Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Field Partner: Expanding opportunity for students with Vittana

We’re happy to welcome Vittana as our newest Field Partner!

Did you know that millions of young people in the world are struggling to access higher education? Many of them start working at a very young age and dream about going to college. Unfortunately, not many have this opportunity because they simply can’t afford it.

Luckily, there’s a great nonprofit institution called Vittana that provides crowdfunded loans to students in 12 countries around the world including Bolivia, Indonesia, Honduras, Peru and Nicaragua. More than 6,000 students have received loans through Vittana to continue their education and contribute to eventually their families’ incomes.

Vittana and its community are committed to graduating a generation beyond poverty. The organization believes that education is the world’s most powerful tool to fight global poverty. It also believes that by empowering young people with education, we unlock the potential of an entire generation.

How does the organization plan to achieve this?

Vittana has pioneered a $750 microloan for students in developing countries that combines the transformative power of education with microfinance’s massive reach. The organization provides expertise and hands-on training to microfinance institutions (MFIs) to design loan products that meet students’ needs in each region.

With a Vittana loan, a girl selling tamales can become a 3rd grade teacher, an errand boy can become a dentist, a farm girl can become a biologist -- and they can all permanently break the cycle of poverty.

On average, the impact is a three-fold increase in income. With a Vittana microloan, young people can go from living on $3 a day to $9 a day or more. Students pay back these loans after they graduate and find sustainable employment, with an outstanding repayment rate of 99.8%.

Where does the organization get its funding?

Vittana collect money to lend from its crowdfunding website, investment funds and strategic partnerships. After that, it records data about the students it’s served to track impact, expand its programs, continue innovating and demonstrate a market effect.

So what’s Kiva’s role in all this?

Partnership with Kiva will allow Vittana to scale up its student micro-lending program in more countries than it already reaches. Kiva lenders’ funds will also help even more students afford higher education or vocational training to reach their dreams.

For Kiva lenders who believe that education gives opportunity to young people and supports them to become independent, Vittana is the right choice for you. Your funds will make a real difference in the futures of these students.

Mauda is a 26-year-old student and is the first in her family to go to university. Her mother worked as a vendor and her father is disabled. She has been paying for school with a job in customs administration but her salary was not enough to cover her tuition fees.

Mauda received a loan from AFPREDENIC, a microfinance institution that partners with Vittana. An $815 loan helped Mauda become a university graduate. Her degree earned her a promotion and a raise, and less than a year after graduation, she now makes triple the income.

Vittana partners with great organizations like Clinton Global Initiative, Brigham Young University, Grameen Foundation, University of Washington and others. Kiva is more than proud to join the list and help Vittana reach more students like Mauda.

Have questions about Vittana? About Kiva Field Partners? Send them our way at

Images courtesy of Vittana.