Vittana is a community working together to help young people around the world get access to higher education for the first time. It's hard to believe, but in most developing countries, student loans just don't exist. Traditional aid and development efforts have focused on literacy, primary school and, to a slightly lesser extent, secondary school, but haven’t touched higher education. Now, an entire generation of amazing, inspiring young people are graduating high school, wanting to do more, wanting and able to do more, but because there’s no support network beyond high school, are getting stuck in the same old place — sewing Dockers’ pants, running a fruit stand. Basically, whether you’ve already been admitted to the top law school or you had the top GPA in your school, if your family doesn’t have the $700 you need to attend, you just can’t go.
Vittana builds some of the world's first college loan programs in developing countries. You can imagine how hard this is to do in countries with almost no infrastructure: no IRS, no credit bureau, no school accreditation. Students from those programs appear on Vittana.org, where people from around the world lend $25 or $50 to help them get the loans they need to graduate college. We're not talking $30K or $50K per year — as of March 2010, the average Vittana loan request was for $755.20. And we’re good at what we do: Vittana graduates have a 97% success & graduation rate.
Education is the only real way to break the cycle of poverty. Vittana graduates earn on average 200-300% more than before. However, not only does a college education completely change someone’s life forever, it also completely changes the life of everyone after them — their children, their community. Imagine not only how Betsy’s life will be different now (she’s earning $300/mo now vs. $100/mo before) but how completely different her daughters’ lives will be. This “last mile” of education, where if you can get someone just $700-800 and keep them in school for just another 6 or 12 months more, you can completely change the economic situation and outlook for that person.
Vittana has programs in 6 countries (Vietnam, Peru, etc.), loan dollars to students doubling every 2-3 months (30% mo/mo growth) and adding a new country every 3-4 months. Take a look at some of our students. Won't you help?