I’m proud to have reached out and, through Kiva, invested in creative people living in rural communities in 16 countries around the world. It’s something you can do too. Here are some of the success stories.
It all started with Cecelia, a baker in Tarkwa, Ghana.
Cecilia was a divorced mother with six children. When I invested with her, four of her children were in school. She had been baking for six years and her business served as the main source of income for the family. She used her loan to buy bags of flour, sugar, and baking powder to expand her operation and also to avoid price hikes. Cecilia repaid the loan, and I was able to reinvest.
Toalima from Samoa was the first person I invested with in the Pacific. She was then aged 30, married, and had three children. She’d had many years of experience in the farming business. She sold to the general public six days per week. She’d had a previous loan from SPBD. She expected her weekly net cash flow to be 250 Tala. SPBD loans were Toalima’s only access to capital because she was never able to qualify for a loan from traditional banks. Part of her loan was used to pay her children’s school fees. Her husband worked at Yazaki to earn extra income. Toalima repaid the loan, and I was able to reinvest.
Siale is from Tonga. At the time she was 45 years old. She’s a mother to six children, a wife to a farmer, and a grandmother to five grandchildren.
Siale and her husband run businesses of weaving, tapa making, and a plantation. She joins a group of women, and they do weaving and tapa making together. They weave from Monday to Thursday, and make tapa cloth on Fridays. Siale markets their crops – taro, kumara, cassava, and yams on Saturdays. They are planning on exporting their crops overseas.
Siale and the women weave ta’ovala (an article of Tongan dress), everyday mats, and fihu (a very fine pandanus mat), then send them overseas to a particular customer. Sometimes they sell their work at the local market to tourists and locals.
She used her loan money to buy pandanus (for mats) and mulberry (for tapa), and to hire more men to help her husband with their plantation. Currently, they are living in a small iron house, and Siale’s vision is to build a better house for her family.
It’s a real blessing to be able to support these (and many others) inspirational creative entrepreneurs.