Welcome Aboard, South Africa!

If you’re a frequent visitor to Kiva or the Fellows blog, you have probably noticed that Kiva is constantly evolving. As an organization that just celebrated its fifth year and is experiencing tremendous expansion, Kiva is adding new field partners to keep up with the incredible capacity and desire for connection demonstrated by its lenders.

To that end, please join me in welcoming Women’s Development Businesses as Kiva’s newest field partner. Not only is WDB bringing its borrowers to the Kiva community, but it is also allowing Kiva lenders to connect with borrowers in a previously untapped country – that’s right, as of this week Kiva lenders will now be able to connect with borrowers in South Africa!

So what goes on behind the scenes at a new Kiva partner, you may ask? How do these loans magically appear on Kiva? Once MFIs (microfinance organizations) are thoroughly vetted and approved for partnership, they must learn the ins and outs of Kiva. Earlier this month Kiva’s regional Field Support Specialist led an intense training program at WDB to teach its staff and leadership about Kiva, its processes, and the basics of the partnership (well, maybe more than just basics).

WDB staff in the field learn to take their first borrower photos. (This group may look familiar soon...)

Training is no simple task, and there’s certainly no “one size fits all” approach for Kiva. Each MFI is different, thus each partnership must be structured appropriately to fit the needs of the organization and its clients.

Serving as a Fellow at WDB means that I have the privilege of working with local WDB staff here in KwaZulu-Natal to define and create best practices going forward. I can report first-hand that WDB is extremely excited about and proud of this new partnership, and everyone here has been working hard to begin posting loans to Kiva ASAP.

WDB staff back at the regional office work to post their first loan on Kiva.

While its first Kiva loan was posted (and fully funded!) yesterday, WDB will soon begin adding more loans. Watch out for plenty of proud WDB borrowers on Kiva soon!

To help support this partnership, join the WDB lending team and lend to some of Kiva’s first South African borrowers!

EB Moore is a KF13 working with Women’s Development Businesses in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. She is excited to be helping Kiva lenders connect to borrowers in South Africa for the first time!

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EB Moore