Stories tagged with Africa

Sep 9, 2017 GH Ghana
Meeting with Kiva borrowers is a privilege that I have had the opportunity to enjoy multiple times since I have landed in Africa. Oftentimes, their stories, professional or personal, have made me forget the initial reason for my visit. Every single story has something special, and you never know what to expect until you arrive at their home, sit on a wobbly seat and start listening. Whether they are touching, inspiring, heartbreaking or promising, stories always move me deeply.
 
My name is Victor, a Kiva fellow based in Cape Coast, Ghana, and I wish to introduce you to Joyce... Continue Reading >>
Aug 8, 2017 EG Egypt

I had the privilege of being Kiva’s first fellow to work with Together Association for Development and Environment (TADE), our only partner in Egypt. TADE is based in the Minya governate, known locally as the “Bride of Upper Egypt.” 

Minya's Nile corniche, the longest in all of Egypt


... Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2017 KE Kenya
One of the great things about Nairobi is the plethora of running groups available. In Monrovia, I was an avid member of the Monrovia House Hash Harriers, but there were few opportunities for more serious running. In Nairobi, there is at least one running group meeting daily. One of my favorites is the Urban Swaras, which meets at 7 am on Saturday mornings, with 5-20 km runs followed by breakfast.



Urban Swaras is a pretty cool group. Like the hash, the group meets at pre-determined trails and follows arrows indicating where to go. However, there are not any of the... Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2017 KE Kenya
Much of the world lacks access to safe water. Worse yet, even in areas where safe drinking water is available, access is often restricted due to a lack of available financing.



SMEP, one of Kiva’s field partners in Kenya, offers affordable WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) loans to borrowers looking to purchase water tanks. SMEP’s affordable financing has several major benefits. Since the loans are almost always repaid, the money can be given out to other borrowers after one loan is completed. In addition, the water tanks can store enough water for an... Continue Reading >>
Dec 12, 2016 LR Liberia
Banjor Community is a wonderful area. It has friendly people, beautiful beaches, a gym, a golf course, the ruins of what was once West Africa’s largest hotel, over 160 schools, and now, thanks to Joseph Pambu, a computer lab and training program. The one thing this community lacks is electricity. Despite its location only a few miles from Liberian Electricity Corporation’s (LEC) headquarters, District #17, where Banjor Community is located in rural Montserrado, has not had electricity for 20 years. The copper wiring was stolen during the war, and Liberia’s government has not yet gotten... Continue Reading >>
Nov 11, 2016 KE Kenya
“We have very productive land here. We just need enough water to grow our crops” Irene said repeatedly as we were taking a tour of her farm in Kalamba, Kenya. Irene and her family’s primary business is managing their three-acre farm that sits in Makueni County in central Kenya. On their land, Irene grows a variety of crops including peas, tomatoes, maize and mangos. While the family has had several successful months of higher than average yields, Irene expressed her anxiety of having enough water in the coming months as we toured her farm. Irene’s concerns were not unique. I also visited... Continue Reading >>
Nov 11, 2016 LR Liberia

Coffee options in Monrovia are limited. Nescafe is typically the go-to option. Coffee grounds are sold at supermarkets, but they don't come cheap. There is one store with local Liberian beans, but then you have to grind your beans before making coffee. Who has time for that?

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Oct 10, 2016 LR Liberia
When most people think of entrepreneurship in developing countries, they do not think of innovation. Even in cases of extreme growth, such as in China, most wealth and development comes from copying what has worked in other places in the past. This is what is known as 1 --> n innovation. No truly new ideas are required; one simply has to copy what has worked n times. 0 --> 1 innovation is qualitatively different: it requires novel ideas.

Business owners on Tubman Boulevard

 ... Continue Reading >>
Oct 10, 2016 LR Liberia
One of my favorite parts of traveling is the opportunity to try new foods. I’ve never been particularly interested in typical tourist attractions. I would rather explore and wander upon serendipitous experiences. The best way to truly understand what a culture is all about is to sample its cuisine.
 
Liberia is not particularly well known for its food. It’s a shame though. Trying Liberian food has been a valuable extension of my experience. The dishes are spicy, sweet, and salty; starchy, but full of various meats; and oh so exquisitely prepared and seasoned. Where else could... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2016 GO Global Update
I arrived in Dar es Salaam in early June, a hot and sweaty mess, after 24 hours of flying time. It is my first time on the continent, meaning that every sight, smell, and experience is a new one for me. This has thus far made for an incredibly interesting, challenging, but ultimately enriching experience. While I have had moments where I have questioned my decision to embark on this journey (several hours on an over-packed dala dala, or local bus, in traffic will do things to your head), I have also experienced some seriously incredible, out-of-this-world moments, that reaffirm why I... Continue Reading >>

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