Stories tagged with Kenya

Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya
Village view from a matatu

As I approach the matatu stage I feel a bout of irritation.  Completely empty.  I am the first passenger to arrive, which undoubtedly means waiting for an indefinite amount of time until it is full and ready to head out.  I quickly text the Kiva borrower I am to visit to tell her I may be late.  Having been in this situation many times before, she messages me back with an understanding, “Don’t worry, you still come!”  I get in, pick the best seat, buy a few... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya

On a recent trip out of Nairobi, we arrived in Eldama Ravine, a small town of around 15,000 people in Kenya's Rift Valley Province.  On our arrival we were greeted by Benson, the local loan officer for SMEP Microfinance Bank, who proudly walked us down Eldama Ravine's main street, into a building containing a general store and an education center, and up two flights of stairs to a small office overlooking the busy local... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 GO Global Update

Traditionally Kenyan women have not been in the business of beekeeping. Beehives were historically kept very high in trees requiring the beekeeper to undertake a somewhat dangerous climb in order to service or retrieve the hive. Culturally, this was not considered an activity fit for Kenyan women. Now, with modern beekeeping techniques and tools, colonized hives can be managed from the ground.

For the first half of my Kiva fellowship I was placed with Honey Care Africa, an organization that gives Kiva loans to farmers for beehives and apiary materials. I attended a Honey... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya
While working on Kiva Zip operations in Kenya, I engage with Trustees (the volunteer backbone of the Kiva Zip model) every day, hearing their stories, experiences, issues, and very often-getting humble invitations to visit their borrowers. These visits are one of my favorite parts of my fellowship. This is when I get to see the impact of the Kiva Zip model on the ground.

CentralBusinessDistrict


Recently, I got to visit Kone Mory who is from Côte d’Ivoire, a country in west Africa. Kone is a... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya
Last week I travelled to Nakuru, a town to the northwest of Nairobi in Kenya's Rift Valley Province, about three hours away by matatu.  Matatus are the predominant mode of transport in Kenya and while they lack a few comforts - leg room, air conditioning, suspension, and any limit on the number of people that will attempt to fit inside one simultaneously - they have the benefits of being cheap, efficient and reliable, and handle Kenya's potholed roads reasonably well.  
Jackline and her clothing business in...
Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya


Sometimes it is better to share your challenges after they happened not while they are happening, so here it goes:

 

... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya


After completing Kiva Fellows Training in San Francisco, and moving my last few possessions into storage in Chicago, it was time to make the 8000 mile journey to Nairobi and start my fellowship!  With the exception of some visa troubles at the airport in Chicago, the journey went relatively simply and smoothly; I passed the time pretty effectively with a combination of in-flight movies, coffee and snacks in... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya

Kiva Zip is all about human connections. Three weeks in Nairobi and I am just amazed to witness the direct impact the Kiva Zip model is having on their borrowers and the strength of this bond of trustee-borrower-lender relationships. 

This week, I met a Kiva Zip borrower, Esther.  She loves and is proud of her little shop “Facebook Cereal” in TOI market area of the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya. Starting from ground zero twice in the last 10 years due to internal Kenya riots and personal medical...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2014 KE Kenya
When a mzungu meets a Kenyan dairy cow


It’s 3pm, heading to the office, after back to back meetings since early morning with mostly dairy farmers. We've been talking to Kiva borrowers, for borrower verification, hours away from the main business districts in the green region of Nkubu in Kenya. Now we're waiting with the loan officer for a boda boda (moto taxi) to drive us on the bumpy roads before jumping into a matatu (microbus) to our final destination, looking for some shade and freshness away from the... Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2014 KE Kenya
Florence and her cow shed acquired with her Kiva loan

I will never forget the day I faced this existential question for the first time...
 
As a Kiva fellow, I was questioning Florence, an energetic farmer in her fifties, about her family, business, during borrower verifications in the tea plantations of Nkubu in Kenya.
 
Although she initially thought about buying dairy goats with her Kiva loan, she eventually decided to increase her existing cow productivity and her kids’... Continue Reading >>

Pages