Compiled by Chris Paci | KF16 & KF17 | Ukraine
It’s been a busy week here on Kiva Stories from the Field! Most of our KF17 fellows have been in the field for two months by this point, and they’ve been drawing on their wealth of on-the-ground experience to unpack some of the more complex and troubling aspects of life in their host societies. In a series of fascinating posts, our fellows tackle employment discrimination in Indonesia, the dark side of sustainable tourism in Mozambique, and the difficulty all Kiva Fellows face in keeping sight of our end goal of poverty alleviation – not to mention our most harrowing borrower verification story yet. But there’s plenty of lighter fare this week too. Tag along with our fellows as they join a football club in Togo, help a new partner post its first Kiva profiles in Cameroon, and teach us about the inspirational non-financial services that Kiva’s field partners provide.
My mid-fellowship crisis: What am I doing here?
Jon Hiebert | KF17 | Mongolia
In an honest post about disillusionment and inspiration, Jon shares how he was able to break out of an all-too-familiar office mentality and rediscover the big-picture concerns that first drove him to become a Kiva Fellow.
Hitting the Help Wanteds in Jakarta
Heather Sullivan | KF17 | Indonesia
Following a trip through the Classifieds section of a Jakarta newspaper, Heather draws on her background in employment law to explore the disconnect between acceptable hiring practices in Indonesia and the United States.
This Sporting Life
Michael Slattery | KF17 | Togo
As part of his assimilation into Togolese society, Michael joins his MFI’s football club and comes to a deeper understanding of his host culture and his own role therein.
The Many Services Provided by an MFI
David Gorgani | KF17 | Dominican Republic
In this post, David draws on the collective experience of his KF17 classmates to provide a rundown of some of the innovative non-financial services that Kiva’s partner MFIs provide to their borrowers.
“Sustainable” Tourism in the Quirimbas Archipelago: Sustainable for Whom, Exactly?
Micaela Browning | KF17 | Mozambique
Micaela takes a trip to the Quirimbas Archipelago in northern Mozambique, a destination billed as a pristine beach resort with a nascent tourist trade. However, the deeper she digs into the islands’ economy and the interactions between locals and foreign investors, the more disturbed she becomes.
The Bridge: Between Life and Dead
Santiago Cortes | KF17 | Honduras
In our Kiva Fellows training sessions, Kiva staff members continually encourage us to be ready for anything our host countries might throw our way. But it’s safe to say that Kiva didn’t have Santiago’s near-death borrower verification experience in mind!
We Have Liftoff!
Natalie Sherman | KF17 | Cameroon
After eight weeks of hard work with Kiva’s new field partner ACEP Cameroun, Natalie shares her thrill at watching her MFI’s first loans go up on the Kiva website and get funded in full within hours.
Updates from the past month:
Tropical Business Trips, Less Exhilarating Fellow Roles + Education Inspiration
Finding Epiphanies, Sharing Wisdom + Standing Up to Sassy Nigerian Mamas
A New Perspective from Mexico, Second Chances for Borrowers + A Microfinance Medical Mission
Inspiring Field Partners, Cultural Adjustments + Girl Scout Cookies (No Wait, That’s Not Right)
Plus more pictures from the past week: