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Kiva partner Strathmore University jumpstarts students' careers

Strathmore University is one of the leading private universities in Kenya. And in January of 2012, it became Kiva’s first university partner -- allowing lenders to make loans to low-income students for tuition and other supplies. Securing tuition fees is a major challenge for many Strathmore students, and every year, about a third of accepted applicants are unable to enroll because they don't have the money. We're proud to be changing this picture one loan at a time.

Last week, Strathmore held its 9th Annual Career Fair. Altogether, 31 organizations from various sectors, including banking, insurance, education, and tourism gathered on campus for students to learn about employment opportunities and what they can do to prepare for their future careers.

The Career Fair was also a huge networking opportunity, enabling students to start building their professional contacts.

Many notable employers attended, including huge multi-national corporations like General Electric, Nokia Siemens, and Wrigley. The U.S. Embassy was also present for students interested in pursuing diplomatic careers.

In related news, Google chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt visited Strathmore last month to talk to students about technology and innovation.

Addressing the audience, he said, “I see a lot of talent in Kenya, also kindness and an unusual interest for education... Education will change this country and innovative technology is there to help this change come faster, cheaper, and deeper.”

It’s clear that Strathmore goes above and beyond to emphasize professional development and to provide resources and opportunities in the technology sector.

For many Strathmore students, access to these resources and opportunities would never be possible without some form of financial assistance. Kiva is thrilled to be able to make these resources available to students who need them via small loans.

Already, Kiva lenders have funded 34 loans to Strathmore students, including Donie, who received a loan of $15,450 to pay tuition fees for a degree in actuarial science. Donie's father died when he was 7 and his mother is unemployed, so he never would have been able to realize his dream of getting a college education without a Kiva loan. After graduation, Donie plans to work as an actuary and eventually found an organization that will sponsor other bright, disadvantaged youth to get the educations they deserve.

A Kiva loan makes Donie's education at Strathmore possible.

Not only are Kiva loans providing students with opportunities in higher education, but in the case of Strathmore, students have a huge advantage when it comes to finding a good job and the right career path. 

Visit Strathmore’s partner page for more information, or make an education loan through another Kiva partner to help a student pay tuition fees.

Photos courtesy of Kiva Field Support Specialist Mac Parish.

About the author

Emily Wakefield

A native of southern California, Emily is a recent graduate from Santa Clara University where she studied Economics and Spanish Studies. The highlight of her college experience was the semester she spent abroad in Granada, Spain. She knew she wanted to pursue a career in economic development after reading Half the Sky. Emily will be joining the Marketing and Communications team as a Blog and Social Media Intern and is especially excited to find new and creative ways to spread Kiva’s work to more people. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, listening to country music, and re-watching Friends episodes for the millionth time.