Jun 21, 2013 KV Kiva HQ
By Camille Ricketts
Tis the season -- to help send kids to college!
Our partner Strathmore University in Kenya just posted a huge batch of new loans to help students from all over Africa afford college tuition! 

We're so excited to be working with Strathmore -- one of the most prestigious private institutions on the continent -- to get young people the funding they need to succeed. Make a student loan today, and change a life in dramatic ways.

It may be summer vacation, but too many bright, qualified students in Africa need to worry about affording education. Financial aid is extremely limited, scholarships are terribly competitive, and many financial institutions like local banks think student loans are too risky to be good business. We're setting out to prove them wrong by offering long-term loans (up to 11 years repayment term) to students so they don't have to worry about paying back until they secure a good job. This frees them up to study and focus on their futures.

When it comes to making a huge impact with your loan dollars, you couldn't ask for a better opportunity than student loans. When you help someone afford higher education, the ripple effect is amazing:

  • College graduates find better jobs and have much greater earning potential for their whole lives.
  • Parents who attended college have healthier children, who are much less likely to suffer from malnutrition, poor self esteem or infectious disease.
  • Educated citizens participate in local and national political processes, encouraging free thought and battling corruption.
  • Students who receive quality educations in Africa are more likely to stay in Africa to give back to their local communities.
  • Educated people are more likely to respect others who are not like them, promoting gender equality, diversity, and anti-discrimination. 
The list of benefits goes on and on. So, when you support a Stathmore student with a loan, you give someone a chance they wouldn't otherwise have, AND you're truly changing the world we all live in. 

Make a loan to a Strathmore University student today

Help us spread the word on Twitter and Facebook too! As of this post, we've got 25 students looking for sizable loans and we need help getting them all funded! 

Your loans make a huge difference for students like: 

Hellen, a commerce major who dreams of becoming an accountant and helping her siblings follow in her footsteps.

George, earning a degree in business information technology so he can find a good job and one day become a Kiva lender too.

Phyllis, to earn her degree in law so she can work in intellectual property and help make educational resources open and available to more students like her.

Jotham, so he can get his degree in commerce. His plan: to return to his community and set up institutions that help kids stay off drugs, prevent girls from marrying early and more.


Hallo, Am a Diploma in Nursing Student at Moi Teaching & Referral Hospital Eldoret and seeking for student loan to help me develop my skills in my life-saving duty besides allowing me to care for my family.How do deserving individuals like me who are not students at Strathmore University access the Kiva student loan? Kindly guide me on eligibility terms.

What is Kiva's association with Opus Dei, the religious cult that operates Strathmore? Specifically, are any Kiva board members/executives/management members or Opus Dei or do they have close family ties to Opus Dei members? I ask because Opus Dei, and by extension Strathmore, (which is one of Opus Dei's corporate divisions) is a religious cult, one that specifically teaches that certain genders (women) and sexual orientations (anything but vanilla) are inherently inferior. The cult also teaches that flagellation is an appropriate way to "purify" the body and mind. Opus Dei/Strathmore have no place in a 21st century MFI that's supposed to be advancing small communities by helping individuals improve their lives. Joining a sick cult is not improving anyone's life. Loaning to students so they can go to an insanely expensive school in a country where just $1,000 can change 1,000 lives. The fact that Kiva so enthusiastically endorses these loans when they are clearly so anti-humanist has me on the verge of permanently ending my support and use of Kiva. I've made 31 loans so far, and enjoyed using the Kiva site, but until these Strathmore loans are removed, I will not be making any new loans on Kiva, period. If the Strathmore loans are not repudiated by Kiva, I will simply withdraw my funds as I receive repayments. You cannot loan to sick cults that are run by well connected, exceptionally rich churches, nor can you use my contributions to advertise them as if they're wonderful opportunities for some unfortunate kids.

I agree with Dan Haynes. I prefer to give loans to educational organizations NOT backed by Opus Dei - a backwards, mysoginistic, homophobic organization that is part of the Catholic church (which, in turn, should have pockets deep enough NOT to have to ask for funding here). The insane amounts of money these loans tie up, and the time period they tie the funds up for, will cause large problems in the Kiva lending ecosystem. I'm currently not relending my repayments and am seriously considering withdrawing (have only joined a few months ago). Plus - Kiva opening an office at Strathmore, thus strengthening its ties to Opus Dei, really does not sit well with me.

Camille, how can you write "Educated people are more likely to respect others who are not like them, promoting gender equality, diversity, and anti-discrimination." but not mention that the University was set up by Opus Dei! I am with Dan and Daniel on this. If this is how Kiva is going to behave I am taking my money elsewhere.

I have been donating through Kiva for years. I agree with Dan Haynes's comments above and I am very disturbed by this connection between Kiva and Opus Dei.

I have made a total of 127 loans with current total deposits of $481. I will also withdraw due to this Opus Dei connection as payments come in

I'm Protestant but I attended an Opus Dei high school for boys. It's by far the best high school in the world. Those against funding needy Kenyans should understand that we're getting $5bn from China for a new 951km (591 mile) railway line, and energy and conservation projects. Add the $10bn in annual tax revenues, new oil and gas finds, and then ask yourself how relevant you Kiva shylocks are.

St. Josemaria, the founder of Opus Dei did not believe in creating poor schools for the poor and excellent schools for the upper classes. He was more magnanimous. When his followers started schools, they would provide excellent education to all. Education that the elites would desire for their kids. This would be accompanied by a fund raising effort to make sure that the school is accessible to the poor. When I was in Strathmore School, at least 45% of the students were on some form of financial aid. The amazing this is that it was impossible to tell who was on financial aid and who was not. The students were confident and all that mattered was one's personal achievements.

Am a student at kisii university studying a bachelors degree in commerce(Accounts option)am highly grateful for your initiative to support young innovative minds who are financially needy na have the thirst for education i would one dy love to support KIVA and help young people in my village actualise their education dreams I humbly request For your financial assistance since currently am facing a great financial problem of which its shaking up my education i would be grateful if you considered my request.God bless you for your initiative as you consider my request

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Camille brings her passion for storytelling to Kiva, where she helps create and curate online content. A longtime journalist, she started her career reporting on arts and culture for the Wall Street Journal in London and New York. In 2008, she joined San Francisco-based blog VentureBeat, writing about  green technology, policy and finance. Most recently, she worked in public relations for electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors. Outside of work, Camille volunteers as a web designer for maternal health nonprofit Saving Mothers. She holds a B.A. in women's history from Stanford University, where she also served as editor in chief of The Stanford Daily.

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