Clinton Global Initiative 2010
Vittana makes a commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting to help 10,000 students across Africa go to college
Vittana, a pioneer in bringing micro-lending to education, expands to create microfinance program for post-secondary students in Africa
New York, USA
September 22, 2010
Vittana is pleased to announce their Commitment To Action in the Education category, which will bring student-lending programs to Africa. The announcement was made at this week’s annual meeting.
Through its initiative, Vittana/Africa: Bringing Student Loans to Africa, Vittana will partner with some of Africa’s finest microfinance institutions to launch one of the first lending programs that specifically targets young people, helping fund their post-secondary education. These loans will help 10,000 students complete the “last mile” of their education by the year 2015. With about $1,000, within one year these students can gain real, employable skills in fields such as nursing, law enforcement, and IT, changing the entire trajectory of their lives.
Vittana, a Seattle-based non-profit, empowers young people to complete their post-secondary or vocational schooling, and build a better future for themselves and their families.
Much like Muhammad Yunus built the Grameen model of traditional microcredit thirty years ago, today the Vittana model seeks to leverage the power microfinance to make education more readily available in developing nations. Their goal is to prove this model is financially viable for banks and capital markets, thereby catalyzing access to education for potentially millions.
In order to support this vision, and it’s work in Africa and other nations, Vittana is raising $2.5MM from foundations, private donors and like-minded social investors.
Students with Vittana micro-loans are breaking the cycle of poverty. With loans typically between $600-1200, students gain employable skills that catapult them into higher income brackets. The average Vittana student’s income triples (from $6/day to $18/day) after completing their education.
However, as Co-Founder and CEO Kushal Chakrabarti says, “It’s not just about the money. Imagine the opportunities available to the child of a nurse or an accountant, versus the children of a factory worker or farmer in the developing world.”
Since it’s inception just two years ago, Vittana has successfully combined on-the-ground consulting with operational expertise to launch student lending programs with partners in Paraguay, Peru, Nicaragua, Mongolia and Vietnam.
Students from partnering organizations appear on Vittana.org – an online lending marketplace where anyone with $25 can leverage Vittana’s peer-to-peer lending model and help send a student to school.
“We are honored and inspired to make this Commitment to Action at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting. Education can, once and for all, break the cycle of poverty in the world,” explains Chakrabarti. “ We are dedicated to creating a new world of choice and opportunity for young people in Africa, and all other nations where a need for student lending programs exist.”
Vittana empowers young people around the world to break the cycle of poverty by helping them access post-secondary education. Through it’s lending web site www.vittana.org, Vittana allows anyone with $25 to fund a student loan and participate in this life-changing work.
About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 125 current and former heads of state, 15 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. The CGI community also includes CGI University (CGI U), a forum to engage college students in global citizenship, MyCommitment.org, an online portal where anybody can make a Commitment to Action, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young leaders from business, government, and civil society. For more information, visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.
Vittana Media Contacts
Lisa Lindberg | Marketing Director | Vittana
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