Feb 23, 2014 KV Kiva HQ
By Aurora Lee
Higher Education Takes Center Stage with New Innovative Partnership
 
We’re excited to announce that Kiva and Vittana, a pioneer of higher-education loans in the developing world, are launching an unprecedented partnership that will amplify the reach and impact of crowdfunded loans to students. 

Vittana’s student loans will be redirected to the Kiva website for crowdfunding starting April 2, 2014. Kiva’s platform will allow Vittana’s microfinance partners to access greater amounts of crowdfunded capital and expand their capacity to provide higher-education student loans. 
 
The partnership also allows Vittana to focus their efforts on technical assistance for both student applicants and microfinance institutions. The remaining loans posted currently on Vittana’s site will be active throughout the launch until the end of March as crowdfunded donations rather than loans.
 
Vittana currently identifies regions where the economic climate is growing and developed enough that students will be able to find employment after graduation and partners with local lenders to create loans that enable students to complete their education. With an average loan size of $750 and a repayment rate of 99%, Vittana graduates increase their income by an average of 93%, helping lift them and their families out of poverty. In 2014 Vittana and Kiva expect to reach more than 20,000 students as they launch in new regions including India, Kenya, Mexico, and continue to scale in existing countries.
 
Vittana’s CEO, Robin Wolaner, is incredibly hopeful about the new partnership’s promise. 
 
“Kiva and Vittana believe that education doesn’t just lead to employment,” Wolaner said. “Through education we can empower the youth of the world to alleviate poverty, gender inequality, violence, malnutrition, pollution and many of the other battles constantly faced around the world – nourishing a virtuous cycle of change.”
 
To learn more about supporting student loans visitors go directly to kiva.org/vittana and join the crowdfunding movement that will enable thousands of students to attend college.


 

Comments

Congratulations! a marriage I thought needed to happen since being introduced to both organizations. Love to see Kiva diversifying and getting into strategic investments; love to see Vittana getting access to a bigger marketplace. Next step: help align the creation of jobs with the choice of educational paths, see: Where there are no jobs (Gibson)

Congrats guys! This is an excellent move.

Congratulations. Always thinking when this move might happen.

I sponsor a Kenyan girl who lives in a horrible slum, to help her go to high school. She wants to become a doctor. Perhaps, with crowdsourcing for higher education becoming available in Kenya, it will improve the odds of her being able to go to college. By all means, keep me posted! Vittana, if your program works out, you'll have a fan in me.

I see there are currently 14 loans on kiva.org/vittana, all of which are to males. Can you tell me why no females are represented?

I am also missing loans to females! I would start right now on kiva.org/vittana .

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Aurora hails from New England and has a background in communications, systems management and economic development. She first realized her passion for nonprofits leveraging social media while working in web communications at MSF. She is incredibly excited to join the content team at Kiva and explore the juncture of technology and international development more thoroughly. She spent nearly a year working in Tanzania with students and was lucky enough to witness the spirit of small-scale entrepreneurship and how it impacts communities firsthand. She holds a BA from Princeton University where she concentrated in politics and was a member of the varsity swimming and diving team. Aurora is a long-suffering, occasionally jubilant, Arsenal fan and copes with being dog-less by volunteering at the SF SPCA.

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