A loan of $2,750 helped a member buy house building materials like iron robs, corrugated iron zincs and cements.

John M.'s Group's story

This is a cross section of the teachers from the Mathora Secondary School for Girls. The Mathora Secondary school is situated in Magburaka and is one of the oldest secondary schools in northern Sierra Leone. It is a boarding school and currently enrolls 930 pupils. Since its inception in 1959, several of the country’s female dignitaries have passed through this school – ministers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, teachers, police officers and so on. Today, as a result of the new educational system being introduced by the Ministry of Education called the 6334 (i.e. six years in primary school, three years in Junior secondary school, three years in Senior secondary school and four years in university), the school is being divided into a senior and junior secondary schools with two principals running each one of the schools.

In 1998, the rebel invasion of the town of Magburaka left the school in ruins – buildings, staff quarters and dormitories were damaged. Laboratory equipment was destroyed, especially in the home economics and biology departments. Because of the invasion, the students and staff were forced to flee to Freetown to the Richard Allen High School, where they sought refuge until 2003. After a peace treaty between the rebels and the government was reached in 2002, they were able to return to Magburaka.

With funds from the United Nations and the European Union, the once-mutilated school has been rehabilitated. UNICEF refurnished the laboratories with new equipment. The school is up-and-running once again, but the scar left by the rebels still remains – many of the teachers are not willing to return to the remote village of Mathora and a host of them have decided to remain in Freetown, where living conditions are bit better to that of the Mathora village. There are only a few who are willing to return and are determined to help the pupils of Magburaka and its environs.

Additionally, the teaching profession is one of the least preferred professions in Sierra Leone because salaries are not very attractive. Those who have found themselves in the profession usually are forced to seek other ways of earning more income to supplement their salaries. Many of them either engage in petty trading, in agriculture or in organizing extra classes (a practice the Sierra Leone government is trying to stop) in an effort to make additional money.

Some of the teachers from Mathora have requested the loan for purposes of expanding their businesses. Others will use their loans to give to their wives, who may already be businesswomen. It is out of their wives’ businesses that they generate additional income and assist a great deal in the running of their respective households. Furthermore, some of the teachers will be using the loan for either a building project or in buying pieces of furniture – a piece of furniture which they would not normally be able to buy on their current salary. Finally, some will use their loan either to pay school fees and other related charges for their children or pursue further studies themselves.

John M. B. (on the left) is a senior teacher at the school and head of this group. He has been a teacher for eighteen years. John was born in a place call Rotufunk, in southern Sierra Leone. He is forty-eight years old, married to a businesswoman and they have three children. One of their child is attending secondary school and the others are in primary schools. This is the third loan John and others in the group have received from SMT/Kiva Lenders. With his first loan, he was able to pursue a masters degree coarse, with the second loan, he bought a piece of land. And with this loan, Mr. B. will use it to buy house building materials like iron corrugated zincs, iron robs and bags of cements.

In this group: John M., Augustine K. , Samuel , Haroun S., Gibrilla, Pastor Ezekiel, Abbass A., Bai
*not pictured

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details