I recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with a grandmother named Angelita. She has been using micro-finance for the last 15 years. I thought she would have some interesting things to say about micro finance.
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Compiled by Allison Moomey | KF16 & KF17 | Bénin
Springtime has arrived and fellows around the world are celebrating the resfreshing new life springing from the ground. From millions of tulips in Turkey to smelling family members and friends in Mongolia, fellows have been busy embracing the unique cultures of their host countries. Join Isabel...Continue Reading >
Chris Paci | KF16 & KF17 | Azerbaijan
It’s the beginning of March, and by now, most of KF17 has been out in the field for several weeks. We’ve settled in at our field partners, gotten to know some of our new coworkers, and started to dig a...Continue Reading >
Isabel Balderrama / KF-17 / Ecuador
The most often quoted fact by Kiva members and enthusiasts is its borrowers’ remarkably high repayment rate of 98.91%. How does Kiva manage to get this vast majority of people, located in all corners of the world, to be this good at repaying back their loans? Is it magic? No, no… The reality is simultaneously simpler, and more complicated than that. It’s a chain really: Kiva relies on its Field Partners to get the job done, and these field partners, in turn, come to rely on their teams of loan officers to interview the...Continue Reading >
Isabel Balderrama | KF-17 | Ecuador
Even though I’ve only been living in Ecuador for two weeks, I can safely say that I have already learned the three most important things about this country:
1. Ecuadorians love their karaoke.
2. Salty food is a must.
3. “Delfin hasta el fin” is king (look it up… trust me!)
Ok, so those probably aren’t the most important things… let’s just call them fun facts.
One of Ecuador’s adorable “facts.”
Here, however, is one very...Continue Reading >
Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF16 Peru
The sixteenth class of Kiva Fellows has all but left the field- but we’re by no means done talking about our experiences. We’ve collectively spent 422 weeks in the field (just over 8 years!) and worked an estimated 16,650 hours at Kiva field partners around the world. Needless to say, we’ve got a lot of...Continue Reading >
By Kate Bennett, KF15 Ecuador / KF16 Perú
My first placement in Ecuador was my first time in the country. Turns out that Ecuador is every bit as incredible as the guide books say, and more. I was continously struck by the warmth and openness of the Ecuadorian people (and their passion for politics!), the beauty of the mountains, jungle, and countryside, the richness of Ecuadorian food, the strength of the Kiva borrowers I met there, and my persisting inability to salsa as well as my coworkers. These are a few of my favorite photos of my time there. Stay tuned for my next...Continue Reading >
By Marcus Berkowitz, KF16, Ecuador
Institutional birthdays in the US can be fairly stuffy affairs. Seating is often arranged to maximize contact with those in the institution with whom one has never spoken (perhaps for good reason, argue some guests) and they tend to be remembered more for inappropriate comments inserted into otherwise boring speeches rather than for the celebrations that they hope to be but rarely are.
Not so at the Cooperativa San Jose de Chimbo (CSJ). Instead of standing around awkwardly, everyone secretly wishing they were somewhere else, the 47th...Continue Reading >
By Emmanuel M. von Arx, KF16, Guayaquil (Ecuador)
My host and Kiva´s partner organization Banco D-MIRO provides over ten different types of microloans to borrowers in and around Guayaquil: among them loans to finance housing improvements, school expenses, medication, and loans awarded specifically to employees, young people with a great idea but no experience, and – as Ecuador´s only microfinance institution – discount loans for HIV-positive micro-entrepreneurs.
I am the first to attest, that all these loans have found enthusiastic and committed takers. Yet, one borrower...Continue Reading >
By Marcus Berkowitz, KF16, Ecuador
“We built a little house” she replied happily, when I asked how she had used the loan. I looked down at my sheet. Oops. This loan, according to its Kiva description, was for corn seeds and fertilizers.
Of course, we have no right to insist on any particular loan use. That’s not the point. But of the first...Continue Reading >