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Approved to post Kiva loans from: Congo (Dem. Rep.)
Kiva conducts regular, ongoing monitoring of all Field Partners, but only posts status updates here in response to relevant, major changes at the partner.
The mission of Hekima, a partner of World Relief, is to contribute to the transformation of the economic, social, and spiritual lives of the economically active poor of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as a sustainable, innovative microfinance institution of the highest quality.
Hekima operates in the Kivu regions of Eastern DRC, an area marked by over a decade of war as well as social, economic and institutional collapse. A complex legal and regulatory environment is further complicated by widespread corruption and a market flooded with poor quality microfinance suppliers.
In this region, Hekima aims to serve the economically active poor with quality services, giving special attention to female entrepreneurs.
Founded in 2003 as a program of World Relief Congo, Hekima was established as an independent institution in July 2007; registered as a second tier microfinance institution. In September 2009, Hekima has 42 full time staff members, with lending staff accounting for 64% of total staff. Hekima has branches in Goma, Bukavu and Kavumu.
Hekima’s products are focused on the group lending methodology, which allows for disbursement of loans to clients lacking conventional collateral. The majority of Hekima clients benefit from the community bank product, which allows for small loans over a 16-week term. Successful clients may qualify for graduation into the solidarity group product that provides higher loan amounts and a longer term.
Status Update - November 28, 2012
Rebel group activity has caused instability and mass migration in the Goma region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, Hekima is still operational and administering loans. Kiva will continue to post and support loans in the region through this partner, but repayment may be impacted by the conflict.
A Note on Hekima’s Portfolio Yield:
We care deeply about the cost that Kiva borrowers pay for their loans, which is why fair pricing is a core part of our initial due diligence process for Field Partners. With Kiva's 0% capital, many of our Field Partners are also able to add additional value to their loans by reducing interest rates, offering non-financial services or creating new loan products.
For partners with reported portfolio yields or average APRs higher than 50%, Kiva takes steps to check that the high rates are justified by the impact of the loans. Kiva also verifies that the partner is not generating unreasonable profits or paying inflated salaries, and that the partner’s elevated operating costs are justified by its operating environment and/or the design of its loan products.
We seek to support loans that don’t impose an unjustifiable cost burden on hard-working borrowers. We nevertheless recognize that in order to reach vulnerable and excluded people with high-impact products and services, some of our partners incur high costs that necessitate charging higher-than-average costs to borrowers in order to allow for sustainability and scale.
Factors that drive up the costs that this partner organization charges its borrowers include:
They operate in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which is classified as a fragile situation by the U.N. This can greatly increase the cost of safely delivering financial services to borrowers.
They provide very small loans. This leads to higher operating costs, since providing each individual loan presents a minimum per-unit cost.
They provide very short term loans, which leads to higher operating costs, since each short-term loan generates a smaller amount of revenue than a longer-term loan.
They provide more than just cash to many of their borrowers, including costly wraparound services such as healthcare, financial or business training, agricultural extension services, insurance or access to education.
They work in areas with very poor infrastructure, such as limited roads. This increases the costs of finding clients and maintaining branch offices.
They’re based in an area with a high cost of living and doing business. This is often due to the high demand and low supply of adequate housing and goods.
This partner is working in a country where doing business is difficult and costly due to regulatory, procedural and governance issues.
They operate in a region known to be at risk of natural disaster, which increases the cost of doing business.
They operate in an area with a limited or poorly functioning banking system. This makes it difficult to access funding locally, and makes it more challenging to send and receive payments on loans from outside the country.