March 19, 2015

Kiva Update - Kiima Foods in Uganda

Another update from Kiva to share with you today.  This time it's regarding my Bare Foot Power loan to Kiima Foods.

Reposted from Kiva:
In this loan model, the organization Kiima Foods chooses and refers to Barefoot, small villages where residents do not have access to electricity. Then Barefoot goes to each village (with approximately 100 households) and meets with the different Kiima Foods groups to explain their solar home systems and gauge customer interest. If households want to buy a solar home system, they must pay 20% in advance as a down payment and then pay the rest in installments over six months.

However, not all households can pay the 20% down payment upfront. For these households, Barefoot instructs them to save up money for the down payment, and whenever they are ready with the down payment Barefoot installs their solar home systems.

Barefoot and Kiima Foods developed this arrangement in partnership, based on Kiima Foods' experience in the communities. Kiima Foods has reported, though, that households are struggling to pay the 20% down payment, so Kiima Foods' sales are slower than expected. Kiima Foods does hope that sales will pick up and intends to revolve the Kiva loan amount twice in the 12-month period.

Kiima Foods appreciates the help provided by all lenders.

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This is such a great opportunity for these communities; the fact that so many of these families are struggling to put down a 20% down payment says a lot about their economy and living conditions, unfortunately.  That being said, if even just a few families are able to benefit from this programme at a time, I reckon that's still a win in the long run.  And hopefully, down the road, more families will be able to follow and join suit.

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