Feb 20, 2019 TZ Tanzania

Ever wondered what a more inclusive society would look like? It looks a bit like the world created by Neema Crafts Centre, a social enterprise founded in 2003 with the mission to train and provide employment opportunities to people with disabilities.

The vibrant choice of colors and creativity of products is a reflection of the work done at this center

During a day off from my Kiva Fellowship, I had the opportunity to visit the Neema Crafts Centre. The Centre is nestled away in a beautiful...

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Feb 4, 2019 GO Global Update

Ahed Tamimi, a 17-year-old Palestinian activist who was imprisoned for 8 months

الطريق مفتوح؟  Is the way clear? This was the sentiment voiced by my Palestinian colleagues at Al-Ibdaa and Palestine for Credit & Development (FATEN) before we set off for the field. Under the complicated governance structures dictated by the Oslo Accords, the West Bank has been carved into Area A, Area B and Area C. Area A falls under the holistic jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, ...

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Jan 28, 2019 KE Kenya

Meeting Borrowers in Northern Kenya.

Founded in 2005, Kiva Microfunds is a nonprofit organization revolutionizing the fight against global poverty. As the first person-to-person micro-lending website, Kiva.org is an online marketplace where anyone can make zero-interest loans to specific entrepreneurs in the developing world through a growing network of 290 field partners in 85 countries.

Before my fellowship with Kiva, its model almost sounded like a Ponzi scheme. I couldn't believe...

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Jan 24, 2019 KH Cambodia

Hydrologic has a simple mission: it builds, distributes and sells water filters to rural customers in Cambodia. Its water filters improve public health and reduce the environmental impact of clean water access. About 3.9 million Cambodians lack access to clean water, so most rural families have to purchase bottled water from a market or boil water at home.1 Both options are time-consuming and environmentally harmful, but they are necessary to prevent disease. According to UNICEF: "diarrhoeal diseases alone account for one-fifth of the deaths of children age 5 and under in...

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Nov 15, 2018 TL Timor-Leste

I write to you from Dili, the still sleepy capital of Timor-Leste, Southeast Asia’s newest and least developed country. I’ve spent the last month with Kaebauk Investimentu no Finansas (KIF), a long time Kiva Field Partner and one of only two microfinance organizations in the country. Most of Timor still lack access to basic financial services and KIF fills a vital role in closing that margin. With 22 total branches, KIF has a footprint in every district, one of the few local organizations that cover the breadth of the country. While Timor is small, it is very mountainous and still...

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Nov 14, 2018 GH Ghana

Everyone who becomes a Kiva borrower through iDE Ghana’s Sama Sama Toilet program wants to buy a toilet structure - the very first toilet to ever grace their home. Amazingly, 100% of these borrowers have gotten funded by Kiva lenders, a fantastic statistic!

But have you ever given any thought to how the structure gets there? It isn’t magic, someone has to build it. The behind-the-scenes success of Sama Sama Toilet is its Toilet Business Owner program, or TBO. As the new-on-the-ground Kiva Fellow, I got to visit three TBOs today. TBOs are recruited early on in...

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Nov 6, 2018 GT Guatemala

I'm excited to be writing to you as the Kiva fellow stationed in Sololá, Guatemala, where I’ve been working with our Field Partner, ADICLA. I wanted to share one of my favorite memories from my time with ADICLA and tell you a little more a little bit about my experience in Guatemala.    One of the highlights of my time with ADICLA was the opportunity to see the impact that they’re having on their borrowers. ADICLA is providing much-needed support to many indigenous people and others who live in rural, hard-to-reach areas in Guatemala. I had the chance to...

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Oct 28, 2018 PH Philippines

Bacolod, also referred to as “Sugarland” by Joe Studwell in his book “How Asia Works”, is the sugar capital of the Philippines and my first destination as a Kiva fellow. Indeed, arriving in Bacolod was exactly how Studwell described it, one sugar cane field after another, but it was a salty business in that sweet world that caught my eye.

Meet Cecilia, a successful businesswoman who prepares and sells salted dried fish. She started her business buying fresh fish in credit and worked really hard to prepare it and sell part of it within three days in...

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Oct 23, 2018 GO Global Update

A happy school owner in Kampala

How did I never know that water can have so many social and economic impacts on the stakeholders? I mean, not that I don't think water is important, but my experience with Impact Water, a social enterprise, broadened my view on the many ripple effects water can have. 

Another happy borrower in western Uganda
A brief background on Impact Water

Impact Water is a...

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Oct 23, 2018 NG Nigeria

Kiva borrower Linda became a Babban Gona farmer several years after her husband joined and their family started to prosper

Blessed with fertile soil and a favorable climate, northern Nigeria is considered the “breadbasket” of the country. However, low mechanization and sparse infrastructure isolate this region from the bustling economy of Lagos, which is just 1,000 km to the south. Insecurity in the northeast heightens the divide where, since 2009, over 20,000 lives have been lost and over 2 million...

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