Loans that Inspired

This year, Kiva supported hundreds of thousands of borrowers all around the world who have inspiring stories to tell. Here, we’ve highlighted some of the most memorable loans shared with us by our lenders and staff members, who felt especially inspired by these entrepreneurs and the work that they are doing:

Sajjida, 31, is a married woman in Pakistan who decided to dedicate her life to helping children who are deprived of quality education. To do this, she established a low-cost private school and promotes female education by encouraging female students to enroll.

This loan group in Lebanon includes 2 Syrian refugees and a Lebanese citizen, as part of Field Partner Al Majmoua’s efforts to support refugees and help them create connections to locals. Salam, the woman on the left, is a mother of 2 who fled the war in Syria. She supports her family by selling vegetables and used a loan to purchase seeds so that she can improve her family’s living conditions.

Estufas Chispa is a Guatemalan social enterprise that creates affordable and environmentally sustainable technologies that help vulnerable populations by reducing their use of wood as cooking fuel. Wood is inefficient, expensive and unsustainable as a household fuel. Using a Kiva loan, Chispa expanded distribution of life-changing clean cookstoves to better rural Guatemalans’ quality of life and well-being.

Gary is a formerly incarcerated entrepreneur who started a janitorial cleaning service in San Jose to make a better life for himself and his children. “Receiving this loan means the world for me and will help me provide for my family. This will be a big step for the company and will give me opportunities to grow into large scale residential and commercial space.”

Gaudensiana (raising her hand) is a 45-year-old widow and the representative for Amora Group in Indonesia. Since the death of her husband in 2010, she has been responsible for looking after her 6 children alone, and growing her business selling fish and cake to pay for her children’s education.

Candelaria (second from left) of the Dulce Genesis Group in Guatemala is the mother of 10 children. Despite only having 1 year of formal education herself, she understands the value of a good education and wants all of her children to complete their education successfully.

Our Field Partner Hekima is committed to working in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), one of the world’s most difficult regions wracked by civil war and instability. Despite these difficult conditions, Hekima continues to keep its doors open and provide credit and savings services for its over 90% female clientele. Isab (raising her hand) is a mother of 8 and owner of a currency exchange office. A loan from Hekima allowed her to grow her business revenues and send her children to school.

Borrowers like these are the inspiration behind what we do at Kiva. Despite going through hardships, they all managed to create better lives for themselves with the help of loans funded by our lenders. As you can see by their stories, a loan on Kiva is not just a loan, but an investment in families, sustainability and economic opportunity for people all over the world.

About the author

Natalie Brown

Originally from Philadelphia, Natalie moved to San Francisco after graduating college to pursue her passion for helping people around the world. She received her B.A. in International Studies with a concentration in Africa from Elon University, and studied abroad twice during that time. Her love for Africa was solidified during her travels, first in Ghana where she visited schools and danced at durbars, then in Tanzania where she worked at a radio station and conducted field research in a village. A lover of languages, she can converse in French and Swahili (her favorite word being “bia”- beer), and she hopes to one day be in Senegal where she can speak French while living in Africa. It was in Tanzania that she first visited a microfinance institution, the Mama Bahati Foundation, which opened her eyes to the beauty of microfinance. Last summer, she canvassed for Doctors without Borders, and loved knowing she was working to help others. Now, she looks forward to the fulfilling work she will do at Kiva and to helping connect people around the world.