 5 children, 2 of whom are attending colleges. Margerette is a schoolteacher and has been in the teaching profession for 30 years now. She has requested this loan in order to pay her children’s 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.