The entrepreneurs that apply for loan money in Tanzania face all the typical challenges of a small business in the United States or Europe – recruiting and training staff, marketing their business to new and existing customers and finding suppliers with good prices – but they also have to contend with another set of challenges associated with operating in a country that doesn’t have a reliable infrastructure. Their unpredictable working environment became crystal clear to me on Saturday as I spent the day idle without power or water in my home in the Sinza neighborhood...Continue Reading >>
My name is Max Schoening, and I’ll be a Kiva Fellow in Malaba, western Kenya for the next six weeks. I’m part of a team of six students from Brown University that will be posting updates onto Kiva.org, as well as making a short movie about Kiva to show at the Clinton Global Initiative Summit this fall. Along with being Kiva Fellows, we are also the Brown chapter of a national organization called Students of the World. Students of the World (www.studentsoftheworld.org) is an organization with a mission to send college students to developing countries in order to document creative...Continue Reading >>
Hi! My name is Delana Lensgraf, and I am a Kiva Fellow in Ghana working with the fabulous Kraban Support Foundation for the next ten weeks. Please check this blog regularly to learn more about Ghana and the entrepreneurs you support!
I arrived very late last Monday night. Nana, the director of Kraban Support Foundation, and Jacki, another Kiva fellow in Ghana, picked me up at the airport. As we drove through Accra, my eyes scanned the scenery, looking for hints of what the next ten weeks of my life would hold. Dark...Continue Reading >>
Hi, I’m Tanuj Parikh and I’ll be living and working in Nakuru, Kenya (which is about 50 miles outside Nairobi, I believe) this summer for the MFI Ebony Foundation. I’m a 19 year old rising junior at Harvard and was born and raised in New York City. I just finished final exams last week and will be leaving for Kenya on June 12. I’ll be there for 10 weeks, living with a host family that Kiva and Ebony helped arrange for me.
I first became interested in microfinance when I got to college because it’s a pretty hot topic on campus – there are always panel discussions and...Continue Reading >>
Hi, I’m Roxanne Miller from San Francisco, CA. I am a Kiva Fellow volunteering this summer with Kiva’s partner Youth Self Employment Foundation (YOSEFO) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I arrived in Tanzania in the middle of May and will be working here until the beginning of August.
The first two weeks have been amazing and I’m learning so much from this experience. Swahili and English are the national languages of Tanzania but Swahili is much preferred over English, so I’m first trying to learn enough Swahili to hold a basic conversation and be...Continue Reading >>
Hi, I’m Liz Vallette and I’m from Houston, Texas. I just arrived in Baku, Azerbaijan last Friday to work as a Kiva Fellow with Normicro. Normicro has 5 branches throughout Azerbaijan that serve internally displaced (IDPs) and low-income persons. I was lucky to show up right as the branches are having their annual General Assemblies.
Normicro has a unique structure that allows the customers to have a role in the governance of the organization. Each branch has an elected advisory council made up of three male clients and three...Continue Reading >>
About Kiva Stories from the Field
On this blog, Kiva Fellows not only document their experiences with microfinance, they also highlight the culture, history, politics, geography, and cuisine of their host countries while introducing readers to friends, colleagues, and entrepreneurs. In one day, you might learn about the nuts and bolts of microfinance administration in Nepal, watch a slideshow of people...Continue Reading >>