3 Kiva smiles from Benin

By Frederic Billou, KF13, Benin

As a Kiva Fellow working with ALIDe, Kiva’s partner in Benin, I spend  a lot of time visiting Kiva borrowers. After almost 3 months in the field, here is a quick snapshot of 3 borrowers, each with a slightly different reason to smile…

First, here is a current Kiva borrower who came to an ALDe branch to make a repayment and then very proudly flashed a brand new national ID card. These cards are very difficult to obtain here and require a ton of paperwork that is often difficult to get (for example, you may need to get a birth certificate from the head of the village you were born in, which happens to be a 10 hour bus ride from where you live now.) The reason for her mile-wide smile? With such an ID, she is now eligible for a larger Kiva loan through ALIDe in the future and is very much looking forward to it to continue to grow her business.

Second, this little guy…he isn’t quite smiling here yet, too busy watching closely the food his mom is making, very eager to do his part and try the food out to make sure it’s ready to be sold to the entire neighborhood. His mom, a Kiva borrower, is buying her cooking supplies in bulk at the Dentokpa market, the largest in Benin, thanks for her Kiva loan.

When I came back a couple of hours later, he was smiling from ear to ear. Oh and yes, he was eating.

Third, this borrower proudly displays the inventory, financed with a Kiva loan, which allows her to pay for her 4 kids’ education.

As you can see, Kiva loans put smiles on borrowers’ face for different reasons…So why not put a smile on someone’s face today (and hopefully yours too?) Click here to make a loan on Kiva right now!

Frederic Billou is a Roaming Kiva Fellow currently working in Benin.

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