Status update - September 29, 2009:

Since the last update, HELP Africa has closed its doors and ceased operations in Togo. The organization has recently constituted a new Board of Directors that is working on developing a new international strategy for the group, but at this point, it is unclear what the outcome for Togo will be. Since HELP Africa has been delinquent on payments for more than six months, all of their active loans will be defaulted, per Kiva’s default policy. Kiva will continue to work on collecting loan repayments, and we will keep you posted on any new developments. Any amounts eventually recovered by Kiva will be applied to Help Africa Lenders proportionally.

Status update - March 12, 2009:

We would like to share with you new details regarding HELP Africa’s situation. Kiva and HELP Africa reached a mutual decision in January to halt new fundraising activities for this partner as a result of organizational challenges. These difficulties, however, have proven to be more significant than initially believed and are hampering the partner’s ability to collect and send borrower repayments on existing loans. HELP Africa has expressed its commitment to follow up with borrowers and meet obligations to Kiva lenders, but please be advised that there may be significant delays in repayments.

HELP Africa has communicated the following information to Kiva regarding the situation:

- In 2008, a number of key staff members left the institution to pursue further education or better paying positions, thereby weakening HELP Africa’s internal capacity.

- New staff were hired to replace departing employees, but some were fired shortly thereafter as it was discovered that they were embezzling the institution of funds, further contributing to HELP Africa’s challenges.

- In addition, a number of the institution’s operating grants came to term at year-end 2008. HELP Africa was unable to mobilize new funds and was forced to place staff on unpaid leave in January, thereby restricting operations, including collection of repayments.

HELP Africa is slowly resuming operations, albeit on a very limited scale. In the meantime, the organization plans to undergo an external audit to determine the full extent of losses and is pursuing the perpetrators through the justice system to recover the embezzled funds. Management is also working with HELP Africa’s Board of Directors to identify new grant sources to cover operational expenses and rebuild its human resources.

Despite these challenges, HELP Africa is committed to recovering borrower repayments and sending these to Kiva lenders. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide you with updates as necessary.

Status update - January 22, 2009:

We would like to inform you that HELP Africa’s activity on Kiva has been paused due to organizational challenges that have limited the Lending Partner’s capacity to post and manage borrower profiles on the site. HELP Africa will continue to collect and send borrower repayments on existing loans, but a mutual decision was reached to temporarily halt new fundraising activities. We will continue to monitor HELP Africa’s operations and will review its ability to resume Kiva activities in a few months’ time.

Partner Description:

Humanitarian Efforts to Lessen Poverty in Africa ( HELP Africa ) was founded in 2000 to further socio-economic development and human capacity building in key areas of Africa. HELP Africa is also legally registered in Togo, is a US 501-c-3 organization and is also registered in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Benin .

HELP Africa's mission is to serve as a catalyst for social change and social entrepreneurship at the local level in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is particularly focused on supporting dignity and increasing opportunities for underserved women, youth and children.

In order to accomplish these goals, HELP Africa provides technical and organizational assistance to community based organizations such as women and youth group. Through its technical assistance programs, HELP Africa builds the local capacity of organization, helping create a future of community based networks that are sustainablly managed and operated.

HELP Africa's programs include the development of microfinance initiatives, micro-enterprise development and capacity building, and local leadership development initiatives . HELP Africa was recently awarded 80 hectares of land to build a training and technical assistance center, and to host pilot projects for women and youth.

Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Lending Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Apr 3, 2007 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $45,650 $1,958,960,270
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $198,810
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 174
Amount of Paying Back Loans $0 $161,515,145
Number of Paying Back Loans 0 189,106
Amount of Ended Loans $45,650 $1,768,242,580
Number of Ended Loans 94 2,370,068
Delinquency Rate 0.00% 12.15%
Amount in Arrears $0 $12,196,492
Outstanding Portfolio $0 $100,379,645
Number of Loans Delinquent 0 72,762
Default Rate 47.00% 1.83%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $21,457 $32,307,398
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 67 84,791
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.00% 0.50%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $0 $11,998,745
Refund Rate 1.10% 0.54%
Amount of Refunded Loans $500 $10,526,300
Number of Refunded Loans 1 9,596

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Lending Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 81.05% 78.24%
Average Loan Size $435 $392
Average Individual Loan Size $470 $589
Average Group Loan Size $717 $1,891
Average number of borrowers per group 2.8 8.3
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $1,500 $5,599
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 29.03% 7.00%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 1.64 days 8.93 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $266.03 $43.86
  Average Loan Term 14.09 months 11.47 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Lending Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 0 1,178,680
  Journaling Rate 0.00% 42.25%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.00 0.02
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 0.00 0.57

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2009 data)

    This Lending Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower N/A 24.00% PY 27.02% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) N/A 3.1% -3.10%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) N/A 188.00% 0.00%

Country Fast Facts

Lending Partner Staff