Pictured here are teachers of a primary school located in Wellington, in Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital city. They have come to SMT, a local partner of Kiva, to apply for a loan of 12,500,000 SLL (Sierra Leone leones). With the help of this loan, they are going to buy or invest in things that their mere salaries could not let them buy or invest in. And 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 doing the deductions and making the repayments on their behalf.
Alusine is the featured leader of this team of teachers. Born in northern Sierra Leone, Alusine is married to a trader, and the couple has three children who are attending primary and secondary schools. Alusine has been a schoolteacher for eight years now. He has requested this loan in order to pay school 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.