A loan of $4,025 helped a member invest in her business by adding more market food.

Sda Primary School, Waterloo Group's story

These are teachers of the Seventh Day Adventist Primary School. It was founded in 1950 by the Seventh Day Adventist Mission. Very recently, the school has been divided into Lower and Upper Primary Schools. The Lower is made up of the nursery and classes I – III. And the Upper Primary School is made up of classes IV – VI. It is a co-educational school with a total of 767 pupils and a staff of twenty teachers. Last year, the school sent 124 pupils for the National Primary Schools Examination (NPSE) and ninety of these pupils passed. By national standards, this was a very good result for the school. In sports, such as football (soccer) and athletics organized by the Ministry of Youths and Sports, the school also usually does well.

With the loan, some of the staff members will start a small business, and those who are already running small businesses will invest the loan in their businesses. Some of the staff members will be using the loan to buy pieces of furniture, others to pay either for their children's education or pay for themselves to pursue further studies. Others will use their loan in building a house (buying building materials).

Government salaries are usually quite small for teachers, thus maK. teaching an unattractive profession for many whose primary motivator is money. Many choose other jobs over teaching because of the small salary, thus starving the field of qualified personnel to teach the children. The few who remain in the classrooms have to find alternative means of maK. ends meet. The vast majority of them engage in either business or agriculture or they provide extra tutorial classes for the children (although this is a practice the government is trying to stop). Needless to say, loans from SMT are a great help to the teachers in order to boost their businesses or invest in something productive. Many want to go to school but could not afford the cost. Some will want to buy pieces of furniture, but their monthly salaries are not enough to let them do so. With a loan, they will be able to meet some of these needs. And with their monthly salaries, they can repay easily via a payroll deduction type of system.

Sixty years old, Josephine A. S. (first row, second from left) is the Head Mistress of the Lower Primary school. She is a widow with four children, all of whom are now grown-ups. Mrs. S. was born and bred in Waterloo. She has been in the teaching profession for thirty-five years. At home, Mrs. S. is also a businesswoman. She has a small stall where she sells market food. With this loan, she will buy items like onions, palm-oil (the most popular cooK. oil), peppers, salt, etc. to add to her business.

Note: SMT has just opened a new branch in Waterloo. SDA Primary School is the second institution to receive a loan from SMT at this branch. Waterloo is twenty miles (32 km) from Freetown.

In this group: Josephine A., Elizabeth M., Nasseh E., Amara F., Catherine E., Joseph J., Betty E., Fobbie K., Lois, John Y., Memuna, Ellen M., Unisa, Regina J., Christina T., Mathew S.

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details