This is Mercyline.

She runs a vegetable stand here in the informal settlements of Nairobi. She has brought up 8 children, and she is the guardian of 7 orphans! Mercyline is interested in buying a Fresh Life Toilet from Sanergy because she sees it as a way to generate income that can be used to put her children through school, employ local youth, and teach them business concepts along the way.

At Sanergy, we think Mercyline is pretty special. Not only do we believe she is an ideal Fresh Life Operator, but Mercyline is also the first borrower to have her loan for a Fresh Life Toilet posted on the Kiva website.

Today, we’re thrilled to announce a new partnership with Kiva, whose mission is to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Traditionally, they have leveraged the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions (MFIs) to help create opportunity around the world. Recently, Kiva rolled out partnerships with non-traditional microfinance institutions to further leverage risk-tolerant, low-cost funding.  Today we join the ranks of successful non-traditional partners in East Africa, such as Strathmore University, One Acre Fund, and Barefoot Power.

Here’s how it works.

Through our non-traditional partnership with Kiva, Sanergy is able to post the toilet loans of aspiring Fresh Life Operators to the Kiva site. As people read about the entrepreneurs’ stories and fulfill the loans, Sanergy builds the Fresh Life Toilet for the new FLO to run as a viable business. The new FLO makes repayments to Kiva and, over the course of one year, they repay the lenders who contributed online.

We are absolutely delighted to have our first Kiva loans posted, since it provides access to capital for settlement residents just needing a little extra help in the purchase of their toilet business. Visit our partner page in the months ahead to see the many Kiva borrowers who are ready to help Sanergy provide sustainable sanitation in urban slums.

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