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Oct 01 2012

Kiva project update: August/September 2012

Hey cromrades,

I was unforgivably (but somewhat characteristically) lazy this past period with handling the Kiva project. As a result, the donation to the Sioux expired before I got my act together to donate. Mea culpa. What I have done instead is donated $50 of your money to the Canadian Red Cross’ Aboriginal Outreach program, and matched that donation with $50 of my own. Additionally, we had a windfall of Kiva repayments in the past couple of months, so I was able to direct a number of new loans. There were two pay periods since our last update, so there’s quite a bit of activity summarized below.

Here are the loans we made this month:

Topi Group – Tanzania

Shebu, who is in her early 40s, is married with two children who are still going to school. She has been making a living by selling new clothes door-to-door. She works from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm daily and is able to make a good monthly profit.  This is going to be her second loan from Tujijenge Tanzania. She used the previous loan to buy more clothes to resell and has paid back her loan successfully. She wants a loan to buy more clothes to resell and to pay school fees for her children. Her dream is to one day be able to own a food cafe. Shebu will share this loan with her loan group, Topi, which has a total of 15 members who will hold each other accountable for paying back the loan.

Lurdes – Mozambique

She’s married and has two children, all of whom attend school. She lives with her family in a house she owns and also supports a niece who lives with her. She’s a teacher and a staffer of the Ministry of Education. With this loan she intends to purchase construction supplies (cement, bricks, iron, rocks, etc.) in oder to continue building a beauty parlor in her house. In the future she wishes to finish building the beauty parlor so that she can increase her monthly income. For that reason she pledges to repay the loan as scheduled, so she can request more loans from Hluvuku. The challenge she faces is not having enough funds to implement her projects.

Manessa – Mozambique

She’s single and has three children, all of whom attend school. She lives with her family in a house she owns and also supports four nephews who live with her. She’s a businesswoman who runs her own business selling foodstuffs. With this loan she intends to purchase construction supplies (cement, bricks, iron, rocks, etc.) in order to continue building her house. In the future she wishes to finish building her house and to make her business grow, so that she can improve her family’s living conditions. For that reason she pledges to repay the loan as scheduled, so she can request more loans from Hluvuku. The challenge she faces is the lack of sufficient funds and her children’s education.

Estoy Confiando Group – Nicaragua

Estoy Confiando (I Trust) is a group composed of three hardworking and resourceful women. They are native of Masaya, a very old settlement whose existence dates back to the aboriginal days. Agriculture is the main economic activity of the village while craftsmanship (wicker made items, carpentry, shoemaking) is its main commercial one. Karina is the group’s coordinator and she started working by selling plastic bottles to be used for recycling. Thanks to what she has earned from this she has diversified her activity and has started engaging in creating wicker chairs together with her husband who is a carpenter. To make one chair she spends between 400 and 500 cordobas approximately. The other members of the group are Zelania, who has been selling “nactamales” (a typical dish made of corn and pork) and fried pork for 2 ½ years and Silvia, who has been selling used clothes for 1 year.

Julius – Kenya

Julius is 40 years old, married to Jackline and has been blessed with five children. He is an electrician, and he sells and repairs electrical appliances. He has been running the business for the last 16 years. His monthly income is 30,000 Kenyan shillings (KES). He is servicing his third loan of KES 80,000 from KADET LTD., and this will assist him to purchase more electrical gadgets, spare parts and associated items. He plans to use the anticipated profits to reinvest in and increase his inventory. His future dream is to have a stable business and income that will make him improve the living standards of the family.

Grace – Uganda

Grace is 57 years old and lives in the town of Seeta in the Mukono region of Uganda. She is married and has four children who are all currently in school. For the past 10 years, Grace has been working hard to generate income through her money transfer business and by selling chickens. To help expand her businesses, Grace has requested a loan of 3,000,000 Ugandan shillings from BRAC Uganda. The loan will be used to buy more hens, and will help Grace to generate greater profits and improve her way of living. Grace hopes that in the future she will be able to have a large farm. Grace is a member of BRAC’s Small Enterprise Program (SEP). The program primarily serves small entrepreneurs like Grace who do not have enough collateral for commercial loans, but have businesses that have grown too large for microloans.

Stephen – Kenya

Stephen is 61 years old, married, and has four children. He owns rental houses, which earn him a living. He has been in the business for over 10 years. Through his previous loans from Faulu Kenya, he has managed to construct more rental units. Stephen hopes to own large apartments in the future. He has requested a loan of 70,000 KES to renovate his rental houses.

The question has cropped up here and there, so I feel like I should address it in every subsequent Kiva post – yes I am aware that these loans do not go directly to the people who are profiled here, but rather to the loan institution who distributes them indiscriminately. This is a necessary evil of microfinance and I know no other way around it. If anyone has an alternative plan, I’m certainly willing and eager to hear it.

For the month of October, we made $46.38, and loaned $50.
For the month of November, we made $65.81, and loaned $50.
For the month of December, we made $44.76, and loaned $50.
For the month of January, we made $58.59.
For the month of February, we made $57.33 and loaned $125.
For the month of March, we made $78.68 and loaned $125.
For the month of April, we made $64.62, and loaned $57.50
For the month of May, we made $58.45, and loaned $75.00
For the month of June, we made $55.38.
For the month of July, we made $73.87, and loaned $175.00

Total amount loaned so far: $700.00
Total loan funds repaid: $198.34
Charity donations (Red Cross Canada): $50
Fund balance: $8.81

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1 comment

  1. 1
    babanani

    If the Kiva model really bugs you, check out their Kiva Zip pilot. Basically, they are trying out what people originally thought it was and it gets around the microfinance offices. It is an alpha test and is higher risk lending.

    Disclosure: I work in this field. In a previous post I was criticized for making an argument from authority when I wrote I worked in the field I was writing about, which was a somewhat fair point. I am just posting this so you have the option to look at Kiva Zip and evaluate as you see fit.

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