By Elaine Rita Mendus
Students in Latin America and Asia may not be able to afford a higher education on their own, but microloan service Vittana allows you to lend a hand to achieve their educational goals.
A microloan program, Vittana, works to make financing education easier for students in less developed countries by allowing people in other parts of the world to sponsor a student with microloan. These loans allow students living in different parts of the world the opportunity to afford an education that they otherwise would be unable to pay for.
Vittana’s offering to students is simple: microloans pay for the costs of a higher education can pull students out of poverty and through school.
A visitor to the site is allowed to browse through the students on the website and pick one of their choice. When they pick a student and give him or her a loan, the student will then pay back the person once they graduate. Microfinance partners in the student’s country of origin act as middlemen between the student and their lender.
Vittana lenders can search by gender, profession, how close they are to receiving funding, or their country of origin. Students come from eight different countries (Bolivia, Honduras, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines and Vietnam) where Vittana has partners with microfinance organizations. Once a person finds a student they are interested in lending to, they can click on their profile to learn more about them, the degree they are seeking, what it’ll do for their income, and how many other people have contributed to the person’s loan.
A person has the option to pledge at least $25, up to the rest of the loan. Keep in mind that an student over in Mongolia for instance might ask for a $2,000 loan — these loans are easier to swallow for Americans in terms of cost when compared to tuition prices stateside.
Vittana also is actively looking for fellows, who are volunteers who are tasked with the creation, support and evaluation of student lending programs with Vittana’s microfinancing partners. Fellows allow Vittana to conduct market research, development, and evaluation of the program. Vittana’s focus for growth is global. When it comes to Latin America, they seek to expand and develop further in Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru.
Vittana is focused on lending to students abroad. It does not lend to American students or Americans studying abroad.
For people who are interested in helping those unable to afford education and live outside of the country, Vittana offers an interesting set of options. Lend to a student of your choice and help him or her out of poverty, or apply to be a fellow and help expand the non-profit’s footprint so that it can offer more loans to more students. More information about Vittana’s program can be found here or on their blog.
Elaine Rita Mendus is a undergraduate student working on graduating college (someday soon). Her career interests include geopolitics, the Hispanic community, and urban planning. She really wouldn't mind ending up a scriptwriter though...