Sammy is a prospective student applying for a loan to start work on a Bachelor's degree in Telecommunications at Strathmore University and this is his story:
My name is Sammy. I am from Nairobi, Kenya. I was born second in a family of four siblings including two brothers and two sisters: an elder sister named Berryl; a younger sister called Tinna, currently in her third form in secondary school; and Gabriel, the last born of the family, who is a standard 8 candidate at primary school.
I chose Strathmore University because I believe that it is the institution that will offer me the best opportunity for quality education. I draw inspiration from my elder sister, who is an alumnus of the University; her colleagues who went to Strathmore with her, and my former classmates who are currently studying at Strathmore. They motivated me to seek admission to Strathmore University, and I am so grateful to God that I was granted entrance and will therefore commence my first year of study on June 25, 2012.
I am taking out this Kiva loan to fund my degree course through University. This is because my family is currently unable to pool enough resources to see me through my degree. Even though Strathmore University seems an expensive option given my family’s financial status, I do believe that education is a worthy and noble investment in one’s future, and not just an expense as some may perceive.
My father, the family’s sole breadwinner, was rendered jobless along with thousands of others when his factory was shut down three years ago and placed under receivership. He now tries his hand at farming. He has established a small tree seedling nursery. He uses the returns to look after the family’s welfare and contribute to my siblings' school fees. My mother, who has been a hairdresser for almost 15 years now, uses her meager earnings to feed the family. My elder sister Berryl, who is currently juggling school and work, is the one who helped my parents put me through secondary school. She is also financing my younger siblings’ education and paying her own fees for a degree course. Her finances are stretched far too thin to pay for my university fees. This has left me with a Kiva loan as my only option of getting a chance to study at university.
At Strathmore, I wish to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Telecommunications, which will enable me to achieve my dream career in the field of Information Technology. This is something that has kept me motivated and inspired me to put in the effort needed to excel in my secondary school education. I want to pursue a leading career in the ICT sector after I graduate from my course, and I hope to make a positive contribution to the development of Kenya. It is through ICT that Kenya can follow the path toward attaining its visions and goals. I also hope that I will be able to further my education and attain a Master's in the same field. I hope to also assist my younger siblings (and anybody else I can) to get the best education so that they may also have a successful and bright future. Furthermore, I am so grateful to the Kiva program as it seeks to help put needy students through school, ultimately leading the way toward raising a nation with fulfilled dreams – a nation which is successful, grateful, charitable and unified.
This Kiva loan will be used to provide borrowers with needed goods or services, as opposed to cash or financial credit.
Strathmore University is one of the leading private chartered universities in Kenya, and is a privately owned, not for profit institution. Originally established in 1961 as an Advanced-level Sixth Form College with inspiration and encouragement from Saint Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, Strathmore University started offering degrees in 2002 before becoming fully chartered in 2008.
Strathmore University is a non-traditional Field Partner, in that they are an educational institution, not a microfinance institution. Lenders to these loans should be aware of the following:
1 - You might not begin to receive repayments on this loan for many years, and this loan may have terms as long as 11 years. The full-tuition loans administered by Strathmore University can have loan terms of up to 11 years, which includes a grace period of up to 5 years. The grace period includes the time during which the student is enrolled at the university, and the first year after graduation. During the grace period, the borrower is not required to make any repayments, and you would not receive any repayments. Please be sure the loan terms and repayment schedule of this loan suit you.
2 - Administering loans is a new activity for Strathmore University, which can increase the risk on this loan. While most Kiva Field Partners are microfinance institutions and therefore experienced at administering loans, Strathmore University's core business is providing education, and they are inexperienced at administering loans. This partner has passed Kiva's due diligence requirements for a non-traditional Field Partner, however lenders to this loan should be aware that this loan carries some additional risk as Strathmore University becomes more experienced with administering loans to students.
For more information on Strathmore University, and the Kiva loans they are administering, please visit the Field Partner page.