I was reading about some of the results of my Kiva loans and was impressed by the following email I received. The lending institution is planning to become a "Christian Bank." I am not sure I know what would make a bank a "Christian Bank", but I am favorably impressed by the email. I intend to continue supporting the loans initiated by them.
Here is the email -- Henry from Mombasa received a loan of Kes 50,000 and bought five pigs. He sold them and earned profits which he used to buy more pigs. His family is thankful for their financial needs and diet were catered for. His business challenge is the stiff competition.
SMEP is a Deposit Taking Microfinance institution born out of an initiative of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK). It began as a feeding programmee-to feed the Mathare slum dwellers in Nairobi, Kenya. NCCK realized that the poor needed to be self reliant and economically empowered and the feeding programmee was transformed into a microcredit scheme. What started as a small project has grown into a deposit taking microfinance institution that has a dream of providing many financial solutions to entrepreneurs. In future, SMEP plans to become a fully fledged Christian bank.
I am frequently critical of businesses that refer to themselves as "Christian Business" because I see them as trying to obtain business because of the lable. I am particularly critical of businesses that refer to themselves as "Christian" but act no differently than other businesses. What I like about this email is that their motive in using the term "Chrisian bank" seems to be based on accountability to "Christian" goals of helping people to become "self reliant and economically empowered." Those are goals that I can and will support. I am particularly impressed that a "feeding" program could mature to become a program that is helping people become self reliant. I would love to see more charities mature that way.