Kiva conducts regular, ongoing monitoring of all Field Partners, but only posts status updates here in response to relevant, major changes at the partner.

Partner Description:

The Maharishi Education for Invincibility Trust (MEIT) extends educational opportunities to poor and historically excluded students in South Africa. The institute pairs computer and distance learning services with a small onsite teaching facility to provide customized higher education.

The majority of high school graduates in South Africa lack the grades or tuition to attend university, as well as marketable skills to compete in a job market where 70% of young people are unemployed. To counteract this trend, MEIT offers students financing, educational access, skills training, personal development tools and a supportive campus environment. The institute calls this approach “stepping stones out of poverty.”

MEIT trains students for careers in business and environmental management by combining classroom-based learning with practical experience. Students have the opportunity to work part-time for MEIT’s sister company, Invincible Outsourcing, where they can earn wages to pay for living and school expenses while acquiring skills that will help them find employment after graduation.

MEIT will use Kiva-funded loans to finance students’ annual tuitions. It will also offer student support loans to supplement their living expenses and buffer them against major economic shocks -- like the death of a parent or loss of a job -- that cause many to drop out. Together, Kiva and MEIT will help more students attend school, better support them while they’re there, and strengthen their employment prospects.

These Kiva loans are structured to help students repay quickly and conveniently. For example, students employed by Invincible Outsourcing may have 50% of their wages withheld to repay their loans while they are still in school. That said, they can also opt to repay the bulk of their loan following graduation and repayment.

While they are in school, students develop skills across three critical dimensions of sustainability:

Personal sustainability
- Strong remediation in mathematics, English and computer skills
- Stress reduction, holistic brain development, inner healing and personal growth using transcendental meditation.

Economic sustainability
- Allowing students to “learn and earn” by developing 20 workplace skills and studying while providing basic financial support
- Learning experience at MEIT’s data capture facility and call center.

Environmental sustainability
- Understanding of the importance of the environment.
- Understanding climate change and what to do about it.
- Learning to become more in-tune with nature and the environment, and especially to do business in a way that respects and supports life.

For its mindful, holistic approach to higher education, MEIT won the “Seedlings of Success” Award at the 2010 Education Project conference in Bahrain. The award honors the early-stage educational education with the most potential to create new ideas, positive outcomes and significant social good worldwide.

Partnering with Kiva will help strengthen MEIT’s financial position. To date, its expansion has relied on grants from organizations like the Kellogg Foundation, the Skoll Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. Kiva’s zero-interest capital will give MEIT the flexibility it needs to support students and grow its programs at the same time.

Status Update - April 4, 2013

Maharishi loans are no longer appearing as deliquent on the Kiva site. After receiving approval from the Reserve Bank of South Africa to send funds overseas, the institution sent a payment to Kiva totaling $6,727.46 -- its entire outstanding balance -- received March 27. These funds have been settled out to lenders' accounts. Having met all requirements for Kiva partnership, Maharishi will soon resume posting student loans to the website.

Status Update - March 5, 2013

Maharishi loans are currently marked as delinquent on the Kiva site. This is because the institution has not yet received approval from South Africa's Reserve Bank to send repayment funds back to Kiva in the U.S. However, Maharishi student borrowers have already started repaying, and funds will be distributed to lenders as soon as possible. In the meantime, Maharishi will not be posting any new loans to the Kiva site.

Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Jun 28, 2012 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $493,550 $1,022,837,725
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $585,125
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 723
Amount of Paying Back Loans $405,125 $150,562,900
Number of Paying Back Loans 242 189,379
Amount of Ended Loans $88,425 $871,689,700
Number of Ended Loans 44 1,102,364
Delinquency Rate 3.30% 9.03%
Amount in Arrears $9,999 $8,709,454
Outstanding Portfolio $303,460 $96,433,350
Number of Loans Delinquent 123 22,896
Default Rate 3.83% 1.41%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $3,384 $12,254,589
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 3 35,199
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 7.53% 0.45%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $37,148 $4,568,143
Refund Rate 0.36% 0.59%
Amount of Refunded Loans $1,775 $6,006,525
Number of Refunded Loans 1 6,034

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 50.17% 75.62%
Average Loan Size $1,726 $398
Average Individual Loan Size $1,726 $624
Average Group Loan Size $0 $1,753
Average number of borrowers per group 0 7.7
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $12,700 $5,860
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 13.59% 6.79%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 4.06 days 6.92 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $424.63 $57.45
  Average Loan Term 83.26 months 11.16 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 233 536,648
  Journaling Rate 78.95% 41.10%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.00 0.05
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 0.00 1.11

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2016 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower 0% APR N/A 25.98% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) 16.6% N/A -0.07%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) N/A 9.00% 15.78%

Country Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

Taddy Blecher
Damian Martin
Nela Martins
Sheron Mayisa
Solomon Moyaba
Iggy Ngwepe